How to Grow Tomatoes in Peat Moss

Overview

The tomato is a type of vegetable vine or bush that is common in backyard gardens and grown for its edible fruit. Peat moss is made of dried Sphagnum moss and used as a soil amendment due to its ability to absorb and release nutrients and moisture. A 2000 study by the University of Massachusetts found that the use of peat moss accelerated tomato growth when used with standard compost or fertilizer. Grow tomatoes in peat moss to take advantage of these benefits.

Step 1

Mix equal parts of dried peat moss, available from most nurseries and garden stores, with vermiculite and compost. Use store-bought compost or compost that you've prepared in your own compost bin or pile. Stir thoroughly.

Step 2

Pour the soil mixture into a garden pot. If you are planting tomato seeds and plan to transplant them into the outdoor ground, any size pot will suffice. If you are growing tomatoes permanently in pots, use a pot that can hold a minimum volume of five gallons.

Step 3

Plant the tomato seeds, if applicable. Sink the seeds into a hole that is half an inch deep, then cover with soil. If planting tomato seedlings, dig a hole in the pot that is the size of the plant's root ball. Place the plant in the hole and fill in the hole with loose soil.

Step 4

Water the tomato plants. Peat moss absorbs up to 20 times its volume in water and decreases the amount of moisture you must apply to the soil. Water thoroughly until the soil is damp to the touch, and avoid watering again until the soil mixture is dry to a depth of half an inch.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bucket
  • Garden pot
  • Peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Compost
  • Tomato plants or seeds

References

  • "Tomato;" DK Publishing; 2009
  • University of Massachusetts: Effects of composts on tomato growth and soil fertility

Who Can Help

  • Organic Gardening Magazine: Tomato Growing Tips
Keywords: grow tomatoes, peat moss, tomato plant

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.