Those who have a lawn in their yard know the importance of maintaining the grass. A freshly cut, evenly laid-out grass essentially adds to the overall aesthetics of the yard and the house. Right from a small Sunday picnic to an evening BBQ party, a lawn serves every single of its purpose. However, all this requires a ton of effort to keep the lawn well maintained and fit to bear every occasion.
But despite all the efforts you take to keep your lawn sharp, you notice that it isn’t enough. At times, you may find bald spots within your lawn or encounter an area from where the water isn’t draining, thus keeping the grass wet. Alternatively, you will find areas wherein the lawn has turned yellow, pointing towards a lack of water and nutrients. Unfortunately, all these are commonly occurring scenarios when it comes to gardening.
To tackle this, many resort to using peat moss on lawns that are known to be a proven solution against these commonly recurring scenarios. This article will briefly discuss the different benefits of peat moss on lawns and find out if peat moss is good for grass.
What Is Peat Moss?
In simple words, peat moss is a simple amendment fiber that helps with moisture retention and helps with the plant’s aeration and drainage. Peat moss is primarily found in potting mixes and multiple lawn care products. Peat moss is a result of decomposition and primarily consists of moss.
The use of peat moss is an every day and perhaps the most debated in different world areas. Peat moss contains about 95% organic material, which upon adding to your lawn or soil is known for increasing the quality of the lawn or soil in different ways. You can either opt to make peat moss in your backyard or can buy it from your nearby agricultural store.
Is Peat Moss Good For Grass?
As we mentioned above, the use of peat moss is a highly debated across different countries in the world. Many believe and consider peat moss on the lawn as an effective way of enhancing and improving the lawn in multiple ways. Although it is expensive, peat moss can take care of several persistent problems within your lawn.
Adding peat moss to mulch or compost is a common practice too. Just that you should ensure methods to prevent mulch erosion to reap the most benefits. To help you get further insight, here are some of the benefits of peat moss on a lawn.
Benefits Of Peat Moss On Grass
Peat moss acts as a replacement for the traditional synthetic mulch and fertilizer. Gardeners believe that adding peat moss on the lawn can help improve the lawn in multiple ways. Some of the critical benefits of peat moss are:
1. Improved Soil Aeration
Peat moss can help loosen compact soil given the high fiber content present. This is a viable feature that can allow grass to grow and spread out more efficiently. However, this will make the turf impervious to different temperatures and other conditions that may hamper the growth.
2. Makes More Nutrients Available
Yet another critical advantage of peat moss for grass is the increase in the availability of different nutrients available and required for plant growth. Adding peat to your lawn will help it evolve into a healthy and thick piece of turf and eliminate the use of fertilizer whatsoever.
3. Moisture Retention
What makes peat moss for grass popular is that it helps the grass retain maximum moisture. Peat moss itself has a high-water holding capacity that keeps your soil from drying out and ensures the grass remains hydrated for a longer duration.
4. Contains Beneficial Microbes
Apart from water and nutrients, peat is also known for containing several beneficial microbes that enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in the soil. These microbes help break down organic matter and turn it into nutrients later taken up by the plants. This is mainly beneficial to the natural soil that depends on the bacteria for nourishment.
Why Shouldn’t you Add Too Much Peat Moss on Lawn or Avoid It Completely?
As we mentioned at the start of the article, the use of peat moss on lawns is heavily debated across multiple areas around the world. While many consider peat moss as a healthy reserve of nutrients for the soil, several believe that too much peat moss on lawn can make the grass weak and unable to withstand changing weather conditions. But then, anything used in excess quantity will have disastrous consequences. Therefore, here are some of the reasons Why you Shouldn’t Add Too Much Peat Moss on Lawn or Avoid It Completely.
1. Lowers The Soil’s pH level
The pH level determines whether your soil is acidic in nature. If you are one of our regular readers, you must have learned that the PH of the lawn must be must be between the range of 6-8. Anything below the mark will make your soil acidic in nature. This is precisely why one should avoid using peat moss on lawn as peat moss itself has a low pH level. Therefore, adding peat moss to lawn will naturally lower the soil’s pH level and make it unhealthy for the plants to grow.
2. Can Lead To Unhealthy Soil Growth
Those well into gardening know that clay soil is perfect for grass. However, peat moss doesn’t bode well with clay soil. Thus, adding peat moss to clay soil will result in compacted soil. The more compact the soil, the more bald patches you will have in your lawn.
3. Creates Too Much Organic Matter
As we rightly said above, anything used in excess quantity can have disastrous consequences. This is another concrete reason why you Shouldn’t Add Too Much Peat Moss on Lawn or Avoid It Completely. Peat moss contains an ample supply of organic matter. If your soil is healthy, it will have a healthy supply of organic matter present in it. In such a case, adding peat moss to the lawn will create too much organic matter, which can be hard to aerate, leading to a weak lawn altogether.
How To Use Peat Moss?
If you primarily have plants in your garden that thrive best in acidic conditions, adding peat moss will provide them with the best environment required to grow.
- Peat moss should only be used if you have acid-loving plants in your garden, such as blueberries.
- Alternatively, if you have incredibly alkaline soil, you can use peat moss on the lawn to bring the pH level back to normal.
- Always measure your soil’s pH before opting for a peat moss solution.
To use peat moss, simply trace the given steps.
1. Measure the soil pH level
2. Thoroughly wet the peat moss
3. Scoop out as much as you can into a bucket or a wheelbarrow
4. Add water to the peat moss
5. Stir well
6. Let the mixture soak for a few minutes
7. Keep adding water and stirring the mixture until it is entirely soaked
8. Ensure that the mixture is soaked yet wet enough
9. Squeeze some mixture in your hand
10. Note that at this time, only a drop or two of water should come out
11. Next, apply the peat moss in a 2-3 inch layer in your garden
12. Incorporate the peat moss into the top 12 inches of your garden
1. How To Use Peat Moss For Bare Spots in Lawn?
Despite the difference of opinion, peat moss continues to be used in large parts across the world as a treatment for weak or bald patches in lawns. Because grass won’t spread on it own to fill up those bare spots. Using peat moss on bare spots in your lawn can help the grass establish quickly by providing it with all the essential nutrients and minerals. To use peat moss on grass, trace the given steps.
1. Use a spade to loosen the compact soil.
2. Remove any rocks, stones, and other obstacles within the lawn
3. Spread peat moss evenly across all the bare spots in the lawn
4. Ensure that you have covered all the spots in detail
5. Finally, water the soil to help the peat moss settle in
6. Once the peat moss has settled in, the plants will have something to hold onto as they grow from beneath the soil
2. How To Use Peat Moss To Level Lawn?
The last thing you need to worry about is an uneven layer of lawn in your garden. An uneven layer of the lawn will only hamper the overall look of your garden, whereas a leveled lawn will only add to the aesthetics. Here, using peat moss on an uneven lawn is a great way to help level the ground and make it drain water better to even out all the bumps and uneven surfaces.
1. Dig up the parts that seat higher than the rest of the grass
2. Remove maximum soil but leave enough so that you can use it cover it again
3. Once you have dug up the parts, spread out peat moss over them
4. Now, lay down the sod or the planting seeds
5. Once you have spread out the peat moss, cover it with a thin layer of topsoil.
6. Wait for the grass to grow.
7. Keep watering the grass as and when needed. However, ensure that you do DON’T OVERDO IT. How To Use Peat Moss?
Alternatives To Peat Moss
If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to cater to your lawn, you need to look beyond peat moss and other possible alternatives. Although peat moss provides your lawn with some vital minerals and nutrients needed to grow, it isn’t the best fit for the planet. Several environmental experts have deemed peat moss as an unsustainable option for gardening.
Given that peat is a renewable source, it takes a while for the moss to develop fully. But when you harvest peat moss, it releases carbon dioxide into the environment, which can be harmful to the flora and fauna that depend on the soil. So, here are some suitable alternatives for peat moss that you can look at
1. Coconut Coir
2. Wood-Based Materials
4. Pine Needles
5. Rice Hulls
6. Leaf Mold
7. Composted Manure
All these are some of the best and proven alternatives for peat moss. They are eco-friendly and come with a balanced pH level that won’t alter the nature of your soil whatsoever. In addition, all these are renewable and can be harvested easily without leaving behind any side effects. These organic resources can ultimately help your soil increase its carbon content and provide it with valuable microbes.
This is everything we have to offer when it comes to peat moss. As we mentioned countless times in the article, there are contrasting views worldwide regarding peat moss. Many look at peat moss as a healthy reserve of nutrients that can benefit grass growth. You can use peat moss to cover up dried or bare spots within your lawn with great ease. Similarly, using peat moss is a great way to level out your lawn.
In contrast, there is plenty of alternative present for peat moss. For starters, peat moss is acidic and can drastically lower the pH level of your soil. Therefore, you have to care about the amount of peat moss you are using and avoid it altogether. Although it’s a renewable source, peat moss takes years to develop and tends to release carbon dioxide into the environment upon harvest. As a result, you should weigh out the pros and cons before opting for peat moss on the lawn.