Smile, it makes people nervous :)
Huh... when I was my peat- ALL of it sinks. Only the twigs float to the surface...
Never Knows Best
In my experience the only portion of peat that sinks after some time in water is made up of very fine peat particles. If I try using it for CP's (peat:sand) the soil absorbs too much water, becomes too wet and does not drain at all. After a while if left alone that portion of the peat also starts to smell like rotten eggs.
Not Growing Up!
I learned the hard way too.... that what we think is bad is often not as bad as things can catually get!
It's a sad situation.
I have spent years watching LFS, peat & many other things deteriorate in quality until what they sell now is a far cry from what was once readily available.
In this case, even within one brand, large variations in quality can be found. But to be on the safe side, I would advise avoiding the brand you got. Usually a more expensive "brand name" product is better quality (in this instance), however that too is not always the case.
I believe they are hitting the "bottom of the barrel" when they packaged your bag of peat. (If it was a 4 cubic foot ...er...a... 3.8 cu. foot bale, I would return it! Thats too much garbage to simply "write off"!)
The powdered peat is still useable for a garden, but not very good for CP's, especially the sticks & debris!
I have learned to buy as much material as I can store, when I find a product that is good.
The stuff we call peat now-a-days is not nearly as fiberous and not packed even half as tight as what we had available in times past. And back then if you got a bale full of sticks & debris, you could exchange it for another.
While the changing times have allowed us to be able to purchase plants that were never before available, & for prices that nearly anyone can afford, but at the same time the cost for that is things like this... a diminishing supply & availability of quality peat & other materials.
That is one reason I keep an eye out & am willing to experiment with things like Coir & Turface.
Out with the old, in with the new... like it or not!
Sorry to hear about your lousey peat purchase Gil... But do keep an eye out for something better, and when you find it, buy a ton of it!
Well, back to work!
Good luck all!
Man.. I've always used the Sunshine peat, and I get nothing you guys have been describing.. no sticks, leaves, rocks, sand etc.. At all.. Just peat.. i'd say about half of it floats and half sinks.. I usually use a fishnet(for aquarium fish) to skim off what I can from the bottom.. I dont use Tamlin's method of letting the peat soak though.. And I use no tap water, only RO.. I use 10-15gals of RO, filling my peat bucket up then taking scoops out with the fish net, using it to hold the peat while I ring it out, and do that 2-3 times.. the finished product is nice stuff, usually a more golden color and much fluffier.. but I do still keep as much as the darker "bottom stuff" as possible...
Never Knows Best
Heh well I am setting on a long journey to find this stuff (sunshine brand of Peat moss) in my area. Suspect it will be an even longer quest than that of finding coarse sand.
Originally Posted by Brie
Not Growing Up!
Sunshine has always been pretty good quality (it did go down a number of years back, but is still at the top of the heap... so to speak!)
but finding it has become more difficult.
It used to be the only kind we could get (of quality brands), but now there are so many off-brands around, that it is sometimes near impossible to find anything good... especially at a decent price.
It is certainly not an item to ship!
I would suggest trying the landscape supply companies & other places that carry a more "professional" line.
ALSO, don't forget to go in to a few hydroponics stores! They often carry brands that mainstream nurseries don't. (You will also find a ton of other interesting grow items you can use for CP's.) Hydroponics Stores are NOT just for the "higher" trade!