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Brand of sphagnum peat moss

gill_za

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Yes this question does get asked often. Local nursery owner informed me that there were changes on the Peat Moss extraction/distribution market and the brand I used to get is not currently available.
I tried several brands and generally found that whatever is sold in Lowes or HD (Premier or Lambert) is bad quality peat moss for CP growing purposes. It is very dark, has leaves, wood chips, fine sand and its particles are very fine. When wet is sinks to the bottom and stays there. In the pots it tends to clog up the holes and drains very poorly even when mixed with a large amount of coar-se sand.

Below is a simplified representation of peat types and where they are found relative to each other:
26609132685_2ccbe0991d_n.jpg


It is likely that Peat Moss sold as retail products is mostly the bottom or near bottom Black layer that could be the reason CP pots develop so much algal and slime growth and generally contains a lot of junk.

I used to get Fafard Peat Moss (no idea why the nursery decided to not carry it as it is still available). It required minimal treatment: Soak and Squeeze water out 2x
Fafard Peat Moss:
26582005176_419821ac77_o.jpg

Dry:
26515502892_3afcd0ec6e_z.jpg

Wetted and squeezed:
26002803064_7e96b81633_z.jpg


When I just started I used Hoffman Peat Moss – it is a good quality Peat Moss (IMHO). Same treatment required: Soak and Squeeze water out 2x
Dry Hoffman Peat Moss:
26582632336_0d8a271f6e_z.jpg


Other brands encountered recently.
Berger Peat Moss:
26004549593_39d6fd777e.jpg

Wet:
Dark has a lot of small debris. Very fine, leaves smears on hands.
26581376406_098537cb0a_z.jpg


Howe Peat Moss:
26579439106_89c4619497_z.jpg

Wet:
Seems darker and dirtier than Berger
26605741835_55a5ef539c_z.jpg


Tourbiere Henry Theberge and Associes Peat Moss:
26542382831_c1e8d56fc8_z.jpg

Dry:
This Peat Moss has very fine particles. If wetted it will turn into mush and not drain. Has a lot of debris.
26542407561_8da92e1480_z.jpg


And finally most commonly sold brand of Peat Moss you can find anywhere
Premier Peat Moss
This company also sells the Pro-Moss products that are much better quality
44ad9c7e-be28-4155-b2ac-356498d7f0de_400.jpg
Dry:
In my personal experience with this brand it sinks to the bottom and is very muddy
26515302292_4357868eb8_z.jpg



I am currently looking for a brand that supplies fibrous, coa-r-se, peat moss.
So what brands of peat moss do you currently use? How do you like the quality?
Can anyone still vouch for Sunshine or Black Gold?

Edit:
These are brands mentioned/recommended by TF members in this thread and more:

P.S. Fellow TFers, if you can please post pictures of the peat moss of your choice, of the actual stuff. It would help everyone in getting an idea about the general quality and would help in choosing the brand.
 
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I use Lakeland that I bought at Home Depot, but that was 2 years ago. I understand peat quality can vary wildly even within the same brand, and even depends on what state you buy it in.
 
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I ordered mine off Amazon from Josh's frogs and will probably never do that again because it was $11 a quart!! But I love he quality of it. I use it for my vfts and capensis.


Happy Growing, from Dillon!
 
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I should also mention I was recently told about a local agricultural supply company that sells high grade peat intended for nurseries. If you can find a similar local company in your area it could be your best bet.
 

DJ57

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The peat moss I buy by the bale is Theriault & Hachey Peat Moss. So far it has been a good quality corse Canadian peat moss if you can locate some in your area. I was having trouble with the local Home Depot and Lowes peat moss, became like mud when mixed with water and promoted slime/algae on top and formed mineral deposit residue on the edges of pots after a few months, and even the Black Gold I used for years became undependable from bale to bale with the same problems. I have been using this new stuff since last year and have had no problems with it. It stays a lighter color and does not turn black when wetted like the other brands I used to get from Home Depot and Lowes.

I have heard that generally Canadian peat moss is better quality than peat harvested here in the US.
 
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I didn't know anyone actually sold peat from the US. Every brand I look at says it's sourced from Canada.
 

gill_za

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I was having trouble with the local Home Depot and Lowes peat moss, became like mud when mixed with water and promoted slime/algae on top and formed mineral deposit residue on the edges of pots after a few months..

This is exactly the problem I was experiencing before switching to a brand that currently ran out... What retailer sells Theriault & Hachey Peat Moss in your area?

P.S. Found a place that sells Black Gold nearby. 1cfu - $9. I think if I dont find any better I will try it.

TF members post review of your brand of peat moss here. Maybe we can compile enough data to have one or two go-to brands for nice, fiberous peat moss that will last longer than typical Lowes/HD junk.
 
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gill_za

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There's an idea! How 'bout if we have reviews of pre-made cp soil too? Referring to gill za's last post.

I have learned the hard way to never buy premade stuff. Here are my issues with premade cp mixes.

First: you never know if they washed the components or not.
Second: you never know what actual % of sand/perline/whatever is there.
And third: the sand used might be so fine it will turn your pot into a non-draining mush. Even respectable growers that sell plants online are guilty in not doing it.
Fourth: OVERPRICED!

Please please please save yourself a world of trouble and make CP mixes yourself. I doubt any of us want to risk planting precious plants into media that is made of who knows what...

Unless the seller specifically says she/he washed the components and used "whatever" grade of sand, peat you are buying a cat in a bag :(


This is the only peatmoss Ive ever bought/used:

Spagmoss New Zealand Grade AAA Moss 500 Gram Brick 40 Liters Orchid Sphagnum | eBay

Its very high quality, airy fluffy stuff. I bought a 10$ bale and its lasted me a very long time.

This is actually not peat :) The item in your link is dried sphagnum moss.
 
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gill_za

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But thank you for the link! I actually have to buy some LFS because the stuff I get from Lowes (yup, my go to store) that is called "Better Gro Orchid Moss" is good, but falls short when compared to other New Zealand sphag brands.
 
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But thank you for the link! I actually have to buy some LFS because the stuff I get from Lowes (yup, my go to store) that is called "Better Gro Orchid Moss" is good, but falls short when compared to other New Zealand sphag brands.

Have you ever grown live sphag from that moss (if it's even possible [ie. not sterilized via heat or other means])? If so, got any pics of it?
 

gill_za

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Have you ever grown live sphag from that moss (if it's even possible [ie. not sterilized via heat or other means])? If so, got any pics of it?

I never tried to to be honest. However, i recently ordered some plants from an online nursery and the package came stuffed with dry NZ sphagnum. Owner buys it somewhere and uses it instead of packing chips. He also sells it separately too. It looked similar to Better Gro stuff until it was re-hydrated. I know its all dead but when wet the heads of some strands were actually pale green. That sphagnum is fluffy and nice and does not seem to be heat treated. It also has very little debris in it and plenty of intact strands (better gro seems as if went trough a meat grinder). I think it might sprout :)

So what brand of peat moss do you prefer?

P.S.
PM me if you need the name.
 
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I never tried to to be honest. However, i recently ordered some plants from an online nursery and the package came stuffed with dry NZ sphagnum. Owner buys it somewhere and uses it instead of packing chips. He also sells it separately too. It looked similar to Better Gro stuff until it was re-hydrated. I know its all dead but when wet the heads of some strands were actually pale green. That sphagnum is fluffy and nice and does not seem to be heat treated. It also has very little debris in it and plenty of intact strands (better gro seems as if went trough a meat grinder). I think it might sprout :)

So what brand of peat moss do you prefer?

P.S.
PM me if you need the name.

Ah, good luck with it! Hopefully you get some new growth soon.

I'm still rehabbing my sphagnum culture, since I had it too wet and it got thick algae in places, and I had to toss most of it. It's getting a lot of new growth now, but im still picking at algae here and there and spot treating with diluted peroxide. I just need the top layer to be all living moss heads, like in my ceph pot, so that no algae forms. It only really forms in the pockets with no moss growth.

The peat moss I use is Canadian Gold. It works very well for me, but if I don't microwave it, I get algae. I prefer to microwave my media, anyway (2x[60-90sec]). *puts on helmet for incoming projectiles*

And thanks :)

I was rereading the original post about the companies merging, and realized I bought my bale of peat years ago, Since I grow almost exclusively grow in 4" cube pots, I haven't still yet to use even half.
 
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DJ57

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This is exactly the problem I was experiencing before switching to a brand that currently ran out... What retailer sells Theriault & Hachey Peat Moss in your area?

I get it from a place called OBC (Oregon Bag Company) in Canby, Oregon, who sell nursery and greenhouse supplies. It is a little more expensive than what you can get at the chain stores, about $20 for a 3.8 cu ft bale, but worth it imo.
 

curtisconners

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So you know. This thread just found me some peat moss to order for some plants that unexpectedly came in bare root today. I hereby vote that this thread be stickied. It would really help some newbies looking for decent peat moss.
 
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DJ57

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I have learned the hard way to never buy premade stuff. Here are my issues with premade cp mixes.

First: you never know if they washed the components or not.
Second: you never know what actual % of sand/perline/whatever is there.
And third: the sand used might be so fine it will turn your pot into a non-draining mush. Even respectable growers that sell plants online are guilty in not doing it.

I agree, especially about the sand. If you use too fine a grain of sand other than silica, like play sand or some all-purpose sand, the media turns into something like cement. This is why I stick mostly to perlite, ugly as it is, because I cannot find the right grain of silica sand around here.
 

gill_za

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I agree, especially about the sand. If you use too fine a grain of sand other than silica, like play sand or some all-purpose sand, the media turns into something like cement. This is why I stick mostly to perlite, ugly as it is, because I cannot find the right grain of silica sand around here.

A few years ago I was in the same situation. Brands of sand offered around in stores were too fine. For a while I settled on Pool Filter Sand sold locally by pool maintenance/care companies. It was better than other brands but still not good. In order to get the sand grain it had to be sieved. That was a tremendous waste of time and resources. While doing that I checked out a bunch of masonry companies because people mentioned they might have good coa-r-se sand. No luck. For weeks it was almost like my second job. Then I found it accidentally: www.ectmfg.com. I am posting a link to give others an idea.
So the key was to look for companies that do well construction or sell well construction supplies. This company sells Industrial Quartz in various grades from #00 to whatever for well lining. I am using #2. But if you find such company better check the size in person.

26490591042_30fa316a7a_c.jpg


So to sum it all up your best bets are:

1. Pool Filter sand sold by Pool maintenance/supplies companies.
2. Industrial Quartz or Well Filter sand sold by Well drilling, Well maintenance, Groundwater uhh something companies
3. Consider using Turface (MVP or finer type) or Aquatic Plantic Soil (APS) since it primarily contains Turface and has around #2 grain size*.

APS needs to be washed more thoroughly than sand and it is better to rinse it several times and then leave it soaking in a bucket overnight.
I have tried growing Sarracenia and VFT in APS:peat mix and plants loved it. To counteract possible leaching, top-water it frequently and dump the run off periodically.


*-Grain size nomenclature differs widely between places because why make things simple... Also Mesh size != Grain size. So telling them you are looking for coa-r-se silica sand is the best bet.

I have this and like it very much. I dont use peat often as I plant most stuff in pure LFS but it is good quality. It created nice small strands as well

Amazon.com : Espoma PTM8 8-Quart Organic Peat Moss : Fertilizers : Patio, Lawn & Garden

If you are purchasing peat in small quantities consider Hoffman Peat Moss. I remember it was not bad and you can find it in Sears or Walmart for as low as $3.99.

EDIT: I take it back. Your stuff is better because there 8.9lb of it vs Hoffman 2.5lb. I will have to see if I can find it locally!!!!
 
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