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Thread: Peat Harvesting

  1. #17
    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Because a peat bog can regenerate itself several times on a time scale within the lifespan of a human being, it is in the interests of the humans harvesting it to do so sustainably. There is no reason peat can't be harvested sustainably just as timber is. It takes longer to grow a harvest sized tree than to allow a bog to regenerate. Burning peat, like burning wood is essentially carbon neutral, and likely the text book you read was written with that in mind.
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  2. #18
    theplantman's Avatar
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    I've seen several hundred bags opened on a single lawn by a landscaping company. 50% of it scattered to the wind and never even hit the ground. Landscaping trucks full of peat bales are always cruising around the subdivisions in Georgia. I'm not so ridiculous that I shed tears about every one. However, I do wonder if education about it could make the difference when a company goes to buy it. Many plantspeople I've conversed with just put down peat "because they've heard it's the best."

    I have no doubt that if you went and quantified peat usage, people in the CP and orchid hobbies would rank among the lowest. Fuel/power usage, soil amendment/landscaping, and commercial production probably greatly outweigh the small "drop in the pond" that CPers represent. I believe at the very least that this is a commodity that shouldn't be wasted frivolously. For plants that aren't picky about soil mixes, like annual bedding plants or veggie seedlings, there is absolutely no good reason to use peat when alternatives from coconut or pine plantations are readily available. And cheaper, in most cases!

    I have grown hundreds of different plants very well in pine bark mixes. I've also had very good success cutting Nep and mexican Ping mixes with pine bark, too. Need to try Sarrs and Drosera.

    This Nep is planted in a mix that has a substantial amount of pine bark--I ran out of other stuff that day.

    Last edited by theplantman; 06-05-2014 at 12:22 PM.

  3. #19
    Plant Whisperer Bio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    Because a peat bog can regenerate itself several times on a time scale within the lifespan of a human being, it is in the interests of the humans harvesting it to do so sustainably. There is no reason peat can't be harvested sustainably just as timber is. It takes longer to grow a harvest sized tree than to allow a bog to regenerate. Burning peat, like burning wood is essentially carbon neutral, and likely the text book you read was written with that in mind.
    Ah, you meant sustainable harvesting. I have no problem with sustainable harvesting as long as it is done properly, with the knowledge of what overharvesting can do to the environment. And yes, bogs would regenerate faster this way.

    However, a suitable alternative should still be found, to preserve as much of the peat as possible.

    Edit: I just read what you wrote theplantman, and I agree that most peat that is used is not by us. There are dozens of peat bales available when I purchase one, and it lasts me a year or more, but every few months, they get in another few dozen, to be wasted by people who don't even need it for their plants.

  4. #20
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Regrowth rate is about 1mm per year. See: Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p. Chapter 7.

    We're talking peat moss, not Sphagnum moss. Peat is partially decomposed vegetable matter. It doesn't have to be Sphagnum. Peat moss or moss peat is partially decomposed (mainly) Sphagnum moss.

    Not all coal comes from peat moss.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 06-05-2014 at 12:39 PM.
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  5. #21
    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    I guess everyone missed my post, or had nothing to say about it. I'll put it here again, and give a quick run-down.

    http://www.organix.us/product/repeat/

    A non-peat product engineered to be as nearly identical to horticultural peat-moss as possible, with the one caveat of being slightly more ph neutral than real peat. The company's sole goal is to produce a sustainable product that will lessen the demand for wild-harvested peat.

    I've e-mailed them about where to order, to see if I can get some to try.

  6. #22

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    I started to read that, but it took them forever to get to the point so I stopped reading.

    But yes, I did skip through this time and it sounds like a wonderful product. I would like to try it too.
    Last edited by Acro; 06-05-2014 at 09:41 PM.

  7. #23

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    It sounds almost too good to be true, but I hope it isn't prohibitively expensive. I would like to try it too.

  8. #24
    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanukimo View Post
    It sounds almost too good to be true, but I hope it isn't prohibitively expensive. I would like to try it too.
    The site claims it is "competitively priced". Which retailer figures they're referring to, I haven't the foggiest. I would expect the upper ranges, but nothing too extravagant. In the interests of bringing the topic up, I'll update if / when I hear from them. Hopefully, if they're this concerned about bog ecosystems, they will also be familiar with CP's, at least in a general sense of soil and water conditions.

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