Peat Moss – Garden Friend or Foe
BY Kathy Conner Cornell VCE Southside Master Gardener It is important to understand what peat moss is and the impact of harvesting it. Peat is made up of decomposed mosses and plants that slowly build up under cool and wet conditions. It takes hundreds of years to go through the decaying process to become peat. Peat bogs are being mined at a rate where we will potentially run out of peat within our lifetime and our kids lifetime. That is one issue. The second issue relates to carbon sequestration. Peat bogs store lots of CO2. When it is mined this carbon is released into the atmosphere. Carbon levels are rising and this adds to climate impacts. Peat bogs alone store one-third of the world’s soil carbon. Peat bogs make up 3% of earth’s surface but store 30% of land based carbon.