Structural Stability

Potting soil manufacturers may blend peats of different age and origin. The inclusion of Bord na Móna Irish peat in such mixtures will retard the shrinkage commonly associated with younger peats.

Stability is the innate property of peat that resists breakdown due to mechanical, physical or microbial degradation.

  • Slumping is the collapse of substrate in a pot or container. It is commonly caused by microbial breakdown of the potting medium, and can result in detrimental effects on plant quality.

If crops…

  • Are grown for long periods
  • Have high root aeration requirements
  • Are raised with ebb & flood irrigation

…the use of stable peat that does not slump is recommended. Bord na Móna peat is ideal for this purpose.

See studies involving Irish peats below.

Stability of Irish and younger peats

Volume reduction of Northern European (H3) and Bord na Móna (H5) peat over two years.

Stability of Irish and younger peats

Shrinkage of different peats in pots over time

Shinkage of H5/H6 (Irish) peat compared to H2/H3 younger (Northern European) peat over two years.

Shinkage of different peats in pots over time

Shrinkage of various peats in pots without plants over 42 weeks work of Theo Aendekerk at Boskoop Research Station in the Netherlands

Values linked by the same letter do not significantly differ (Duncan’s multiple range test p=0.05).

Boskoop Research Station in the Netherlands

Data from Aendekerk,T (2001). Decomposition of peat substrates in relation to physical properties and growth of Skimmia. Acta Horticulturae, 548, 261-268.