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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hydrating peat moss Toplef10Hydrating peat moss 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Hydrating peat moss I22gcj10Hydrating peat moss 14dhcg10

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Hydrating peat moss

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Post  ander217 3/11/2011, 8:42 am

Hubby took up one of our 1 x 8 boxes this week to add hardware cloth to the bottom, and he said when he started emptying the box of MM, there was a huge mass of peat moss on one end that was still dry as a bone. This was after 6 1/2" of rain last week, and another 3 1/2" inches this week.

Repeat to self over and over: Soak that peat before you mix it, and make sure it's blended well!
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/11/2011, 8:44 am

Thank you for that reminder!!!
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Post  Aub 3/11/2011, 4:54 pm

Good to know! I have to fill 2) 4x8 beds pretty soon, so I will remember to soak my peat first.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/11/2011, 5:03 pm

Also remember to wet it slowly...don't just drench it and think that will work. That stuff almost repels water when completely dry.

And, the more water it's holding, the heavier it is to scoop. Another decent reminder for everyone....that I've learned the hard way. Embarassed
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Post  Blackrose 3/11/2011, 5:23 pm

I know this may be difficult in large amounts, but peat moss seems to absorb warm water better than cold.
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Post  dizzygardener 3/11/2011, 5:36 pm

So let's say I'm filling my boxes this weekend...

What's the best method for wetting the peat? I know what I do for my potting mix, but I don't really know how to translate that into huge boxes.
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Post  sheslostit 3/11/2011, 5:56 pm

DOUHHHHH Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes wish i read this thread about 2 hrs ago. I totally forgot to water before mixing. uggghhh some days i wish i had a brain. Any suggestions once its already in?
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Post  boffer 3/11/2011, 6:17 pm

I like to have my MM well saturated before I plant. What works for me is: water and wait; water and wait; etc. 5, 6, or even 7 times throughout the course of a day. Every half hour or hour. Don't just stick your finger in! Dig to the bottom of the box in several places to ensure that you've gotten good saturation.
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Post  scases 3/11/2011, 10:47 pm

@sheslostit wrote:DOUHHHHH Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes wish i read this thread about 2 hrs ago. I totally forgot to water before mixing. uggghhh some days i wish i had a brain. Any suggestions once its already in?

I am in the same boat.

I am new and didn't know to do this. My mix is made and in the boxes. What do I do now?
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Post  camprn 3/11/2011, 11:45 pm

No worries! What a Face If it's already in the boxes, go ahead and water it. I mixed mine dry, right in the box.
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Post  middlemamma 3/12/2011, 12:08 am

I mixed mine dry last year, watered well for a couple days before planting and it was all good... Smile no worries!
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Post  scases 3/12/2011, 12:14 am

Whew what a relief. I was afraid I did something wrong. I was worried about getting the stuff for the mix and getting the measurements right that I over looked the part about rehydrating. I did the mix in small batches and watered between batches and then I watered it 3 times today. Tonight I watered it more than the other two times today. I will water it a few times tomorrow too.

I am so glad I found this site. Everyone is very helpful. Very Happy
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Post  middlemamma 3/12/2011, 12:20 am

I think FLUFFING your peat is more important than hydrating it before mixing. (IMO) It is compressed so you have to let it expand to get a proper measurement. I cannot even imagine mixing it wet...my back ached enough mixing it dry. What a Face

Trowel down tomorrow a little and assess the moisture....once you get it damp, try not to let it dry out and you will be set. Once it's wet it is easier to keep it that way. Smile
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Post  sheslostit 3/12/2011, 7:35 am

Thanks for the info middlemamma....I did plenty of fluffing...i didn't have a 16x16 tarp only a 6x6 tarp and it only mixed it some if done like the book. So I actually got my hands into the mixed, fluffed everything and mixed it completely by hand...glad to hear Very Happy
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Post  Megan 3/12/2011, 8:00 am

I would fluff first, THEN wet it down..... It's a good idea to keep it all wet, anyway. I used fine grade vermiculite last year (all I could get) and it was blowing around on me before I got the hose out quickly.
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Post  ander217 3/12/2011, 10:10 am

I think the hotter the weather, the more it needs to be watered first. Those of us with really hot summers need to start with it already damp and keep it that way, or we don't have a chance when the 100+ days arrive. I'm guessing that one box of ours never did get wet all the way through, which may explain why my cucumbers didn't do well in that box.

If you water before mixing, fluff it and measure it dry before adding water.
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Post  obrdrln 2/10/2012, 8:45 am

My bale of peat is sitting in my car. We've been forcast rain. Could I fluff the peat and spread it on a tarp and leave it to the elements to get hydrated???

Judy
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Post  tomperrin 2/10/2012, 9:34 am

@obrdrln wrote:My bale of peat is sitting in my car. We've been forcast rain. Could I fluff the peat and spread it on a tarp and leave it to the elements to get hydrated???

Judy

I think I would rather mix it when dry. The peat will pick up some (but not enough!) moisture from the compost. I use a 5-gallon pail as a measuring spoon, so to speak. I fill the pail with peat straight from the bag - it goes in loose. I empty the pail on the tarp. I then add a pail of vermiculite, and then a pail of mixed compost. Then roll the tarp to mix. I also use the flat side of a garden rake to to mix up the components. When all is mixed, I dump the whole into a square, then water. When the mix is saturated, I repeat the process.

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Post  obrdrln 2/10/2012, 9:49 am

Thanks, Tom---that makes perfect sense!! I have 2-4cf bags of vermiculite being held for me upon arrival at the nursery--won't be in for a few weeks which will be perfect. I have mushroom compost, Moo-nure, and alpaca compost--three down, two to go! Still a little early here in VA to get some of the MM ingredients!

Judy
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