Prospects of Sphagnum farming in the Kolkheti Lowlands, Georgia
In regions of warm and humid climate such as the Kolkheti Lowlands (Georgia) the natural productivity of Sphagnum (peat moss) is high. It can grow throughout the year since neither long periods of temperatures below 0°C nor long dry seasons occur. These conditions predestine the Kolkheti Lowlands for Sphagnum farming on degraded peatlands as well as on alluvial soils, recently laying fallow.
To investigate the potential of Sphagnum farming in the Kolkheti Lowlands, trials on establishment, productivity and regeneration of two Sphagnum species: Sphagnum papillosum und Sphagnum palustre were conducted.
The study proved a high potential for the cultivation of both tested Sphagnum species in the Kolkheti Lowlands due to the availability of agricultural sites and suitable climatic conditions. Methods ensuring the establishment of Sphagnum cultures and managing the water levels (to avoid desiccation and flooding of the peat mosses) have to be developed for the implementation of Sphagnum farming.