How Much Peat Moss To Add To Soil

If you have ever browsed through a garden center, then there is a good chance that you have seen peat moss being sold.

However, just because it is often recognized, does not mean that everyone knows what it is, and how it is used.

You will commonly find that potting soils will have some peat moss mixed into it, however, you also have the option of buying peat moss by itself.

If you mix peat moss into your soil, you can get some great benefits, however, this should be done carefully as there are some aspects you need to keep in mind before you start adding it yourself.

So, if you want to add peat moss into your soil, then read this guide for all the information you need to consider!

What Is Peat Moss?

So, the first thing which we need to get out of the way is what actually is peat moss? It is a material which you will find naturally growing on top of bogs, and it is most often found in Canada.

It is often used as a potting medium which is all natural. Furthermore, it works well for this because it has a very spongy and loose texture, and this makes it perfect for retaining moisture in plants.

However, a drawback about peat moss is that it takes up to thousands of years for it to develop, and this means it is not one of the most renewable resources available for use in growing.

However, if you know how to use peat moss more sporadically, and use it as an additive instead of just by itself, then you can get some great benefits. So, let’s look at what some of these benefits are!

Why Mix Peat Moss Into Soil?

Why Mix Peat Moss Into Soil?​

So, while in the previous section we covered some of the main reasons why people mix peat moss into their soil, we have not gone through all of them.

As you might know, there are plenty of different kinds of soil that are available, for example, some of them are heavy and they are full of clay, while others have a more sandy texture, but have fewer nutrients, and then there are some types of soil that have a higher acidity, while some are more alkaline.

The best type of soil for you will depend on what you want to grow in it. However, if we are taking a more general approach, we can see that peat moss helps with most types of soil and will make it better.

You can practically add peat moss to any type of soil and get some great results.

For example, using peat moss will aid your drier sand in retaining moisture which it will usually struggle to do. However, it will also help with heavy clay soil since it will loosen it up and aid with its drainage.

You can also increase the amount of organic materials in your soil by adding peat moss, and these will break down over time and will give the contents of the soil nutrients.

Using peat moss will also make a normal potting medium better for growing certain epiphytic plants, common examples being staghorn ferns and orchids.

However, using peat moss will also reduce as well as slow down the process of soil compaction, as well as decomposition.

Using peat moss also reduces the alkalinity of most soils, and it will lower pH levels for a plant like blueberries which will want a more acidic soil.

Peat moss is also able to retain soil nutrients and this means they do not get flushed when you are watering.

You will often find that people commonly use compost in a similar way, and this is used to aid with drainage and balance your pH specifically.

However, what makes peat moss preferable when compared to compost is that you do not have to worry about having any hidden pathogens or weed seeds in your peat moss like you do with compost.

Of course a good batch of compost is great, however, if it is a bad batch, your garden will suffer.

Peat Moss And Your Soil Acidity

Peat Moss And Your Soil Acidity

You find that most plants tend to be best in a soil that has a more balanced pH level, however, there are also plants that want a more acidic soil while others might prefer a more alkaline soil.

This is where some people will use peat moss since it has acidic properties.

If you find after a soil test that you have soil that is too alkaline, then a lot of people will choose to add some peat moss as this will help bring the soil down to something more neutral.

We do not recommend adding peat moss to soil that is too acidic since this will just make it worse.

If this is the case with your soil, then adding lime as a soil amendment works well to do the opposite of peat moss.

The Environment

As we mentioned briefly when explaining what peat moss is, it is a natural resource, and the process of making peat moss takes thousands and thousands of years.

Because of this, there are environmental impacts that need to be taken into account when buying peat moss, so make sure you are not buying too much! You do not need a lot of peat moss to get great results!


Hopefully this guide has aided you in working out what peat moss actually does and how it can help with your gardening.

If you know how to properly use peat moss it can greatly improve your gardening and make working with soil a lot easier.

Just make sure that the soil you are adding your peat moss to actually needs it and you will not be making it worse instead of better. 

The main example of this is accidentally making your soil too acidic, however, this can manifest in other ways like giving your soil properties that do not aid the crop that you are growing!

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