Peat

Origin and availability

Peat is a natural, organic product with unique characteristics. Peat is produced by the decomposition of mosses in bogs. Worldwide, there are 4 million square kilometers of bogs. That's almost four times the size of Europe.

The moss plants in intact bogs grow at an annual rate of about 1,000 million m3. The annual demand of the European peat industry for the production of horticultural substrates is 30 million m3.

For over 60 years, modern peat substrates have prevailed with a global share of about 75 %. When plants are taken from their natural location and used to produce plants for professional horticulture, about 78 % are still grown in peat substrates. In the private hobby sector, peat-based potting soils also dominate.

Alternatives

According to the concept for reducing the peat used in Germany, Switzerland and England, the question regarding suitable alternative or complementary raw materials for gardening is becoming increasingly important.

To a greater extent, compost, bark humus, pine bark, wood fiber, wood products, rice hulls, flax shives and similar materials are suitable in good quality as aggregates for potting soils and growing media. Professional substrates require a homogeneous, biologically inactive, and always consistent quality.

Developments concerning plant nutrition have made huge progress. With the expansion and relocation of productions in the warmer climate zones, substrates and cultivation techniques had to be adapted to the conditions.

Since its discovery as a substrate medium about 20 years ago coir is a new substrate medium that is a real alternative to peat in its diversity, availability and environmental friendliness. Peat and coir are two complementary substrate media that offer many advantages. They are both significant main components with positive qualities and great future potential.

To read more about peat, visit this informative website: www.warum-torf.info (in German)