Consumer-grade peat moss is dark brown plant material, fibrous and crumbly. Peat moss is not a sustainable option for gardening on any level. Disruption by machinery also allows the movement of sediments and nutrients both into and out of the peatland. Should we continue to use a product that might damage precious natural habitats? If harvesting operations occur on private land in peatlands containing rare or threatened species, a permit is required under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. The University of Calgary's Department of Geology determined that CSPMA's removal of sphagnum peat only contributed 0.006 percent of the world's total carbon emissions or 0.1 percent of Canada's emissions. Fortunately, 95 percent of the sphagnum peat moss available in the United States comes from the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA). It is harvested by hand so it can regrow. Most moss harvesting sites show signs of degradation, including altered drainage and a decline in plant growth. [Most of the data in this article come from the Coordinating Committee for Global Action on Peatland (CC-GAP), the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), International Peat Society (IPS), and the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG). The Sphagnum moss is a natural, green plant that grows in bogs. Sphagnum peat moss is harvested in Canada between the months of May and mid-September. Historically, peat has been harvested as fuel. Instead they build up and compact to … Gardeners typically want to be environmentally conscious. It grows all over the world, but these areas are where most of our commercially available moss comes from. Sphagnum farming is the sustainable production of Sphagnum moss biomass.. 6 yearly production cycles were implemented and monitored over 7 growing seasons. When peat is harvested, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. This antibacterial quality also benefits the growing media. Approximately 99 percent of Canada’s total national production comes from the combined operations of the 20 corporate groups that form the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA.) If it is, we should certainly consider switching to it. Sphagnum moss – sustainable innovations from 2020. To me, that's an example of sustainable management. There are more than 160 species of Sphagnum mosses around the world. If used at all, the fertiliser should be a low grade, organic variety. The average growth rate of a peat ‘moss’ is around 1mm a year, ... sensitive issue. Only a few hundred hectares will be used for collecting in the next few years. If not, we might as well stick with peat moss. At some Tasmanian sites drains have been built around the edge of the peatland to allow easier extraction, but this may cause long-term damage. ... Berger has also participated in multiple research projects to develop sustainable peatland operation techniques. Sphagnum farming is the cultivation of peat moss (Sphagnum) aiming for the production and harvest of peat moss biomass. The key question then becomes, is coir more sustainable than peat moss? In New South Wales all Sphagnum is protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, as a component of the broader endangered ecological community, Montane peatlands and swamps of the New England Tableland, NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin, South East Corner, South Eastern Highlands and Australian Alps Bioregions. It is totally sustainable and renewable. I will continue to recommend sphagnum peat moss as a soil amendment and use it in my own gardens. 5 star Chilean sphagnum moss is also a good choice. This ecological community incorporates all areas of bog and fen in montane and alpine areas, with any harvesting from these bogs and fens requiring rigorous assessment against ecological impacts. Find out when to order. Although sphagnum moss is generally dominant, peat bogs are rich in other, sometimes rare, plant life, including cranberries, sundew and pitcher plants, evergreen shrubs and trees, and orchids. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association). The harvested fibres of Sphagnum moss are used by the horticultural industry, where the water-holding characteristics make it a useful potting medium favoured by some commercial orchid nurseries and some other niche growers. Current threats to the long-term survival of Sphagnum peatlands include draining for agriculture, frequent burning, peat mining and unsustainable moss harvesting. Sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss are not the same thing (which you clearly already know :-)). The CSPMA commissioned a study on the carbon emissions related to sphagnum harvest. The use of machinery cuts up bog surfaces and creates an uneven surface. What Are The Environmental Consequences of Peat and Sphagnum Moss Harvesting? Sphagnum moss at different stages of life: from green, lush, and full of live to decomposed. Canada has 111 million hectares (about the size of Washington, Oregon, and California) of peatlands, but only 17 thousand hectares (comparable to the city of Portland) is actively harvested. Sphagnum peat moss is type of peat moss that is mostly found commercially in potting soils and garden soils. Sphagnum moss is a living plant when harvested, but when we purchase it, it has been thoroughly dried. Conversely, during rainy times their amazing ability to absorb water reduces storm water runoff and downstream flooding. Mosswool® can save money for the greenhouse farmer, because used slabs can be composted together with crop residues. What makes sphagnum moss an excellent sustainable raw material for substrates? The sterilizing and preserving properties of sphagnum peat have been known and exploited throughout our history. Here in Minnesota and Wisconsin we do harvest Sphagnum moss is a sustainable way. Peatlands are wetland ecosystems where peat is formed. Peat moss and sphagnum moss are two separate things. There remains some limited legal commercial harvest from private land within Tasmania, where Sphagnum may be legally harvested if the intent is not to clear the vegetation or substantially change the ecology of the community. Cranberries, lingonberries, and hortleberries grow abundantly in bogs and are still harvested there today. Mosswool® is the sustainable and total costs saving growing media for vegetable cultivation. Spaghnum moss is the actual living plant material, while peat moss is dead, dead, and deader. You can use it as a decorative enhancement or bedding in flower arrangements. Sphagnum moss grows on the surface of bogs and peatlands. Greatest deterioration occurs where drains are excavated. It comes on a rating scale; AAA grade is what you want to use for orchids. In tropical climates, peat consists mostly of trees. The moss naturally cleans water, removes scale and corrosion and allows significant reductions in water and chemical use. Sphagnum peat moss is a valued, recognized, natural, organic reserve that is largely harvested for use as a soil conditioner or amendment in horticulture. Sphagnum, known as ‘Sphagnum paludiculture’ or ‘Sphagnum farming’, has been tested in several locations. To me, that's an example of sustainable management. Sphagnum moss is the living plant, however peat moss or sphagnum peat moss is the decayed organic plant matter at the bottom of the bog or wetland. In fact, if given a few million years and appropriate geologic forces, peat will transform into coal. It’s basically a natural sponge. This page was created by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tasmania). Sphagnum regeneration is slow, or sometimes absent, where a bare peat surface is left after harvesting. Another difference is that sphagnum moss has neutral pH, unlike peat moss which is acidic. In Victoria, Sphagnum peatlands are listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Sphagnum moss grows on top of peat bogs and is harvested while it is alive and then dried for commercial uses. Although sphagnum moss is generally dominant, peat bogs are rich in other, sometimes rare, plant life, including cranberries, sundew and pitcher plants, evergreen shrubs and trees, and orchids. Sphagnum moss exports from Australia are subject to the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982 and require a licence from Environment Australia. The high concentration of carbon makes peat more efficient than wood as an energy source. It is often referred to as the universal soil conditioner for its benefits to the soil. It thrives in New Zealand and other wet climates. Collection is done according to the Finnish guidelines for Sphagnum moss collecting. Peat moss, on the other hand, is the layer of decaying, water-saturated sphagnum moss that has sunk below the surface. Mosswool® slabs are made of sphagnum moss, which is harvested with a patented ecological method. ... sustainable solutions. The most common use of peat has been as a fuel. The wetlands are restored back to a functional state and allowed to grow naturally. They cover only 3 percent of the land, but contain 30 percent of the carbon. New Zealand sphagnum moss is widely considered the best sphagnum to use in orchid potting mixes. Any level various fungi and diseases harmful to plants in growing media is is sphagnum moss sustainable will! Shrubs of between 20 % - 40 % increases growth rates to create a growing. 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