The Truth About Peat — Is It Sustainable?

Let’s demystify peat moss as a growing medium, why harvesting it is banned in Europe, and how Canadian peat is different.

We want to help make the Earth a clean place, respecting and caring for it so future generations can enjoy gardening. That’s why we use sustainably sourced ingredients in our products. We respect the earth, for peat’s sake! (See what we did there?)

Before we dive in, here are a few takeaways you need to know:

  • Canadian peat is different. Our sustainably harvested peat is sourced from Canada, where 25% of the world’s peat supply lies — more than 281 million acres! Out of all that acreage, less than 0.02% of Canadian peat bogs are utilized for horticultural purposes, which means there are literally thousands of years of harvestable peat. 
  • Why does Europe ban harvesting peat? Because of poor harvesting practices. Plus, the centuries-old practice of using dried peat as fuel in some parts of Europe has contributed to the release of a significant amount of CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • Why Peat? It has an amazing capacity to retain moisture so your plants can thrive. Moreover, our peat farm partner is Veriflora® certified, which means they’re dedicated to environmental protection, social responsibility, and quality performance.

The chatter on the internet is that harvesting peat moss, a popular gardening ingredient, is not good for the planet. Let’s clear the air on the topic!

Our Dirt 101 

Let’s start with the basics. Why would we even use a “controversial” ingredient? Because it isn’t as controversial as it seems! 

Good Dirt® products are derived from renewable plant-based components and focus on naturally occurring ingredients. 

Some of our key ingredients, peat moss and BogBits, are harvested from sustainably managed Canadian peat bogs. 

We protect and preserve our peat bogs by only harvesting the top layer of peat dried naturally by the wind and heat of the sun. 

What’s so good about Good Dirt?

Our Potting Mixes are lightweight and help you find the right balance of air and moisture needed for successful gardening. What makes it so light and airy? Peat moss and BogBits!

Even though our name is Good Dirt, our dirt is actually SOILLESS because our main ingredient is Canadian peat moss.

BogBits are our proprietary recycled by-product of sustainably harvested Canadian peat moss. The porosity (i.e. the amount of air space between soil particles) is crucial in your plant’s ability to breathe and air and nutrients to flow through. BogBits are semi-petrified wood fibers that have been embedded in peat bogs and do not decompose. They deliver a permanent porosity that puts bark products to shame. This is why Good Dirt does not become dense and can be planted in season after season.

Why do we use Canadian peat?

The answer to this question is easy: peat moss and BogBits provide the needed porosity for immense success and growth for your plants and garden to flourish. 

We want to ensure your plants are receiving the highest quality ingredients — specially selected for their ability to help your plants thrive and maintain a healthy relationship with the Earth. Our innovative potting mix is your plant’s best friend! We picked Canadian peat because of its quality and for how it is sustainably harvested.

Our Dirt’s Sustainability

Is it harvested sustainably?

Yes! The peat is harvested sustainably from Canadian bogs. Plus, the by-product of peat moss harvests that make up our BogBits would have been thrown away or used to pave bog access roads. Our peat moss and BogBits come from a natural resource that regenerates 70 times faster than the rate of harvest, ensuring that our usage is not only sustainable, but consistent and respectful to the ecosystem of where it is harvested: a good method for this good dirt.

Europe/UK vs. Canada

Over the years, there have been bans on harvesting peat moss in Europe. Negative information about peat’s sustainability swirls around the internet — fueled by the way parts of Europe and the UK harvested peat, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. 

Canadian peat is different. Read about the long-term viability, availability, and sustainability of Canadian sphagnum peat moss in this detailed article by GrowerTalks

Our sustainable ingredients are sourced from Canada, where 25% of the world’s peat supply lies — more than 281 million acres! 

Out of all that acreage, less than 0.02% of Canadian bogs are utilized for horticultural purposes, which means there are literally thousands of years of harvestable peat (approximately 29,000 years, to be precise).

All this extra acreage means there is plenty of room to dedicate to peat bog restoration. This sort of land just isn’t available in Europe and the UK. 

And it’s important to note that Canadian bogs are only used for horticulture. 

According to GrowerTalks, horticulture-only is an important distinction because other bogs used the dried peat for fuel — “dried peat has been used for centuries as fuel in some parts of Europe that didn’t have access to coal, oil or gas and the practice has contributed to the release of a significant amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. (To date, only Ireland and Finland still use peat for fuel, but they’re working on phasing this out.)”

We selected a source that adheres to strict harvesting methods and restores peat bogs back to their original state after the harvest. It is important to us that our components are sourced from a place that respects the environment and protects the bog’s health.  

How does it compare to other peat bog harvests?

Canadian peat is handled differently. Many other countries struggle to harvest peat bogs sustainably, releasing harmful CO2 in the atmosphere and contributing to the global climate crisis.

To avoid this, Canadian peat harvesters use a “terrestrial sequestration” approach: planting trees to combat the negative impact carbon dioxide has on our planet.

Trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to be stored in soil and vegetation. Carbon is “sequestered” within the tree, reducing the amount of CO2 in the air.

The Canadian bogs where we source our peat are harvested with the environmental impact at top-of-mind — before, during, and after the harvest.

Sourced from Canada, produced in the United States

The peat moss and BogBits in our Potting Mixes are sourced from Canada. Sustainably made from the start, our potting mixes, plant nutrition, and soil conditioner are created with organic-based renewable ingredients. Our Plant Food and PlantBiotics added to our mixes (and as sold separately) are made in the United States in a food-grade, zero-waste manufacturing facility.

Our Commitment 

Our Earth is our one-and-only home, and we must nurture it for ourselves and for future generations. 

We looked all over the world to find the best solution for your plants. 

Good Dirt is committed to sustainability. We focus on using naturally occurring resources and renewable plant-based components in the products we create for you, because there is no planet B.

Using our intentionally crafted recipes and sustainably sourced peat and BogBits is just the start. We guarantee that all our products are safe, simple, and successful, too! 

Our products are: 100% Chemical Free, Certified Non-GMO, Heavy Metals Free, Not Salt or Petroleum-based, Vegan, and Pathogen-free.

Gardening is our lifestyle and we’re honored to bring you Good, Clean Dirt.

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How can we help?

Yes! All our products are chemical-free, non-GMO, vegan, and sustainably produced. Safe to use near kids and pets, safe to use on edible plants, even safe if you have nut allergies.

BogBits® are our proprietary recycled by-product of sustainably harvested peat moss. It provides the permanent porosity that plants need to breathe and roots to thrive.

On a trip to Canada, our founders encountered a naturally occurring phenomenon found in peat moss bogs — ‘sticks’ that could be broken down into a fiber for a new type of potting mix. A kind of mix that would provide a better balance of air space and water retention; a better home for roots to grow and form.

Good Dirt® worked with a team to develop their own special recipe using this new magical ingredient, and BogBits was born.

BogBits are comprised of partially petrified peat from Canadian peat bogs. In years past, this by-product of peat moss harvest would have simply been discarded, or used to pave peat bog access roads.

Now, these BogBits have allowed us to create a rich, fluffy Soil Conditioner and Potting Mix with porosity unlike anything on the market.

Yes, all our products are vegan and plant based. We do not add any animal byproducts to any soil mixes or plant nutrition.

Many companies that add animal byproducts to their mixes or fertilizers are trying to balance the nutrients for plants. However, our Good Dirt Plant Food (included in our potting mixes, as well as sold separately for plant nutrition) does not need these ingredients. Our products are made from plants, for plants. The base of our plant food is derived from oilseed extract and contains everything Nature puts into a seed to reproduce the species. The natural oilseed extract contains NPK, trace elements, and all the organic compounds found in a seed, including all the essential plant amino acids.

Our soil mix recipes do not contain any nuts or peanuts that may potentially be harmful to gardeners with allergies, nor do our facilities process products that include nuts or peanuts. that may potentially be harmful to gardeners with allergies, nor do our facilities process products that include nuts or peanuts.

Our Plant Food is derived from a seed (oil seed to be specific) and contains all the nutrients a seed needs to germinate – for that reason it is great for ALL plants

It is made from plants, for plants. It contains all the compounds, amino acids, and trace elements a seed needs to germinate and all plants to thrive. The recipe is then enhanced with NPK 10-4-3 (which is not salt-based) so it won’t cause roots and leaves to burn.

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