Different soils have different textures and properties that may impact what can grow in them, and also how things grow in them.
In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in peat soils, along with other relevant considerations.
Summary – What Grows Well In Peat Soil
Peat soil has it’s own unique traits/properties that makes it different from other types of soils
These traits/properties impact how suitable or unsuitable it is to grow different plants, fruits, vegetables, crops etc. in peat soils
Some soils may be a peat mix, which means that it may be predominantly peat, but also include a certain % of another type of soil as well
This may change the suitability of the soil to grow different things in it, as it isn’t a full peat soil
There’s different things that can be done to peat soil in order to amend it or improve it’s fertility, for the purposes of growing and soil productivity/soil yield
However, some peat soils may never be able to grow certain things
The soil type is only one factor in determining what you can and can’t grow in that soil (or, how effectively something might grow in a specific soil type)
Other factors to consider for growing in different soils include the general soil fertility, and the local conditions and variables such as weather and climate, as just a few major examples
Overall, each square area of soil on an individual plot of land potentially has it’s own unique factors and variables to consider that will impact soil production. And, the same can be said for the soil in the different geographic locations around the world
All peat soils may have general soil production principles that apply to them, but, may also have unique local variables impacting soil production as well
Profile Of Peat Soil – Traits, Characteristics, & Features
Peat soil may have these general features, traits, and characteristics:
– 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
Real Examples Of Peat Soil, & Where It Might Be Found
Histols contain mainly organic materials like muck, mucky peat, or peat
Typically, Histosols hold water well, don’t drain well, and tend to be acidic
Working With, Amending & Improving Peat Soil
Adding To Peat Soils
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.
More Resources On Working With Peat Soils
Read more about working with peat soil at blooms4all.com
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 have a slightly different composition in each geographic location – you might get a more peaty soil in one location, but in another location you might get a less peaty soil, and this can change it’s characteristics
There are also different external factors acting upon the soil in each geographic area. Climate and weather are a major example of this
Additionally, there are ultimately a range of physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.
Soil fertility is a major factor tied to soil’s physical, chemical and biological traits, that can impact soil productivity and yield. Some soils have high natural fertility, but it’s also possible to modify or increase the fertility of some soils
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, the impact of adding fertilizers and pesticides, bringing in commercial topsoil, the impact of different tilling practices, and so on).
To assess the soil in an individual location, it can help to become aware of factors like:
– What the soil is, and what is the best way to manage it
– The climate in that 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
This is of course just basic information – it’s important to research beyond these things for each individual situation.
These guides provide some basic information on figuring out what might grow well in different soils, conditions and locations:
Below is a collection of generalized lists of things that may grow well in peat soil.
It’s important that you don’t rely solely on these lists though – obviously you should do your own additional research, and make your own independent decisions.
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.