Peat and Repeat were sitting on a log. Peat falls off. Who’s left? Repeat. Peat and Repeat were sitting on a log. Peat falls off… Okay, so it is not a funny joke even when my kids tell it.
I posted about my soil disaster a few days ago and most people sympathized with me (thank you, I needed that). But a new reader, Ellie, had this to say:
…but isn’t sphagnum moss a Bad Thing on your side of the Atlantic? Over here (UK) we are all supposed to be going peat free, since the moss can’t grow as quickly as we can replace it. We get a lot of peat-free products now that are much more environmentally sound.
This is a good question and the short answer is “no, not really”. *hangs head in slight embarrassment* While I do read about concern over the use of peat moss in more international garden forums, for the most part, here in the US, I hear very little about it.
Half the gardening supplies you can buy are made with the stuff. Soilless mixes, peat pots, peat pellets, soil amendments and probably most nursery plants are packed in some kind of peat based product. If I had to guess, if plants could be considered the body of the gardening industry, than sphagnum peat moss is the lifeblood.
I think the differences in where we (United States) get peat moss as opposed to where the UK and other European countries get theirs. Here in the US, I believe the bulk of the peat moss comes from Canada, eh, where peat moss harvesting is regulated and they strive to keep it sustainable.
In the UK and other European countries, on the other hand, a large portion of the peat bogs were destroyed long before sustainability was a business practice. They are now in a mode of reclamation rather than sustainability. So concern over the use of peat is much more pressing.
For the time being, for me here in the US, I don’t yet see a reason to refrain from using sphagnum peat moss. But that could change. Sustainable in the eyes of commercial enterprises differs greatly from those of normal people.