By Frank Robinson, SRS Crisafulli Sales Applications Specialist
Peat moss is described by SUN GRO Horticulture as a derivative "from the decomposition of organic material located in bogs, including mosses, reeds and shrubs. Peat bogs are found throughout the world..." Peat moss can be used as a soil amendment, as a fuel source and more.
Peatlands cover 3% of the world's land surface. According to SUN GRO, "Peat bogs are found throughout the world but are principally located in the northern hemisphere with significant numbers of peat bogs found in Canada, Finland, Ireland and Russia. There are more than 270 million acres of peat lands in Canada representing 25% of the world's supply..." Although harvesting peat moss usually requires the bog "first [be] drained of near-surface water and cleared of all surface vegetation," SRS Crisafulli customers have successfully used Crisafulli dredges to harvest peat moss without draining the bog.
According to Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D., "peat moss is an environmentally friendly organic amendment essential for may horticultural purposes." In Dr. Chalker-Scott's publication, The Myth of Permanent Peatlands, she explains "peat moss has an amazing capacity to hold water like a sponge, slowly releasing it as the surrounding soil dries out."
Peat moss is used to improve poor soils to make them more productive. In so doing, this once living vegetation actually promotes plant growth in landscapes and gardens. In turn, these "greenscapes" cool the environment, filter the air, and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Partially restored peat bog
Dr. Chalker-Scott says, "There is often a perception that this natural resource cannot be diminished; sales material from one local peat producer claims their supply of peat from a 150-acre lake is "virtually limitless." The reality is that peat moss accumulates very slowly, and "it is more accurate to describe commercial peat removal as mining."
SRS Crisafulli Specialist Frank Robinson is working with a long-time customer who has been successfully using a Crisafulli Dredge specifically for peat bog harvest.
A Crisafulli Rotomite 6000 dredging a peat moss bog.
Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D. is an Extension Urban Horticulturist and Associate Professor for Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Washington State University. You can visit her webpage at: www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda%20Chalker-Scott
Sun Gro is the largest producer of peat in North America and the largest distributor of peat moss and peat-based growing media products to the North American professional plant growers market. You can visit them at: www.sungro.com
Would you like to learn how you can harvest a peat bog using a Crisafulli Dredge? Contact SRS Crisafulli Specialist Frank Robinson at FrankR@crisafulli.com or call 800-442-7867.