How to Plant With Peat Moss


For many gardeners, peat moss is an old standby. The substance, which is actually decomposing plant material found in peat bogs, improves drainage and aeration in clay soils. In sandy soils, peat moss adds nutrients back to the soil as well as holding moisture that normally would drain away quickly. To plant a garden or landscape using peat moss, you should amend the substance into the soil several weeks before planting.

Step 1

Break up your soil using a garden spade or a rototiller to a depth of 12 inches.

Step 2

Spread a 4-inch-thick layer of peat moss over your soil.

Step 3

Mix the peat moss with your soil using a rototiller.

Step 4

Plant garden seeds in your soil by opening drill holes or furrows in the ground that are twice as deep as the width of the seed at its widest point. Drop the seed in the hole and cover with soil. Open planting pockets into the soil for vegetable transplants. Place the root ball of the plant in the hole and cover with soil. Water so that the soil remains as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 5

Mulch around the top of the plants with a layer of peat moss to add more nutrients to the soil and choke out weeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Shovel
  • Rototiller
  • Garden seeds
  • Garden transplants


  • Colorado State University Extension:Choosing a Soil Amendment
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Producing Garden Vegetables with Organic Soil Amendments
  • Oregon State University Extension: Improving Garden Soil

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University Extension: Coir is sustainable alternative to peat moss in the garden
Keywords: using peat moss, improving garden soil, organic soil amendments

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."