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Harvesting peat moss

Selecting a peatland

The process of selecting a peatland to harvest peat moss is greatly facilitated where detailed surveys of the resource exist. Factors to consider include:

  • Quality of the peat: it must meet market standard. In Canada and the U.S., light brown, weakly decomposed sphagnum peat moss is preferred by professional users such as greenhouse growers. More decomposed, dark brown peat moss is generally used in horticultural mixtures aimed at amateur gardeners.
  • Peat depth: the thickness of the horticultural grade peat layer must be sufficient to warrant development. An average depth of 2 m is generally considered to be a minimum.
  • Surface area: a peatland must be large enough to warrant development. An area of 50 ha is usually required, although smaller sites are occasionally developed.
  • Other factors such as: proximity to transportation infrastructure (roads, truck access), a low density of tree cover, availability of a labour force, access to electrical power also play a decisive role in peatland selection.

Peat moss harvesting

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