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Re: Peat Moss Preparation
I boil peat for several reasons. I don't want to wait a few hours, much less
several days for it to sink. Bringing it to a boil drives air out of the
fibres so it will sink immediately.
A Jiffy pellet in a Pyrex measuring cup is made ready in about 2 minutes in
the microwave, without the old "spaghetti-pot stink." You can either burn
your fingers or remove the netting, first. ;-)
The worst of the humins and the fine dust can all be rinsed out quickly,
through a fish net, under the cold water tap. That makes for much less
stain, clouding and acid in the tank.
When I used to do more bulk peat, from a bale, I found that wet storage was
a bit of a problem, unless I kept it in a tank or bucket with an air-driven
UGF plate. [There is a hex-tank UGF plate that's a perfect fit for the
normal 5G bucket, BTW.] If there was no circulation, it could turn into a
foul, stinking mess over time. With circulation, it stayed sweet and useful
for months. The water was then the source of gentle "black-water extract,"
too. [My old peat bucket is now a great source of mosquito larvae, since I
quit putting air to it.]
Reused peat should be boiled to kill any missed eggs and snails or other
pests. [Dormant cysts of parasites like Ich, or live ones of Velvet are
probably killed, too, which isn't a really bad idea.]
The pellets are so cheap from Ruth, that I rarely reuse peat. BTW, Martha
Stewart seems to have removed them from my K-Mart garden center where they
used to be cheap, too. I have been working on a case of 1000 pellets that a
friend over-ordered from Burpee's catalog, so it will be a while before Ruth
gets an order from me.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley1 at home_com
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