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What Do You Do With Peat Moss?

By Barbara El ; Updated September 21, 2017
Peat moss improves a planting bed.

Peat moss is a highly absorbent, organic soil amendment that has many garden and plant care uses. It is taken from the bottom of sphagnum peat moss bogs where partially decomposed sphagnum moss accumulates. Peat moss itself does not contain many nutrients, but it absorbs and holds nutrients and moisture.

Peat Moss Preparation

Purchase peat moss in bags from your local garden store. Before you can use the peat moss, it will take some work to break it apart and loosen it. To prepare a large amount for outdoor use, break it apart in a wheelbarrow with a hoe. Add small amounts of water as you go. You can break apart small amounts for container gardening in a bucket with a trowel. When it is crumbly and free of lumps you can use it with good results.

Vegetable and Flower Gardens

Give your vegetables and flowers a head start by planting the seeds indoors before the last frost. To prevent the seeds from drying out, plant the seeds in a planting mix that includes peat moss, or plant them in peat pots or compressed peat pellets. Peat pots and pellets, available at any garden store, will hold moisture and can be planted outside directly in your planting bed at transplant time.

Container Gardening

Add peat moss to the soil of your indoor and outdoor potted plants. If you mix your own soil, add about one third of the total volume in peat moss and mix well. You can also add peat moss on top of an already potted plant and gently mix it in. Over time, this will make your soil absorbent and light. Add a small amount of warm water to the peat for easier mixing.


Top-dress your lawn with peat moss. Many people spend a lot of time and money on lawn care. You can have a beautiful lawn with less time and expense by raking a layer of peat moss over your lawn each spring. Spread the peat moss 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.


Add 1 inch of peat moss to your compost bin each time you add 4 inches of material you want to compost. The peat moss will keep your compost moist, inhibit bad smells and decrease the amount of time it takes for material to decompose. Mix the peat moss in when you turn your compost.


Add more peat moss to the soil of your acid-loving plants, such as blueberries, rhododendrons or azaleas. Peat moss is high in acid and by adding up to 50 percent peat moss to the soil, you will make these plants very happy.


About the Author


Barbara El started and sold two businesses before becoming a professional writer in 2003. She specializes in educational, technical, garden and business writing, and her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications. She holds a master’s degree in education and enjoys volunteering as a writing and English tutor.