Different soils have different textures and properties that should be considered when growing different things in them.
In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in peat soils.
Characteristics Of, & Profile Of Peat Soil
- Usually dark brown or black in color, and feels spongy
- High in organic matter
- Holds water well
- Easily compacts
- Can sometimes have drainage problems
- Is usually a slightly acidic soil, or a soil that contains acidic water (which can slow down decomposition of organic matter, and lead to lower nutrients). Read this guide about what can grow in acidic soil
- Commonly imported into gardens to provide a planting base as it holds water well, but protects root structure, and can complement other soil types
Working With, Amending & Improving Peat Soil
Is usually blended with rich organic matter, compost and lime to reduce the acidity and increase nutrients for growing. You can also use soil amendments such as glacial rock dust to raise pH in acidic soils.
Read more about working with peat soil at:
A Note On Soil Types, & What Ultimately Impacts How Things Grow
Before we look at what grows well in peat soil, it’s important to note that all soils are slightly different in composition depending on the location (you might get one type of peat in one location, but in another you might get a different type of peat with different characteristics), there are different external factors acting upon each soil, and ultimately, there are many physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.
This is just a guide on peat soils in general, without going into extreme depth about all these other factors (factors like soil fertility, soil health, soil quality, fertilizer added, top soil added, pesticides added, tilling practices and so on).
It would do you well in the long term to get information on the soil in your location (what it is and what is the best way to manage it), the climate in your location (temperature, rainfall etc.) and the growing seasons (for example – the US has different planting zones), the plants or things you want to grow and the conditions they need – and come up with a specific plan for your situation.
Flowers That Grow Well In Peat Soil
- rhododendrons and azaleas
Vegetables That Grow Well In Peat Soil
- Vegetable crops such as Brassicas, legumes, root crops and salad crops do well in well-drained peaty soils.
Trees & Shrubs That Grow Well In Peat Soil
- Heather, Lantern Trees, Witch Hazel, Camellia, and Rhododendron do well in well-drained peaty soils.