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Peat Moss Question

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Post  otherguy 3/10/2013, 9:44 am

Just so I am clear on Peat Moss.

The bag says that is 3 cu. ft. is that what the peat moss is once its expanded?

or

is that what's in the bag and then it expands to more?

thanks
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Post  Tris 3/10/2013, 9:51 am

It doubles to about 6 cuft fluffed Smile
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Post  otherguy 3/10/2013, 8:10 pm

Thanks for the clarification, probably would of added too much had I not asked.
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Post  greengrass 3/11/2013, 9:26 am

hmm
your peat moss must be different than mine in the uk!
is it sphagnum moss?
mine is and the 100litre bags i used never expanded or fluffed up!
i left the peat out for a couple of days, wet it, waited but no
difference in volume.
now it's in the bed for a few days i'm hoping it doesn't start to "grow"
and expand.
btw the 100litre bag when i measured it had about 75litres in it!
gg
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Post  Lindacol 3/11/2013, 3:40 pm

Interesting info from http://www.ehow.com/info_11368056_much-volume-bale-peat-moss.html


Types of Peat Moss
Peat is a term that refers to organic material that has not fully decomposed due to a lack of oxygen. Partially decomposed mosses make up peat moss, and there are many different types of mosses that can be used. Sphagnum peat moss is the most common and comes from sphagnum mosses, which contain greater than 66 percent fiber. Other partially decayed mosses that are used include hypnum, reed and sedge mosses. Don't confuse sphagnum moss with sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum moss is the dried moss that is used to line baskets and containers.


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Post  Lindacol 3/11/2013, 3:44 pm

Also be aware that peat moss comes in compressed bales which are square and pretty heavy - this is the most economical way to buy it and is the type that will expand. And it also comes loose in bags - which will not expand and is much lighter in weight. I have gotten both types at Home Depot.
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Post  greengrass 3/11/2013, 3:56 pm

thanks lindacol

mine was in square bales too, but must be the loose kind.
how long would it take to uncompress if it were to do so?
gg
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Post  walshevak 3/12/2013, 1:30 pm

greengrass wrote:thanks lindacol

mine was in square bales too, but must be the loose kind.
how long would it take to uncompress if it were to do so?
gg

The amount of time it takes to break it apart and run your hands through it lifting and fluffing and rubbing out the lumps.

Kay

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Post  plantoid 3/12/2013, 3:46 pm

greengrass wrote:thanks lindacol

mine was in square bales too, but must be the loose kind.
how long would it take to uncompress if it were to do so?
gg

GG if it was The Verve product from B&Q it has quite a bit of coir and sedge in it as well.
Infact I thought it had very little spagnum peat moss in it ...but hten like granny said beggers can't be choosers . It works well for me and my own home made manure based compost .

Ther 125 litre blocks I got this last week were much wetter than normal .. very heavy and were almost 100 litres .. I looked carefully at the label it said 125 litres when packed ..

Ha ha .. It looks like it lost loads of wetting agents and added liquid nutrients when the bale was compressed & heat sealed up.
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Post  camprn 3/12/2013, 5:22 pm

When I get a bale of sphagnum peat I lay it on the ground and cut it in half with my pruning shears 3/4 way round and lift in the middle where I made the cut in the bag. this gives me two half bales with the moss facing the sky. Then I bash the sides to loosen the moss into clumps and pull out handsfull at a time and crumble it that way. OR I use my garden fork and spear the compacted moss to break it up into manageable clumps then crumble it by hand.

To answer the original post question, the bales is compressed and it expands to near double in volume.

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Post  greengrass 3/12/2013, 6:50 pm

walshevak wrote:
greengrass wrote:thanks lindacol

mine was in square bales too, but must be the loose kind.
how long would it take to uncompress if it were to do so?
gg

The amount of time it takes to break it apart and run your hands through it lifting and fluffing and rubbing out the lumps.

Kay

thanks that explains that then!
it must be well composted - it's a bit like crumbly soil or course worm castings.
thats the feel and texture to it.
not like spongy material, as sphagnum is when growing or
partially composted.
it must vary a lot from location to location.
gg
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Post  greengrass 3/12/2013, 6:56 pm

plantoid wrote:
greengrass wrote:thanks lindacol

mine was in square bales too, but must be the loose kind.
how long would it take to uncompress if it were to do so?
gg

GG if it was The Verve product from B&Q it has quite a bit of coir and sedge in it as well.
Infact I thought it had very little spagnum peat moss in it ...but hten like granny said beggers can't be choosers .

here's the link. go to the bottom of the page - peat moss.
also click on the data sheet, it gives more info!
six quid for 100 litres...(well 75litres really)
gg

http://www.william-sinclair.co.uk/gardening/products/other_growing_media
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Post  plantoid 3/12/2013, 8:02 pm

Looks like the real thing if the label is right ...the data sheet says nothing worthwhile as to what it is .
Like I said liquid loss when the bag is compressed and heat sealed
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Post  greengrass 3/12/2013, 9:29 pm

plantoid wrote:
Like I said liquid loss when the bag is compressed and heat sealed

liquid loss maybe, but would they not mention on the bag
if it were compressed?
i've sent an email to sinclair's to find out once and for all.
i used 4 bags x 75litre instead of the proposed 3 bags x 100litre to get the right volume for my beds.(and it's not moved/expanded beyond that)
it's in the beds now anyway so can't be helped Very Happy No Very Happy No Very Happy
gg
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Post  camprn 3/12/2013, 9:43 pm

That seems like a lot of peat. I'm wondering, are you adding enough compost? Just a question, trying to figure out what's going on.

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Post  greengrass 3/12/2013, 10:44 pm

camprn wrote:That seems like a lot of peat. I'm wondering, are you adding enough compost? Just a question, trying to figure out what's going on.

hi yes i think so.
i know they don't need to be this deep, but it's a one off for a
small garden, just enough for two - 4x4' beds, but i've made them deeper than normal -- 12" deep, for long carrots maybe potatoes etc.
anyway i work it out as 4x4' @12" deep = 453 litres?(or thereabouts)
x2 beds = 906
divided by 3 = 302litres of peat(151litres of peat in each bed)
302 " " compost
302 " " vermiculite

so 3 bags of peat @ 100litres should have been good enough,
but each bag contained only 75litres each, so i needed an extra bag.
4 x 75 = 300litres.
i did empty the bags and soaked the peat and left it for 4 days,
before filling the beds. so any expanding that may happen, did it in
that time!
but as i say it was more like a crumbly soil than anything spongy,
so i can't see it expanding anytime soon - i hope Smile
does all this sound right?
gg
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Post  littlejo 3/12/2013, 11:02 pm

I've noticed here that 1 store has bales that say '3cu. ft'
Another store has bales that say '3 cu. ft compressed'
I have a notion they have figured out how to sell less product for the same amt of money.
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Post  plantoid 3/13/2013, 2:52 pm

littlejo wrote:I've noticed here that 1 store has bales that say '3cu. ft'
Another store has bales that say '3 cu. ft compressed'
I have a notion they have figured out how to sell less product for the same amt of money.
Jo



Don't just buy the heaviest either for if there is a lot of water in the non comprssed bale it will usually weigh in heavier ..

Go for the most solid heaviest bales to get the most peat .
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Post  greengrass 3/13/2013, 3:31 pm

ok so here is the reply from sinclairs, who process/sell the peat
for anyone interested (uk).
i sent an email - i asked if it was compressed or not when bagged.
and asked why was it that a 100litre bag measured around 75 litres.

the reply was:
"Moss Peat at the moment is too wet & heavy to go through our hoppers"

"it is 100L at time of fill & is then "rollered" on the belt before it is palletised so will not expand when emptied out"

although "rollered" to me sounds like it is being compressed, so who knows!!
gg
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Post  brainchasm 3/13/2013, 6:33 pm

Just to chime in, when I just did my beds, each 3cf bale, if it had expanded to a full 6cf, would have left me with 2/3cf extra for each raised bed. Instead, I ran short each time. I was crumbling it and fluffing it up by hand, and measured with a quart measuring cup, and found that on average, my bales only expanded to about 4.75cf each. YMMV.
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Post  Iceman 4/27/2014, 6:30 pm

Are we over thinking the peat moss question about how much is in a bale? I assume that peat moss is compressed to reduce the size for shipping and storage. And therefore I assume that the volume shown on the bale is a amount before compressing or after fully de-compressing.

For example, I purchased a bale of compress peat moss with the brand name Majestic Earth which showed the contents as 3 cubic feet. The compressed bale measured 12" x 16" x 24". That is 12x16x24, or 4608, cubic inches. A cubic foot is 12x12x12 or 1728 cubic inches. Therefore the original 3 cubic feet of peat had been compressed to 4608/1728 cubic feet or 2.66 cubic feet for shipping.

So for my MM calculations, that bale of peat is 3 cubic feet, fluffed or un-fluffed. However, we all recognize that for the best results the peat should be fluffed as much as possible in an attempt to return it to it's original volume.

Mel gives examples in his 'All New Square Foot Gardening' book for estimating the amount of peat in a bale. But as Mel says, "These measurements aren't exact, but we're not mixing a cake here."
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Post  camprn 4/27/2014, 6:44 pm

Welcome to the SFG Forum!

It is best to guestimate when making your ingredient purchases. The bale of sphagnum will roughly double in size when you fluff it up. THEN you will want to measure with a bucket or what have you. If you have to err on the side of any given ingredient add more compost.

When I make my Mel's mix I use a small paint bucket and use that as a measure, adding each ingredient into the wheel barrow and them mixing and dumping it into the prepared boxes.

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Post  jimmy cee 4/27/2014, 8:55 pm

Shortly after beginning  my first bed I started screening peatmoss.
one  5 gallon bucket screened into a wheel barrel gives me a slightly bit more than a 5 gallon bucket to mix.
I have lots of compost ready so I am rather liberal on the compost.
I mainly screen the peat in order to be certain the clumps are loosened....works for me
This last batch I am working with now is horrible, lots of small stuff that shouldn't be there..
I'll stay with the peat moss from Lowe's
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