How to Garden With Peat Moss


Peat moss is an organic substance that grows in bogs and is used by gardeners to aerate and loosen soil. It absorbs and holds water, making it the choice of gardeners with sandy soil. Environmentally conscious gardeners are moving away from the use of peat moss as an amendment because of the destructive nature of mining the peat bog habitat, according to Ken Druse, noted gardening expert and author. "The delicate community that inhabits the bog cannot be quickly re-established," he says. The most common use of peat moss in the garden is as a soil amendment.

Step 1

Rototill or use a shovel to mix the peat moss into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil.

Step 2

Water the area until it is saturated and the water puddles.

Step 3

Amend existing flower and plant beds by using a gardening trowel to mix 1 inch of peat moss into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. Be careful not to damage plant roots during the process.

Step 4

Throw an inch of leftover peat moss into the compost pile. For every 4 inches of compost, a 1-inch layer of peat moss will help aerate the pile. If you are worried about the acidity that the peat will bring to the compost, pour a 1-inch layer of wood ash over the peat.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Rototiller or shovel
  • Gardening trowel
  • Wood ash


  • Garden Rant: The Real Dirt On Peat Moss
  • Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association: Using Peat Moss
Keywords: garden peat moss, use peat moss, peat moss uses

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.