Peat is a compacted rotten (to varying degrees) animal and plant remains. It also includes other components. Nationally, the All-Russian Institute of Organic Fertilizers and Peat, located in the Vladimir region, is engaged in the study of the material. The institution carries out scientific activities, working on the problem of the most efficient use of resources in the country's agriculture. Next, we consider in more detail the useful properties of peat. The article will discuss the benefits and methods of using the material on the plot.
Under natural conditions, peat is formed in the marshlands, in areas with high humidity and difficult access of air. Since it contains about 60% carbon, the compound is also used as a fuel. Material involved in the construction. Peat is also used as a fertilizer.
Animals and plants dwelling in overgrown reservoirs with low-flowing water and marshes perish over time. As a result, a biomass layer is formed. Every year there are more such layers. As a result, the biomass begins to be pressed. So in conditions of high humidity and insufficient air flow peat is formed.
Depending on the level of decomposition of the components, peat can be upstream, lowland and transitional. The material related to the first type includes cotton grass, white (sphagnum) mosses, wild rosemary and other plants that are not very demanding for water and food. High peat is a mass of practically not decomposed components. The second type of compound includes sedges, residues of tree species, green (hypno) mosses, reeds, reeds, horsetails. This peat is a completely decomposed mixture. The transition mass is an intermediate state between the first two. On the ground, where this material is formed, wild rosemary, cotton grass, sedge, mosses (sphagnum and green) and other plants grow. The mass of the upper and transitional types is characterized by high acidity. In this regard, such a peat as a fertilizer in its pure form does not apply. At the same time, the riding material is considered to be an excellent substrate for growing vegetables and seedlings in greenhouses.
The use of peat fertilizer
Many owners of the backyard plot are concerned with the question: “Is it possible to use the compound in its pure form for top dressing?” Some summer residents, as a rule, who have little experience in housekeeping, try to buy peat in large quantities. They scatter it on the beds, laid in thick layers under shrubs and trees. But is it advisable? More experienced gardeners are in a hurry to warn: this is not good harvest. Despite the fact that the compound of the transitional and lowland type consists of 40–60% humus, it is not recommended to use only one peat. Organic fertilizer is poor in nutrients. There is, of course, nitrogen (this component is present in an amount of up to 25 kg per ton), but this element is poorly absorbed by agricultural plants. So, from a ton of compound, crops get no more than one and a half kilograms of nitrogen, and other useful substances even less. That is why soil fertilization with peat should be carried out in conjunction with other types of top dressing.
To enrich the soil this mineral fertilizer - peat, is undoubtedly useful. One of the advantages of the material is its fibrous structure. Thanks to it, the physiological properties of soils of various composition are significantly improved. After the enrichment of the compound, the soil becomes air- and water-permeable, it “breathes” easily and freely. At the same time, the root system of cultures feels excellent. But all these useful properties are characteristic only for the lowland and transitional types. As stated above, high-moor peat is not used as a fertilizer, but it is considered an excellent mulching material that harbors crops for the winter. Much, of course, depends on the quality of the soil itself. So, for example, with a high level of fertility, the fertilizer of the earth with peat yields practically nothing. It is impractical to enrich the material and light loamy and sandy loam soil. Another thing, if the area is clay or sandy soil. On a land exhausted and poor in useful elements, the introduction of the material in combination with other additional feedings will allow to significantly increase the yield, improve the appearance of the plants, and create the most favorable conditions for their development. In this regard, peat as a fertilizer has value only in combination with other materials and in the form of composts.
For feeding soil use peat from lowland marshes, consisting of highly decomposed elements (at least 40%). The same material is used for composting. Peat, the degree of decomposition of which is less than 25%, is used on animal litter. The best material is a transitional and lowland type with a neutral reaction (non-acidic). It should have a degree of decomposition of about 30-40%, and zonality - about 13-15%. Lowland peat must be ventilated before direct application. Frozen material is more easily crushed. In addition, in this form, it is evenly distributed over the site, decomposes fairly quickly. As a result, nutrients that were previously unavailable to crops become available. Peat, which is intended for feeding, should not be overdried. Its humidity should be at least 50-70%. Dry material badly retains moisture, practically not wetted and decomposes slowly enough. It adversely affects sandy podzolic soil, especially in the dry season. In addition, it should be remembered that there is very little potassium and phosphorus in the material. And these elements are vital for the normal development of cultures. In this regard, it is necessary to add superphosphate, potassium (chloride) and manure to the peat in a small amount.
Degree of decomposition
In its pure form, ventilated peat is used to mulch vegetable varieties. It is best combined with sawdust, straw cutting, manure. To determine the degree of decomposition, you should take a handful of material, firmly squeeze it. The resulting lump of need to hold on a sheet of paper (white). Painting smear will indicate the degree of decomposition of peat. The trail may be slightly yellow or colorless. The degree of decomposition in this case is less than 10%. A smear may be slightly brown, sometimes light gray. At the same time there are no sticking fibers. In this case, the degree of decomposition ranges from 10 to 20% (approximately). The trail can be brown down to dark with a black and gray tint, while its surface is smooth and the lump stains your palm. In this case, the degree of decomposition of 30-35%. The color of the stroke may be very dark - black-brown. At the same time fingerprints are well preserved on the lump. The degree of decomposition exceeds 50%.
Production of fertilizer from peat on the plot is carried out in a certain ratio. All kinds of material are suitable for composting. However, it is best to use ventilated peat, the humidity of which is 65-70%. The ratio of components depends on the time of year. For example, in winter, peat and manure mix 1: 1. In the summer, the proportion changes: 1: 4 or 1: 3. If peat with a high degree of decomposition and horse manure is used, in winter the ratio of components is 3: 1, and in summer even 8: 1.
There are two options for creating dressing: focal and layered. In the latter case, peat is placed on a specially prepared site. The layer must be at least half a meter so that the slurry does not leak into the ground. Then manure is laid. Layers alternate until the height reaches 1-1.5 meters. The last stack peat. If the ratio is 1: 1, then the thickness of the layers of the stack can be 25-30 cm. It is not recommended to raise the compost pile above one and a half meters. From the sides it should be covered with garden soil or peat. This ensures a special microclimate inside the heap. Periodically it is necessary to moisten the compost with water with superphosphate (for a bucket of 100 g of compound). If you have difficulties with manure, you can apply diluted goo (per bucket of water 5 kg of mullein or 0.5 kg of dry or 2 kg of fresh bird droppings). During the summer, you need two or three times to shovel the compost pile well. In this case, the top layer should fall down, and the bottom, respectively, up.
In this case, it is necessary to put peat on the prepared special platform. The layer of material is not less than 50-60 cm. Then manure is laid in the middle and along the entire stack. The thickness of its layer is 70-80 cm, and its width is less than peat. If manure is not enough or liquid litter is used, then it is better to put it in a pile in the form of intermittent separate foci. The fecal mass from all sides should be lined with a peat layer in 50-60 cm. In the summer the heap needs moisturizing. For this, water or slurry is used. In the process of stacking the stack in the composts, it is advisable to add potash mixtures per 1 kg of weight of 0.5-0.6 kg of top dressing. Depending on the acidity, lime is also introduced.
Features of top dressing
It is necessary to say for a start that it is impossible to “pereudobrit” the peat. Submitted material in the autumn and in the spring. Peat must be evenly distributed over the plot, digging the ground on the spade bayonet. As a rule, the following ratio is practiced: for 1 m 2 of the site 30-40 kg of material. It is also recommended to pour the peat under the bushes and near-trunk tree circumferences, as well as to the places of subsequent planting of crops (a layer of 5-6 centimeters). To neutralize the acidity of the material should be applied dolomite flour or lime (per hundred kilogram of 5 kg of "neutralizer") or wood ash. The latter is added in the ratio of 100 kg of peat to 10-12 kg.