Uses of Peat Moss

Peat moss is a wild moss in the Sphagnum family and is used for numerous things, most often in gardening or farming. It has a mix of a clay-like and fiber texture, may appear wet or damp, and has a rich, earthy scent. Peat moss is available at most gardening stores.

Vegetable and Fruit Gardening

Healthy, productive vegetable and fruit gardens can be made even better with proper soil preparation that includes peat moss (usually mixed in with compost, fertilizer and mulch). Since it is a natural soil conditioner, it helps regulate moisture and air around plant roots, creating perfect growing conditions. Peat moss helps save water and reduce run-off nutrients.

Lawn and Yard Care

Grass roots need about 7 inches of soil for strong growth and the soil needs to be high in rich matter. Peat moss is ideal for growing grass in. It adds body to soils that are sandy while aerating soils that have a lot of clay. It also helps preserve nutrients and save water run-off. After grass plant is seeded, if peat moss is sprinkled over it in a light layer, it protects the grass seed from wind, picking birds and other weather elements.

Packing Materials

Peat moss can be made into peat dust (also called peat mould) that is used as packing material for fruit and vegetable transportation, as well as moving material for fragile objects, furniture and books. It is composted into a finer material, then packed in around the objects. Peat moss has been used in this manner since the early 1900s for national and international shipping.

Bedding/Litter for Livestock

Since the 1850s, peat moss has been used as bedding material for humans and animals. It was packed into sheets to make beds and pillows. For livestock, the peat would keep them clean and dry indoors. It also neutralizes odors and absorbs liquids easily. Throughout different wars, large quantities of peat moss were shipped to cavalries to use as bedding for horses. It is still used today to fill stables and bedding stalls for livestock and other animals.

Keywords: uses of moss, peat moss care, gardening tips

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.