What are compost, loam, and peat moss?

Screened loam, sometimes referred to as topsoil, is soil that has been run through a screener that removes any debris. Loam is comprised of almost equal amounts of sand and silt and a little less clay. The sand provides good aeration and drainage, but does not hold onto moisture. Clay is high in nutrients, but is not great for allowing water, air, and roots to penetrate. Silt has better moisture retention than sand, but fewer nutrients than clay. Silt helps the clay and sand mix together more readily.

Loam is perfect for building up low areas on your lawn, and for laying sod.

The process of composting refers to the breakdown of organic materials to produce a nutrient rich soil conditioner. Compost refers to the end material produced after the organic matter has been decomposed in the composting process. The compost that we carry is composted straw, horse & chicken manure with a small amount of peat moss.

Compost is used to add nutrients to dry and hardened soils. You can use it as an amendment to soil by mixing it into the top 2-4 inches, as a standalone mulch around plants or trees, or to top dress problem areas of grass.

Peat moss is dead fibrous material that forms when mosses and other living material decompose in peat bogs. The difference between peat moss and the compost gardeners make in their backyard is that peat moss is composed mostly of moss. The rate of decomposition with peat moss is very slow as it does not require the presence of air, taking upwards of thousands of years.

Peat moss is used as an amendment to soil to introduce better water retention. It is great for mixing into potting mixes or seed starting mediums as it retains water for a slow release to the plants roots. Peat moss should be a maximum of 25% of the soil composition, and should not be used on its own. (Please note, we no longer carry peat moss at our retail locations)

What happens when you mix loam, compost, peat moss, and other organic materials together? You get premium garden mix!