Peat is a compressed rotted (to some extent) remains of animals and plants. It also includes other components. In the scale of the country, the All-Russian Institute of Organic Fertilizers and Peat is located in the Vladimir region. The institution carries out scientific activities, working on the problem of the most effective use of resources in the country's agriculture. Next, we will consider in more detail the useful properties of peat. The article will tell you about the advantages and methods of using the material on the backyard.
In natural conditions, peat is formed in marshy areas, in areas with high humidity and difficult access to air. Since it contains about 60% of carbon, the compound is also used as fuel. The material is involved in construction. Peat as a fertilizer is also used.
Formation of substance
Inhabitants in overgrown reservoirs with weakly flowing water and swamps, animals and plants die with time. As a result, a layer of biomass is formed. Every year, there are more such layers. As a result, the biomass begins to be compressed. So in conditions of high humidity and insufficient air intake, peat is formed.
Depending on the level of decomposition of components, peat can be upland, lowland and transitional. The material belonging to the first type includes cotton grass, white (sphagnum) mosses, Ledum and other plants that are not very demanding for water and food. Horse peat is the mass of practically non-decomposed components. The second type of compound includes sedges, remains of tree species, green (hypenic) mosses, reed grass, reeds, horsetails. This peat is a completely decomposed mixture. Transition mass is an intermediate state between the first two. In the area where this material is formed, grow wild rosemary, cotton grass, sedge, mosses (sphagnum and green) and other plants. The weight of the upper and transitional types is characterized by high acidity. In this regard, peat as a fertilizer in its pure form is not applied. At the same time, the top material is considered an excellent substratum for growing vegetables and seedlings in greenhouses.
Use of peat for fertilizer
Many owners of the backyard are concerned about the question: "Is it possible to use the compound in its pure form for feeding?" Some summer residents, as a rule, have little experience in farming, try to buy peat in large quantities. They scatter it on beds, stack thick layers under bushes and trees. But is it advisable? More experienced gardeners rush to warn: in this way, yields are not good. Despite the fact that the junction of the transitional and low-lying type consists of humus by 40-60%, it is highly not recommended to use only one peat. Organic fertilizer is poor in nutrient elements. It contains, of course, nitrogen (this component is present in quantities of up to 25 kg per tonne), but this element is poorly assimilated by agricultural plants. So, from a ton of compound, cultures do not get more than one and a half kilograms of nitrogen, and other useful substances, even less. That is why fertilization of soils with peat should be carried out in conjunction with other types of fertilizing.
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 the most varied composition are substantially improved. The soil after enrichment with the compound becomes air-and water-permeable, easily and freely "breathes". At the same time, the root system of cultures feels excellent. But all these useful properties are characteristic only of lowland and transitional types. As mentioned above, peat moss as a fertilizer is not applied, but it is considered an excellent mulch material, which is covered by crops for the winter. Much, of course, depends on the quality of the soil itself. So, for example, with a high level of fertility, fertilization of the land with peat yields practically nothing. It is inappropriate to enrich the material with light loamy and sandy loamy soil. It's another matter if the plot is clayey or sandy soil. On the depleted, poorly useful elements of the earth, the introduction of material in combination with other fertilizing will significantly increase the yield, improve the appearance of plants, create the most favorable conditions for their development. In this regard, peat as a fertilizer is valuable only in combination with other materials and in the form of composts.
To fertilize the soil use peat from lowland bogs, consisting of highly decomposed elements (40% at least). The same material is used for composting. Peat, the degree of decomposition of which is less than 25%, is used on the animal bedding. The best is a transition and low-grade material with a neutral reaction (non-acidic). It should have a degree of decomposition of about 30-40%, and zoning - about 13-15%. Low-peat peat before direct use must necessarily be ventilated. Frozen material is more susceptible to pulverization. In addition, in this form it is distributed evenly over the site, decomposes rapidly enough. As a result, previously unavailable nutrients for crops are available. Peat, which is intended for top dressing, should not be dried. Its humidity should be at least 50-70%. Dry material poorly retains moisture, almost does not wet and decomposes slowly enough. It adversely affects the sandy podzolic soil, especially in the dry period. In addition, it should be remembered that in the material there is very little potassium and phosphorus. And these elements are vital for the normal development of cultures. In connection with this, superphosphate, potassium (chloride) and manure in small quantities must be added to the peat.
Degree of decomposition
In its pure form, ventilated peat is used for mulching vegetable varieties. It is best combined with sawdust, straw cutting, manure. To determine the degree of decomposition, it is necessary to take a handful of material, tightly squeeze it. The resulting lump should be carried on a sheet of paper (white). The color of the smear will indicate the degree of peat decomposition. The trace may be slightly yellow or colorless. The degree of decomposition in this case is less than 10%. The smear can be slightly brown, sometimes light gray. At the same time there are no adhered fibers. In this case, the degree of decomposition is from 10 to 20% (approximately). The trace can be brown to dark with a black and gray tinge, while its surface is smooth, and the ball makes a dirty palm. In this case, the degree of decomposition is 30-35%. The color of the smear can be very dark - black and brown. At the same time, fingerprints are well preserved on the lump. Degree of decomposition exceeds 50%.
The production of fertilizer from peat on the plot is carried out in a certain proportion. For composting all types of material are suitable. However, it is best to use a ventilated peat, the humidity of which is 65-70%. The ratio of components depends on the time of year. So, for example, in winter peat and manure are mixed 1: 1. In the summer, the proportion varies: 1: 4 or 1: 3. If peat is used with high degree of decomposition and horse manure, then in winter the ratio of components is 3: 1, and in summer even 8: 1.
There are two options for creating additional fertilizing: focal and layered. In the latter case peat is laid on a specially prepared site. The layer should be at least half a meter, so that the liquid does not seep into the ground. Then manure is stacked. The layers alternate until the height is 1-1.5 meters. The last lay the peat. If the ratio is 1: 1, then the thickness of the stacks can be 25-30 cm. It is not recommended to lift the compost pile above a meter and a half. From the sides it should be covered with garden land or peat. This ensures a special microclimate inside the heap. Periodically, it is necessary to moisten the compost with water with superphosphate (per 100 g of the compound). If there are difficulties with manure, then you can apply diluted fat (on a bucket of water of 5 kg of mullein, or 0.5 kg of dry or 2 kg of fresh bird droppings). During the summer, it is necessary to shovel the compost pile twice or thrice. In this case, the top layer should fall down, and the lower one, respectively, upward.
In this case, peat must be placed on the prepared special area. The layer of material is not less than 50-60 cm. Then manure is laid down in the middle and along the entire stack. The thickness of its layer is 70-80 cm, and the width is less than peat. If the manure is not enough or the unmodified liquid is used, it is better to stack it in a stack in the form of intermittent individual foci. Fecal mass from all sides should be covered with a peat layer of 50-60 cm. In the summer, the heap needs moistening. For this, water or slurry is used. In the process of stacking the stack in composts, it is advisable to add potash mixes per 1 cent of mass for 0.5-0.6 kg of additional fertilizer. Depending on the acidity, lime is also introduced.
Features of top dressing
It must be said to begin with that it is impossible to "over-fertilize" peat with soil. The material is made both in autumn and in spring. Peat should be evenly distributed over the site, digging up the soil on the spade bayonet. As a rule, the following ratio is practiced: per 1 m 2 of a section of 30-40 kg of material. It is also recommended to pour peat under shrubs and circumferential tree circles, as well as to the places of subsequent planting of crops (a layer of 5-6 centimeters). To neutralize the acidity of the material, dolomite flour or lime (one hundred kilograms of 5 kg of "neutralizer") or wood ash should be used. The latter is added in a ratio of 100 kg of peat to 10-12 kg.