You must have seen a dark brown fibrous material on your lawn, in a nursery, or at a gardening store? Do you know what it is? Are you curious about what it is used for? And do you have any idea how much peat moss for overseeding is required?
Every year, gardeners, including both who pursue gardening as their hobby or are professional gardeners, spend a huge amount of money on products that are beneficial for their plants. One thing that is common among all gardeners is the use of peat moss.
The history of peat moss dates back to the mid-1900s. The peat moss you find in your local nursery is about 10,000 to 20,000 years old. It used to be a living matter that lived on boglands. After its death, the organic matter decomposed while the fibrous part remained which is known as peat moss.
The question that arises here is how much peat moss for overseeding is enough? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about peat mosses and how much peat moss for overseeding is required?
What Is Peat Moss?
Peat moss is a dark brown colored decomposed organic matter. It is a fibrous material produced as a result of the decomposition of living material in peat bogs. It is mostly found in bogs and cold, marshy ecosystems. The most common plant material in peat moss is sphagnum moss.
Why Is Peat Moss Used?
Peat moss is used as a gardening medium as it is great for plants that need an acidic medium to grow. It has excellent water holding capacity, which is why gardeners mix peat moss in the soil to enhance its ability to remain intact. In most cases, peat mosses are sterile which makes them resistant to diseases.
Peat Moss For Overseeding
Overseeding is a technique used to add grass seeds to your existing lawn. It is an easy way to improve the look of your lawn by filling the bare spots. Using peat moss for overseeding has its pros and cons which are discussed below:
Peat mosses can absorb and retain water which retains moisture present in the soil. Seeds that are newly planted require moisture for sprouting. So, peat moss can be of great importance when you are overseeding your lawn.
After being spread over the soil for a few weeks, peat moss can break down. This provides the soil with organic matter and acts as a catalyst for growing plants.
The addition of peat moss in the top layer of soil ensures protection for newly planted seeds from being carried away by birds. If seeds are left uncovered, most of them will be eaten by birds.
The price for peat moss bags varies according to their sizes but generally, they are pocket friendly. It is affordable as it does not require frequent replacement.
Peat moss helps create a well-drained topsoil layer. It allows air to reach plants’ root systems.
Aerated soil prevents compacting and restricting root growth.
Peat mosses are generally acidic as they have very low pH levels ranging from 3 to 4.5. Therefore, they can limit the growth capacity of your soil in the long run.
Nutrient Poor Fertilizers
As compared to other fertilizers available in the market, peat mosses are considered to be nutrient-poor. In addition to this, they do not contain soil microbes that help feed the lawn.
Peat moss is formed by the decomposition of living material. The process of decomposition and harvesting peat moss releases gases such as methane and carbon dioxide that are considered harmful to the environment.
The most important disadvantage of using peat moss is that it is an unsustainable resource, unless commercially grown. Natural peat bogs can not regenerate peat moss for a longer period.
Steps To Use Peat Moss When Overseeding
- Mow your lawn to approximately 2 inches in height.
- Using an aerator, aerate your lawn.
- Distribute your seeds evenly over the area.
- Layer peat moss over the soil in layers around 3 to 6 mm deep.
- Immediately water the peat moss to provide moisture.
How Much Peat Moss For Overseeding?
Most gardeners are advised to use 3 to 4 bags of peat moss for every 1000 square feet. A single bag of peat moss contains 3 cubic feet of peat moss which is enough to cover an area of 300 square feet. So, using 3 to 4 such bags can cover an area of 1000 square feet.
A 3mm layer of peat moss is enough to cover the seeds and provide them with moisture. Peat moss expands when it is removed from the bag so a thin layer sponges up water and covers the entire area.
Excess Of Peat Moss
If peat moss is being used above the required level, the pH level of the soil can drop to rock bottom. Decreasing pH will result in an increased acidity level of soil which can create a life-threatening risk for seeds.
Limestone is water-soluble. For this reason, it is commonly used to neutralize acidity caused due to peat moss. Calcium carbonate present in limestone produces bicarbonate that decreases acidity. Limestone flour should be used in 2:1 quantity with peat moss.
Dolomite flour is another effective tool to reduce the acidity of the soil. It raises the pH level along with providing calcium and magnesium to the soil. The amount of dolomite flour required can be determined by checking the pH level of the soil.
Peat Moss Alternatives For Overseeding
An alternative used instead of peat moss for overseeding is compost. It also retains moisture and enhances the growth of seeds. It is considered environment friendly as it can be produced without any damage to the environment. In most cases, it is a less expensive and better fertilizer. Also, it does not affect the pH of the soil as compared to highly acidic peat moss.
>> Read More: When To Cut Grass After Overseeding (Ideal Period)
Peat moss is a topsoil dressing that is being used all over the world for overseeding. Where it has countless advantages, its usage comes with a cost.
This article has all the information you need to decide whether you should use peat moss for overseeding your soil or not. The final decision to use peat moss is in your hands.
We hope this article facilitated you in answering your question. If you have any queries, feel free to ask and we’ll get back to you!