A beautiful, lush green lawn is the dream of every gardener. It might take days, weeks, or even months of hard work from a gardener to achieve long thick grass covering their lawn area.
But some products are present in the market that can catalyze this process for you. One of such products is peat moss, but what does peat moss do for grass?
The origin of peat moss dates back to the mid-1900s. It is an organic matter which is incorporated into the soil for improved germination of seeds. Its composition includes decomposed living material from peat bogs.
We find peat moss in many lawn care products and potting mixes. The most important question that should arise here is what does peat moss do for grass?
What Does Peat Moss Do For Grass?
Gardeners use peat moss mostly in potting soil as a soil amendment. It is commonly used for acid-loving plants as its increases the pH level of soil when added to it. It might not be a good choice for plants that require alkaline soil.
It holds onto nutrients so it is used as a seed starting medium. While watering the plants, it makes sure that nutrients are not rinsed out.
It helps the soil to increase its water retention capacity and provides moisture to plant roots when required. It can also hold several times its weight in water.
Peat moss has a loose texture, therefore it prevents compaction. It is lightweight and results in the aeration of the soil.
The breakdown of peat moss happens at a slower pace. So, as compared to other organic products, peat moss lasts for a longer period.
Peat bogs are considered a non-renewable resource as they gain less than a millimeter depth in a year. Once they are mined, they deplete for a long period.
Peat bogs negatively contribute to climate change as they release carbon dioxide into the air. A lot of carbon released in the air can have a major detrimental impact on the environment.
Peat moss is generally formed in moist and humid environments from where it is to be shipped internationally. This makes them an expensive option for gardeners as compared to locally available products.
Fertilizer needs to be added along with peat moss as they do not provide adequate nutrients for plant growth. They can help you in retaining the nutrients present in the soil but are hardly a source of beneficial nutrients themselves.
It is favorable to plant grass according to its natural growing season. Cool-season grass seeds should be planted in early fall while warm-season grass seeds in late spring.
- Use a garden tiller to make the soil a minimum of 6 inches deep. Break the soil and remove large chunks of it to make a uniform mixture.
- Use handfuls of peat moss to evenly spread it over the area. It should cover up to 2 inches of the soil bed.
- Use a garden tiller to incorporate the peat moss into the soil by mixing slowly.
- Use the fertilizer spreader to spread the fertilizer from one corner of the planting area to the other. Make sure to cover the entire area with fertilizer.
- Also, use the same fertilizer spreader to spread the grass seeds into the field. Follow the package direction to determine the flow rate of your spreader for your grass seeds. The north to south direction should be used to scatter half of the grass seeds while the other half should be applied in the east to west direction.
- Pull the garden rake over the surface without applying pressure to slightly cover the grass seeds with soil. Do not cover more than one fourth inch depth or it will prevent germination.
- Use a sprinkler to water the grass seeds. Repeat this step several times a day until the soil becomes moist and the seeds start to germinate.
- As the grass starts to grow, increase the amount of water while decreasing the irrigation frequency.
The use of peat moss can be beneficial as well as harmful for your plants depending upon your plant type. In the case of grass lawns, peat moss can be harmful as the addition of peat moss to the soil will result in lowering the pH of the soil. This will increase the acidity of the soil which is dangerous for your grass.
Several types of weeds can thrive in such conditions but grass struggles in such an environment. So if you want to fertilize your lawn using peat moss, there is a risk that you will end up harming your grass. Also, the use of peat moss is not worth the environmental destruction.
You can get peat moss from your nearest gardening shops. If that’s not possible, you can even look at several options online, especially on Amazon. Here are two tried and tested recommendations from our end: the Espoma PTM8 8-Quart Organic Peat Moss and the Fluval Aquatic Peat Granules.
- All natural sphagnum peat Moss for improving heavy soils
- Helps loosen heavy soils and prevents compaction
- Improves aeration and drainage in potting mixes
- Peat moss
- All natural Sphagnum peat moss for organic gardening
- Chemical filter media that naturally softens aquarium water
- Recommended for fish that prefer soft, acidic water such as Amazonian cichlids, discus, and angelfish
- Achieves pH levels needed for breeding and rearing certain tropical fish
- Enhances coloration and behavior in some fish species and promotes luscious live plant growth
- For use in freshwater aquariums only
Different types of organic material are used as an alternative to peat moss. Some of them include:
- Shredded leaves
- Worm castings
- Natural fertilizers
- Chemically manufactured fertilizers
The final decision to use peat moss varies for every individual. Despite its pros and cons, it is used all over the world for growing plants as a growing medium. So the choice is yours.
We hope this article has answered all possible questions arising in your mind regarding what does peat moss do for grass. If you have any further questions, you may feel free to ask.