All of you probably know what is peat? Those who do not know peat – it is rotten (to a greater or lesser extent) compressed remains of plants and animals. In nature, peat is formed in swamps, in conditions of high humidity and difficult air access. It is used as a combustible material (contains up to 60% carbon), fertilizer and thermal insulation material.
How peat is formed
Plants and organisms living in swamps, overgrown ponds, lakes with low-flow water, eventually die, forming a biomass, which every year more and more layered on each other and, accordingly, pressed. Thus, in conditions of high humidity and lack of air peat is formed.
Peat as fertilizer: “for” and ” against»
Is pure peat, that is, without any third-party additives, suitable for fertilizing the garden and vegetable garden? After all, some are not very experienced vacationers buy it in large quantities. Scatter on beds, under trees and bushes and joyfully rub hands in anticipation of record harvests. Alas, this method is not recommended.
Why? Yes, because it is quite poor in nutrients. Yes, it is rich in nitrogen, but nitrogen from peat is very poorly absorbed by plants. From a ton of our green plans get only 1-1.5 kg of nitrogen, not to mention other vital elements for plants. So never fertilize your land with peat alone, use other types of organic and mineral fertilizers.
It is useful for the enrichment of the earth. Due to the fibrous porous structure significantly improves the physiological properties of soils of different composition. The soil, well fertilized with peat, becomes water-and air-permeable, and the root system of plants feels more than comfortable in it. I’m talking about the lower and intermediate peat, but the top is not used as fertilizer, as strongly acidifies the soil.
It should be noted that there are many plants that require acidic or slightly acidic soil for normal development. When planting such plants in a permanent place in the planting hole is added to the top peat, and then periodically they also mulch.
So do we need “clean” peat (that is, without any additives) as fertilizer? But here a lot depends on the quality of the soil. If the soil is fertile, sandy loam or loamy, the introduction of peat as a fertilizer will give almost nothing, do not waste your efforts and money. But if the soil on your site is sandy or clay, depleted and poor in organic matter, adding peat together with other fertilizers will significantly improve the yield and appearance of your decorative plants. The value of peat as a fertilizer can be considered only in combination with other types of organic and mineral fertilizing and in the form of compost.
How to make peat compost
Peat compost includes organic matter: tops, torn weeds with clods of earth, wood ash, sawdust, chips, food waste and other natural ingredients. And the compost heap is arranged very simply. Somewhere on the sidelines, away from the places of recreation, organize an area of 2×2 m. the First layer put it on the turf with a height of about 30 cm from top to sprinkle sawdust (10 cm), then put leaves, weeds, food waste mixed with garden earth, this make a layer height of 20 cm.
If you have manure-fine! Put it on top of the above layers to a height of 20 cm.Now cover the entire multi-layer structure with another layer of peat (20-30 cm) and leave to rot for 12-18 months. Do not lift the compost pile to a height of more than 1.5 m, from the sides you can cover with peat or garden soil in order to provide an appropriate microclimate inside the compost pile. Periodically moisten the compost pile with water with the addition of superphosphate (100 g per bucket).
If you have a tight manure, at least find the opportunity to water the compost diluted slurry (5 kg per bucket of water). Or a solution of dry bird droppings (0.5 kg per bucket of water) or fresh litter (2 kg per bucket of water), 2-3 times in the summer you need to mix a good compost pile, so that the top layer gets inside, and the bottom, respectively, out.
Very useful to shut down a bunch from the scorching sunlight special canopy. In the autumn, cover the compost pile: cover it with dry leaves, earth, fir branches or other mulching material. And when will pour out the first snowball, wrap a stack with compost in a snow coat.
Now we can talk about the full nutrition of dacha plants, as such compost is not inferior in its nutritional properties to manure, and if it has not been over-dried and frozen, then its value for plants even exceeds manure.
Fertilize the ground with peat compost as well as manure: evenly spread over the acreage, sprinkled in tree circles and under the bushes. But here it should be noted that properly prepared peat compost is a more valuable fertilizer than manure, and for soil fertilization it is required much less.
In what quantities peat is introduced into the soil
Make it both in spring and autumn, evenly spreading over the area of 30-40 kg per 1 m². Sprinkle in the tree trunks and under the bushes and places for planting at a height of 5-6 cm.
Especially useful such filling on those soils where after prolonged rains on the surface formed a dense crust. In this case, peat also acts as a mulching material. It is quite friendly to any soil and will not spoil any soil. But there is a small caveat: peat has high acidity, so it should be neutralized with lime, dolomite flour or wood ash at the rate of 5 kg of lime or dolomite flour per 100 kg of peat or 10-12 kg of wood ash per 100 kg of peat.
So, we have considered the useful properties of peat as a fertilizer for our green plants. Or maybe you know any other ways to use peat on a country site?