Nothing like walking around a lush green garden! A healthy lawn is a perfect balance of well-draining and rich nutrient soil.
Many landscapers prefer to use peat moss as a soil amendment for its various advantages. However, too much peat moss on lawn can additionally damage the roots of the seeds.
In that case, either you have to use it in the right quantity or look for other alternatives.
Balancing The Ratio Of Peat Moss
As peat moss is quite acidic in nature, pouring too much can pose a life-threatening risk to the grass seeds. The water solubility of limestone plays a major role in neutralizing acidity.
Hence, when mixed with peat, limestone flour (less than 0.1 mm) significantly enhances pH level. Even it improves the water content by 45%.
When you increase the moisture content from 45% to 75%, the effect of liming material also increases. Then, for faster neutralization, dry peat should be added after liming.
After a week of descaling, the level of pH must be around 0.5-0.6 units.
I must say here, if you are using peat moss in the right quantity, mixing liming materials is very crucial. Liming adds a good amount of calcium carbonate.
Hence, the acidity of peat should be reduced by simultaneous application of two liming components:
- Limestone flour: calcium carbonate takes time to dissolve to reduce the acidity of the peat significantly. It starts reaction after the dissolution of carbon dioxide in water. Then it forms bicarbonate to decrease the acidity.
- Dolomite flour: don’t use dolomite flour for magnesium-rich plants. It is soluble very quickly reacts with peat moss.
Hence, the right ratio of liming can be achieved with the proportion of 2:1.
Is Peat Moss Right For Grass?
Of course, peat moss offers great advantages and is great for retaining moisture. You can use Peat moss for bare spots in the lawn, as it helps germinate the seeds and feed them with adequate nutrition.
However, you have to compensate for a few things instead. It is 100 times more acidic in nature in comparison to soil.
Hence, it increases the acidic compound in the soil and hinders the growth of grass. In that case, you have to supplement with low-acidic components to balance the acidity.
- The benefits of moisture retention and fertilization promote good health for grass.
- However, the absence of beneficial earthworms hinders the natural ecosystem of the lawn.
- Peat moss contains very little nutrition; however, it helps the soil to absorb the nutrition and increase its quality.
- The effect of peat moss sustains for a longer period in the soil, as it doesn’t compact.
- Peat moss contains a low pH level; thus, lime has to be added additionally to balance the level.
But too much of anything is always bad. It’s 100% true for too much peat moss as well. Watch this video to understand what can happen with too much of it.
Peat Moss Alternative For Your Grass
Well, fertilizers are a crucial component for the natural growth of grass. Hence, for a healthy lawn, you have to use them.
Here I have listed a few organic fertilizers that are exceptionally good for your lawn grass:
- High-quality organic compost
- Worm casting
- Shredded leave
- Grass clipping
- Milorganite or natural, sustainable fertilizers
All these are great options for soil amendments. They get united with the soil and boost the grass with adequate nutrition without hampering the earthworms.
Moreover, these homemade options are extremely low cost, and this organic material would help to recycle garden waste as well.
Once you follow proper watering, apply weed controller and fertilizers, you can ensure vigorous growth.
Peat Moss Vs. Natural Compost
Both peat moss and compost are great soil amendments. However, when you add them to the soil, they act differently.
Peat bogs are drained and harvested to create sphagnum moss. Then some ideal chemical components are added to develop peat moss.
At the same time, composts are made up of organic plant material and manure. The presence of nitrogen in manure boosts the process of decomposition. Finally, it results in fast-decomposing fertilizers.
Much more labor and time are allotted to harvest peat moss. Hence, the price of peat moss is substantially high. Moreover, you can get more advantages from compost than peat moss at a low price.
How To Treat New Grass Seed For Your Lawn?
I have seen many gardening videos to advise tilling peat moss in the soil before seeding. It is a way to retain water from the grass seed.
In turn, it helps to increase germination. But I haven’t found any positive result from this practice.
Rather, I feel the acidic compound in the peat moss hinders grass germination. Moreover, adding too much of it to soil can rot the sprout.
Find out the key takeaways:
- The acidity of peat moss hinder grass seed germination
- Retained moisture of peat moss might rot the grass seeds
- For best result, till compost into the soil before you seed
- In the next step, cover the seeds with a thin dressing of compost
- It fertilizes the seeds and helps to keep the soil moist
Both peat moss and compost are capable of holding water for a long time. However, peat moss is likely to do better.
Hence, if you have sandy or rocky soil in hand, peat moss is a better option.
You see, both this solution offers their unique benefits. Some gardeners prefer peat moss, while the others choose to compost.
Apart from these two ingredients, there are several organic materials you can consider adding for landscaping. It includes mulches (weed-free), green manures, cover crops, and paper.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can as a top dressing on your lawn so that the peat moss layer can absorb the excess water. Eventually, your grass in contact with the peat moss will absorb some moisture as well.
For seed germination, the right amount of peat moss is great. It adds aeration to the lawn soil and allows airflow for better seed germination. It is also helpful for sandy soil where peat moss can hold water and nutrients for the growth of the grass.
Harvesting and use of peat moss release CO2 and endanger the climate. It also leads to some plant diseases too.
Apart from environmental issues, it does not contain rich nutrients for your lawn. Also, it leads to some plant diseases too.
Being anaerobic, it breaks down very slowly.
To conclude, peat moss is extremely acidic in nature. Hence, adding too much peat moss on the lawn can increase acidity in the soil. Liming thus plays a crucial role in balancing acidity.
Peat can be evenly dispersed in your lawn then mixed with the required liming material. Feed your lawn adequately and promote good grass health for a longer period.