Gardeners and gardeners prefer to use organic fertilizers as top dressing. One of them is peat.
Probably everyone knows what peat is? For those who do not know, I will reveal a “terrible” secret: peat is rotted (to a greater or lesser extent) compressed remains of plants and animals. In nature, it is formed in swamps, in conditions of high humidity and difficult air access. It is used as a fertilizer, combustible (contains up to 60% carbon) and insulating material.
- How peat is formed
- Peat as fertilizer: pros and cons
- How to make peat compost
- In what quantities is peat introduced into the soil
How peat is formed
Plants and organisms living in swamps, in overgrown reservoirs, lakes with low-flowing water, die over time, forming biomass, which every year more and more layers on top of each other and, accordingly, is pressed. Thus, in conditions of high humidity and lack of air, peat is formed. Depending on the degree of decomposition, it can be upstream (almost not decomposed), lowland (completely decomposed), and transitional (intermediate state between the first and the second).
Peat as fertilizer: pros and cons
Is pure peat, that is, without any third-party additives suitable, for fertilizing the garden and vegetable garden? After all, not very experienced summer residents buy it in large quantities, scatter it in the beds, under trees and shrubs and happily rub their hands in anticipation of record harvests. Alas … they cannot be obtained this way … Although peat (lowland and transitional) consists of 40-60% humus, it is highly discouraged to fertilize the site only for them.
Why? Because it is rather poor in nutrients. Yes, it is rich in nitrogen, which, unfortunately, is very poorly absorbed by plants. From a whole ton of our green pets only 1-1.5 kg of nitrogen gets, not to mention other elements vital for plants. So never fertilize your plots with peat alone, use other types of organic and mineral fertilizers.
It is useful for enriching the land. Due to its fibrous porous structure, it significantly improves the physiological properties of soils of various compositions. The soil, well flavored with peat, becomes water and air permeable, “breathes” easily and freely, and the root system of plants feels more than comfortable in it. Now I’m talking about lowland and intermediate peat, but horse peat is not used at all as fertilizer, as it greatly acidifies the soil.
It should be noted that there are many plants that require acidic or slightly acidic soil for normal development. These include, for example, heather, erica, rhododendron, hydrangea, blueberry and others. It is high moor peat that is added to the planting pit for such plants, and then periodically it is mulched with it.
So is pure (that is, without any additives) peat needed as a fertilizer? And here a lot depends on the quality of the soil itself. If the soil is fertile, sandy loam or light loamy, then the introduction of peat as fertilizer will give practically nothing, do not waste your efforts and money. But if the soils on your site are sandy or clayey, depleted and poor in organic matter, the introduction of peat together with other fertilizers will significantly improve the yield and appearance of your decorative pets.
The value of peat as a fertilizer can be considered exclusively in combination with other types of organic and mineral fertilizers and in the form of composts.
How to make peat compost
Peat compost includes organic matter: tops, torn weeds with clods of soil, wood ash, sawdust, shavings, food waste and other natural ingredients. And the compost heap is arranged very simply. Somewhere to the side, away from the resting places, organize a site measuring 2 x 2 m.Place peat about 30 cm high on it in the first layer.Pour sawdust (10 cm) on top, then lay tops, weeds, food residues mixed with garden soil … Make this layer 20 cm high.
If you have manure, great! Place it on top of the above-described layers at a height of 20 cm. Anyone will do: horse, mullein, bird droppings, etc. Now cover this entire multi-layer structure with another layer of peat (20-30 cm) and leave to rot for 12-18 months. Do not raise the compost heap to a height of more than 1.5 m, but cover the sides with peat or garden soil in order to provide an appropriate microclimate inside the heap. Moisten the compost heap periodically with water and superphosphate (100 g per bucket).
If you are tight with manure, at least find an opportunity to water the compost with diluted slurry (5 kg mullein per bucket of water). Or a solution of dry bird droppings (0.5 kg per bucket of water) or fresh droppings (2 kg per bucket of water). Thoroughly shovel the compost heap 2-3 times over the summer, trying to get the top layer inside, and the bottom, respectively, out.
It is very useful to cover the pile from the scorching sun rays with a special canopy. Cover the compost heap in autumn: cover it with dry leaves, high-moor peat, earth, spruce branches or other mulching material. And when the first snow pours out, wrap the stack of compost in a snow coat.
Now we can talk about good nutrition for summer cottages, since such compost is in no way inferior in its nutritional properties to manure, and if it has not been overdried and frostbite, then it even surpasses manure in value for plants.
The soil is fertilized with peat compost in the same way as with manure: it is evenly scattered over the sown area, poured into the near-stem circles of trees and under bushes. But here it should be noted that properly prepared peat compost is a more valuable fertilizer than manure, and much less is required to fertilize the soil. If 60-70 kg of manure is usually applied to 10 m² of soil, then only 10-20 kg of peat compost is required for the same area (in addition, it gives off nutrients to plants more generously than manure).
In what quantities is peat introduced into the soil
To begin with, it is worth noting that it is impossible to “re-fertilize” the land with peat. They bring it in both in the spring and in the fall, evenly scattering it over the site and digging up shovels on a bayonet, 30-40 kg per 1 m². In the future, add peat to the near-stem circles of trees, shrubs and planting sites to a height of 5-6 cm.
Such a bedding is especially useful on those soils where, after prolonged rains, a dense crust forms on the surface. In this case, peat also acts as a mulching material. It is quite friendly to any soil and will not spoil any soil with itself. But there is a small nuance: peat has a high acidity (pH 2.5-3.0), 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. published by econet.ru
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