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Whatever anyone says, I have always been a great believer in using  Irish Moss Peat as an additive to my potting compost.

This last week I visited my local garden centre, among other things purchased 3 bags of there multi purpose compost containing 60% peat, getting home and opening the first bag, a thought struck me, this peat content was not moss peat but sedge peat, something completely different, am I right in my thinking? If I am right, my understanding is, sedge peat is of no benefit to ericaceous plants and trees.

Someone please put a senile old man out of his misery.

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Hostafan1

you'll be on the hit list soon valrobbo.

AlexX

This is just a comment from a complete novice - I have just bought some peat free bracken compost and also wool compost. Not sure if I am allowed to give a company name. It is lovely, quality stuff.

Hostafan1

When Ireland stop burning it in their power stations, I'll think about stopping using it in my plant pots.

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fidgetbones

Me too, hostafan.  My MPC is a peat based one. compared to rubbish based (Recycled) it is far superior.

Hostafan1

if someone produces a peat free product, which is as good, and at the same price, I'll swap,but not before.

AlexX

I'm not against peat based compost - I am familiar with the case against. I have just come back from the local supply shop and there was no Irish Moss peat available to buy or composted bark. I'm at the start of a long process to try to improve my heavy clay soil. Moss was recommended. I'm guessing a particular type of moss - as the wet side of the garden grows moss and that doesn't seem to do any good.

I can see it's going to be a long and expensive procedure so I am scouting around for the best prices for grit, manure and peat compost.

Dalefoot composts is the company making bracken and sheep wool compost , if you want to take a look

Alex (Novice)

Bracken makes good compost, years ago at home the pig sty bedding was bracken went well on the garden, wouldn't use peat composts or any other composts to inprove garden soil, other than my own home made garden compost, have used agricultural dust in the past, ie, crushed stone to good effect on moorland clay soil

Come on guys be serious, I initially asked if you thought bags of multi purpose compost containing 40,50 or 60% peat, what peat was it, sedge peat or moss peat?

If you buy an azalea  or rhododendron it requires an ericaceous compost to survive ie, peat based, but you could be mistaken and plant it in sedge peat and kill it off.

What are we buying at garden centres?

If I remember correctly from my college days, Sphagnum peat ( moss peat) has a low natural pH whereas sedge peat is more variable depending on the water pH in which it was deposited. Most commercial composts will be adjusted to provide a fairly neutral pH suitable for a wide range of uses. Ericaceous composts are formulated from moss peat to be low pH ( acidic) . In pots and containers, ericaceous composts will provide acidic conditions, in the open garden, the use of ericaceous compost is pretty pointless as the natural pH of the soil water will be dominant.

Additionally, when peat is added to the garden, it fairly quickly starts to decompose and so is only a short term solution to soil improvement.

Valrobbo , don't known the answer to your question but you can buy ericaceous compost , perhaps have a look at a bag and see what it contains 

Best of luck with your query 

Thanks Tootsietim, you have reminded me of what I had forgotten, i did say initially ut a senile old man out of his misery 

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