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Re: CULT: antibacterial organics?



Linda said:

<< My plant propagation book mentions various types of  commercial peat - I
have no idea which ones are still sold.  It says  "Peat moss, which varies in
pH depending on its origin...", It says there are 4 kinds of peats 1)
sphagnum types, 2) Hypnum
 types (another moss genus), 3) reed-sedge types, and 4) tree/shrub types
 (formed from things like blueberries, alder, or willow). >>

I have discovered that my new little book SOILS, which I referred to in my
post on soil conditioners, has something on this subject and I thought I
might as well post it. I summerize.

There are several kinds of "peat", they vary, and not all are suitable for
all situations.

Spagnum-moss Peat
"Fair" soil conditioner. Light brown. Decomposes fast. Oliotrophic--meaning
it is low in nutrients (nitrogen only .06-1.4 percent nitrogen). Excellent
for use with acid- loving plants because its pH is 3.0-4.0. Lightweight.
Excellent water holding capability.

Hypnum-moss Peat
"Good" soil conditioner. Medium to dark brown. Moderate rate of decomposition
makes it a fair  stabilized organic-matter addition. Eurotrophic--meaning
rich in nutrients (2.0-3.5 percent nitrogen). pH range of 5.0-7.0, good for
non-acid-loving plants.

Reed Sedge Peat
Partially decomposed marsh grasses. Usually a "good" conditioner, but
variable in pH and rate of decomposition. Low-lime reed sedge peat has pH of
4.0-5.0 and contains 1.5-3.0 percent nitrogen. Overall has a slow rate of
decompositon and thus a good source of stabilized organic matater. Medium
water holding capacity.

Peat Humus
Dark brown to black. "Good" soil conditioner. Highly decomposed and is an
excellent source of stabilized organic matter. PH range 5.0-7.5 and contains
2.0-3.5 percent nitrogen. Not spongy, and has a low water holding capacity.

Anner Whitehead, Richmond, Va--raining and grey, very quiet and nice
Henry Hall  henryanner@aol.com 





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