General information

Peat as a fertilizer - advantages and disadvantages


Peat is a compacted rotten (to varying degrees) animal and plant remains. It also includes other components. Nationally, the All-Russian Institute of Organic Fertilizers and Peat, located in the Vladimir Region, is engaged in the study of the material. The institution carries out scientific activities, working on the problem of the most efficient use of resources in the country's agriculture. Next, we consider in more detail the useful properties of peat. The article will discuss the benefits and methods of using the material on the plot.

general information

Under natural conditions, peat is formed in swampy areas, in areas with high humidity and difficult access of air. Since it contains about 60% carbon, the compound is also used as a fuel. Material involved in the construction. Peat is also used as a fertilizer.

Substance formation

Animals and plants dwelling in overgrown reservoirs with low-flowing water and marshes perish over time. As a result, a biomass layer is formed. Every year there are more such layers. As a result, the biomass begins to be pressed. So in conditions of high humidity and insufficient air flow peat is formed.


Depending on the level of decomposition of the components, peat can be upstream, lowland and transitional. The material of the first type includes cotton grass, white (sphagnum) mosses, wild rosemary and other plants that are not very demanding for water and food. High peat is a mass of practically not decomposed components. The compound of the second type includes sedges, remains of tree species, green (hypnum) mosses, reeds, reeds, horsetails. This peat is a completely decomposed mixture. The transition mass is an intermediate state between the first two. On the ground where this material is formed, wild rosemary, cotton grass, sedge, mosses (sphagnum and green) and other plants grow. The mass of high and transitional types is characterized by high acidity. In this regard, such a peat as a fertilizer in its pure form does not apply. At the same time, the riding material is considered to be an excellent substrate for growing vegetables and seedlings in greenhouses.

The use of peat fertilizer

Many owners of the backyard area are worried about the question: "Is it possible to use the compound in its pure form for feeding?" Some summer residents, as a rule, who have little experience in housekeeping, try to buy peat in large quantities. They scatter it on the beds, placed in thick layers under shrubs and trees. But is it advisable? More experienced gardeners are in a hurry to warn: this is not good harvest. Despite the fact that the compound of the transitional and lowland type consists of 40–60% humus, it is not recommended to use only one peat. Organic fertilizer is poor in nutrients. There is, of course, nitrogen (this component is present in amounts up to 25 kg per ton), but this element is poorly absorbed by agricultural plants. So, from a ton of compound, crops get no more than one and a half kilograms of nitrogen, and other nutrients even less. That is why soil fertilization with peat should be carried out in conjunction with other types of top dressing.


To enrich the soil this mineral fertilizer - peat, is undoubtedly useful. One of the advantages of the material is its fibrous structure. Thanks to it, the physiological properties of soils of various composition are significantly improved. After the enrichment of the compound, the soil becomes air-permeable and "breathes" easily and freely. At the same time, the root system of cultures feels excellent. But all these useful properties are characteristic only for the lowland and transitional types. As stated above, high-moor peat is not used as a fertilizer, but it is considered to be an excellent mulching material that harbors crops for the winter. Much, of course, depends on the quality of the soil itself. So, for example, with a high level of fertility, the fertilizer of the earth with peat gives practically nothing. It is impractical to enrich the material and light loamy and sandy loam soil. It’s another matter if the soil is clay or sandy. On a land exhausted and poor in useful elements, the application of the material in combination with other additional feedings will allow to significantly increase the yield, improve the appearance of the plants, and create the most favorable conditions for their development. In this regard, peat as a fertilizer has value only in combination with other materials and in the form of composts.

Important information

For feeding soil use peat from lowland marshes, consisting of highly decomposed elements (at least 40%). The same material is used for composting. Peat, the degree of decomposition of which is less than 25%, is used on animal litter. The best material is a transitional and lowland type with a neutral reaction (non-acidic). It should have a degree of decomposition of about 30-40%, and zonality - about 13-15%. Lowland peat must be ventilated before direct application. Frozen material is more easily crushable. In addition, in this form, it is evenly distributed throughout the site, decomposes fairly quickly. As a result, the previously inaccessible nutrient components become available. Peat, which is intended for top dressing, should not be overdried. Its humidity should be at least 50-70%. Dry material poorly retains moisture, almost not wetted and decomposes rather slowly. It adversely affects sandy podzolic soil, especially in the dry season. In addition, it should be remembered that there is very little potassium and phosphorus in the material. And these elements are vital for the normal development of cultures. In this regard, it is necessary to add superphosphate, potassium (chloride) and manure in small quantities to peat.

Degree of decomposition

In its pure form, ventilated peat is used for mulching vegetable varieties. It is best combined with sawdust, straw cutting, manure. To determine the degree of decomposition, you should take a handful of material, firmly squeeze it. The resulting lump of need to hold on a sheet of paper (white). Painting smear will indicate the degree of decomposition of peat. The trail may be slightly yellow or colorless. The degree of decomposition in this case is less than 10%. A smear may be slightly brown, sometimes light gray. At the same time there are no sticking fibers. In this case, the degree of decomposition ranges from 10 to 20% (approximately). The trail can be brown down to dark with a black and gray tint, while its surface is smooth and the lump stains your palm. In this case, the degree of decomposition of 30-35%. The color of the stroke may be very dark - black-brown. At the same time fingerprints are well preserved on the lump. The degree of decomposition exceeds 50%.

Production of fertilizer from peat on the plot is carried out in a certain ratio. All kinds of material are suitable for composting. However, it is best to use ventilated peat, the humidity of which is 65-70%. The ratio of components depends on the time of year. For example, in winter, peat and manure mix 1: 1. In the summer, the proportion changes: 1: 4 or 1: 3. If peat with a high degree of decomposition and horse manure is used, in winter the ratio of components is 3: 1, and in summer even 8: 1.

Composting methods

There are two options for creating dressing: focal and layered. In the latter case, peat is placed on a specially prepared site. The layer must be at least half a meter so that the slurry does not leak into the ground. Then manure is laid. Layers alternate until the height reaches 1-1.5 meters. The last stack peat. If the ratio is 1: 1, then the thickness of the layers of the stack can be 25-30 cm. It is not recommended to raise the compost pile above one and a half meters. From the sides it should be covered with garden soil or peat. This ensures a special microclimate inside the heap. Periodically it is necessary to moisten the compost with water with superphosphate (for a bucket of 100 g of compound). If you have difficulties with manure, you can apply diluted slush (for a bucket of water, 5 kg of mullein or 0.5 kg of dry or 2 kg of fresh bird droppings). During the summer, you need two or three times to shovel the compost pile well. In this case, the top layer should fall down, and the bottom, respectively, up.

Focal composting

In this case, it is necessary to put peat on the prepared special platform. A layer of material is not less than 50-60 cm. Then manure is placed in the middle and along the entire stack. The thickness of its layer is 70-80 cm, and its width is less than peat. If manure is not enough or liquid litter is not used, then it is better to put it in a pile in the form of intermittent separate foci. The fecal mass from all sides should be lined with a peat layer of 50-60 cm. In the summer the heap needs moisturizing. To do this, use water or slurry. In the process of stacking the stack in the composts, it is advisable to add potash mixtures per 1 kg of weight of 0.5-0.6 kg of top dressing. Depending on the acidity, lime is also introduced.

Features of top dressing

It is necessary to say for a start that it is impossible to “pereudobrit” with peat. Submitted material in the fall and in the spring. Peat must be evenly distributed over the plot, digging the ground on the spade bayonet. As a rule, the following ratio is practiced: for 1 m 2 of the site 30-40 kg of material. It is also recommended to pour peat under shrubs and near-trunk tree circumferences, as well as to the places of subsequent planting of crops (a layer of 5-6 centimeters). To neutralize the acidity of the material should be applied dolomite flour or lime (one hundred kilograms of 5 kg of "neutralizer") or wood ash. The latter is added in the ratio of 100 kg of peat to 10-12 kg.

Peat formation

In nature, various plants and organisms that live in swamps or overgrown reservoirs become extinct, as a result of which a mass is formed, with time it becomes more and more. Peat formation occurs under conditions of minimal oxygen and high humidity.

Depending on the stage of decomposition of organisms, several types of peat are distinguished:

  • Horseback when pressed layers are not completely decomposed.
  • Lowland when decomposition occurred completely.
  • Transitional peat is a state of mass between the upland and lowland species.

A person fertilizes the land with different means, but it is peat that is familiar with its useful qualities from ancient times, therefore it is used not only in agriculture, but also for working on private land plots.

Peat as a soil fertilizer

Many gardeners and gardeners believe that the land can be cultivated by peat alone, although this is a misconception, despite a large percentage of humus in it, it is not recommended to fertilize the soil in this way. This is easily explained by the fact that the composition of the peat mass includes a minimum amount of nutrients, it should be noted that it contains enough nitrogen, but it is difficult for the plant to absorb this additive. Experts do not advise using only peat as a fertilizer, since only a maximum of 1.5 kg of nitrogen per ton of land is needed, and other elements are also needed for the development and growth of crops. For fertilizing it is necessary to use other mineral as well as organic fertilizers.

Besides the fact that peat contains humus, it also has a porous structure, due to which the physiological qualities of the soil are significantly improved, this applies to any composition. Due to this fertilizer, the earth allows water and oxygen to pass through, breathes with ease, without difficulty, and the roots of the plant in such an environment feel good. This applies to lowland and intermediate types of peat, if we talk about the top type, then it is best to use it only to protect plants from frost.

For some types of soil, peat does not play a role and does not give anything as a fertilizer, especially with respect to fertile land. But if the soil in the area with admixtures of clay or sand is depleted and it lacks organic matter, then peat with additional fertilizers will change the situation for the better. Crops will bring a good harvest, and indoor plants will get the look.

Peaty soil is valuable only with the addition of other mineral or organic substrates or in the form of compost, which is especially useful for plants.

Positive qualities of peat

This type of fertilizer has many positive features, if used correctly, for example, feeds not only depleted soil, but also gives it lightness, makes the structure porous, so that air and water more quickly enter the root system of plants.

In addition, peat is an antiseptic of natural origin, therefore cleans the soil from harmful bacteria, supports the microflora and protects against various harmful bacteria and fungi. In addition, it easily increases the acidity of the soil, if necessary, thereby increasing the effectiveness of fertilizers. The optimal pH should be 3.5, otherwise peat, as fertilizer can harm crops.

Important! Improper use of such raw materials as fertilizer will lead to the fact that plants will grow slowly, and in some cases may even lead to death.

Negative influence

Some gardeners do not know how to properly use peat, so they make various mistakes in the process of tillage, for example, it is not recommended to bring it in a continuous way. To it should be added and other feed, organic or mineral species. You cannot use high-moor peat in the form of fertilizer, since there will be no sense, since in most cases it is used for mulching. For the sandy and fertile soil, the peat mass, as an organic fertilizer, is not suitable.

Making peat by hand

All works of composting begin with the fact that a place is being prepared for its placement, for example, a box, the raw material is laid in layers, between which are ground or manure.

In order for it to become fertile, it should be laid in layers no more than 50 cm thick, or it should be thoroughly mixed with the remnants of plants. A distinctive feature of peat is that it retains moisture well, so during its storage it is necessary to cover tightly, otherwise rains will lead to the formation of a wet and heavy mass, which subsequently can not be dried.


Self-prepared compost needs to be moistened until the raw material is loose, so that the water does not run like a stream, if you squeeze the fertilizer with your hand. In the box where the peat will be stored, you must put a good layer of drainage, for example, from the branches. As a rule, many soil harmful microorganisms do not live in an acidic environment, the pH of which is 5 units, this indicator is less in peat, therefore, before it is composted, it is necessary to feed raw materials. To do this, add lime powder and ash, in any quantity, thoroughly mixing.

In agriculture, there are two types of peat composting:

  • Layered, when the mass and manure are laid in layers, alternating between raw materials, until the height of the stack is equal to 1.5 meters.
  • Focal, when first of all put peat, and then along and in the middle of the pile of manure.

Manure is laid on all sides, and in the summer, water or liquid is added to the stack, and besides, peat compost is useful to add fertilizers from potassium, lime, considering the acidity of the soil.

Fertilizer with peat plants and seedlings

For seedlings and crops, fertilizer is prepared once per season, applied in the fall or spring, under digging, thereby increasing soil fertility. In terms of its composition, peat is tight, so it should be slightly modified before being embedded in the soil. When spring comes, remove the film, which covered the peat mass for the winter, add fresh feces and mix well, leave to stand for a maximum of two days, then scatter it on a new drain to make the fertilizer loose and fill it with oxygen. After use, close again to prevent rain, and leave to mature until autumn.

peat formation

The main disadvantage of this fertilizer is that it does not contain clay and sand, as well as a stone, which create a drainage effect.

Sand and clay are very important for the soil, and the latter is even more so because it contains all the nutrients so that they are not washed, it helps to form high-quality humus elements. In simple words, clay is a favorable basis for fertile soil. The fact that the peat mass is formed in a swamp environment makes it rich not only in humus substances, but also in organic matter. The parameters of the ratio of sand and clay does not matter, as long as these components are present.

Для удобрения грядок достаточно вносить по несколько ведер и песка, глины, не забывая и о других обычные минеральные удобрения, особенно это касается азотных соединений. Плодородная почва удобряется, а торфяной грунт должен обрабатываться в обязательном порядке, так как многие вещества практически отсутствуют в таком сырье.

Как правило, фосфор и калий добавляют или торфяной компост, или прямо на клумбы, в процессе их создания. In fact, they already have compost heaps, as they mix in as much manure and bird droppings as possible, grass mass and fertilizers, as well as ash and other additives, phosphate and dolomite flour. After everything is mixed, a bunch is left to infuse and ripen for at least several months.

You can also look at the video on how to get, use and store peat as a fertilizer.

Peat is widely used in modern garden plots. The main thing is to follow the recommendations for its use and not to make blunders. Then the soil in your gardens and gardens will be:

How to use peat as fertilizer

The use of lowland and transitional peat at the dacha as a fertilizer allows to improve the physiological properties of the soil, making it more air-and moisture-permeable. Also, peat has a beneficial effect on the development of the root system of plants.

It is best to apply it on sandy and clay soils. To feed fertilizer on the basis of peat fertile land with a humus level of 4-5% is irrational. But is it worth it to make loam, an open question, discussions on this issue are still underway.

Since high-moor peat can provoke acidification of the soil, it is not used as a fertilizer, used only for soil mulching. However, it is worth making a reservation that there are several plants that require exactly acidic or slightly acidic soil when planting. These include blueberries, heather, rhododendron, hydrangea. Such plants fertilize and mulch with top type of peat.

In order for the effect of peat feeding to be maximum, it is necessary to use peat, which has a degree of decomposition of at least 30-40%. Also, when entering into the soil need to pay attention to such important points:

  • lowland peat before use is subject to ventilation and grinding,
  • dressing material should not be overdried (optimum humidity - 50-70%).
Airing is necessary to reduce the level of toxicity of peat. To do this, it is placed in piles and kept in the open air for several days, or better, two or three months. At the same time heaps need to be shovel periodically.

To do this, you need to take a handful of peat, squeeze in a fist, and then hold on a white sheet of paper.

If a weak trace remains or is not visible at all, the degree of decomposition is no more than 10%.

A trail of yellow, light gray or light brown color indicates 10-20 percent decomposition.

The brown, gray-brown color indicates that peat has biomass in its composition, decomposed by 20-35%.

With the highest degree of decomposition - 35-50% - the peat will stain the paper in rich gray, brown or black color, while the stroke will be smooth. Also he will stain your hand.

If peat contains substances that have decomposed 50% or more, the strip on the paper will be painted in dark colors.

The use of peat on the garden plot is possible with:

  • soil application to improve its composition,
  • preparation of the substrate for planting,
  • as a raw material for the preparation of fertilizers,
  • as mulch to shelter plants before winter,
  • for the manufacture of peat blocks for seedlings, strengthening the slopes, lawn arrangement.
It is often used in mixtures with humus, turf ground, and other components.

The main purpose, why you need to make peat, is to improve soil properties. To achieve it, peat at any time contribute 2-3 buckets per 1 square meter. This will be enough to increase the level of useful organic matter by 1%. Such top dressing can be done annually, gradually bringing the level of soil fertility to the optimum.

When mulching is used as pure peat, and mixing it with sawdust, pine needles, bark, straw, manure.

Peat compost: how to make and how to fertilize plants

There are several options for making compost from peat.

Peat compost. Ventilated peat moisture 70% lay a layer of 45 cm under a canopy or film. They make in it a recess into which the animal feces is poured, sprinkling them with peat so that they are completely absorbed. On each side, compost is strengthened with earth to create a special microclimate. When the compost material is dried, it is watered. It will be suitable for use after a year. It is better to apply in the spring. Consumption - 2-3 kg / 1 square. m

Compost from peat and manure. For the preparation of this fertilizer will fit any manure: horse, poultry, cow. The principle is to lay a layer of peat (50 cm) and a layer of manure in turn. The height of the bookmark should not exceed 1.5 m. Peat is used as the top layer. Once every 1.5-2 months, the compost should be mixed, changing layers in places.

You should also periodically water herbal infusions, an aqueous solution of potash fertilizer, slurry.

Compost from peat, manure, sawdust. This recipe will tell you how to get a valuable self-made top-dressing based on peat. It is prepared like a layer cake. A layer of peat is poured down, sawdust is laid down with a layer of 10 cm, weeds, tops, and food waste 20 cm high. Then, if available, a 20 cm layer of manure is filled.

A layer of peat is laid on top. The whole pile should not exceed 1.5 m. From the sides it is covered with earth. Apply this compost after 1-1.5 years. All this time it is necessary to mix it, pour it with a solution of superphosphate, slurry. Make spring at the rate of 1-2 kg / 1 square. m

Compost is applied in the same way as manure - it is simply scattered with a shovel around the site or sprinkled the soil around the trunks of plants, followed by digging, introduced into the wells before planting. You must adhere to the following recommended guidelines:

  • for digging - 30-40 kg / 1 square. m,
  • in a pristvolny circle, a hole - a layer 5-6 cm thick.

Peat as a fertilizer: all “for” and “against”

We considered the main characteristics and properties of peat and what it is used for. In this section we will try to understand the feasibility of using this fertilizer, as well as compare its useful properties with other organic matter.

The use of only one peat as a fertilizer is incapable of producing the expected results - it is better to use other types of dressings in the form of organic matter and minerals.

Today, when organic fertilizers have appeared in a wide accessibility for sale, gardeners and gardeners have a difficult choice in choosing which top dressing to give. If you are wondering: peat or humus - which is better, then we note that they are both good and not inferior to each other in their nutritional properties. However, the peat will need much less than humus. So, for example, on a plot of 10 square meters. m will require peat - 20 kg, humus - 70 kg.

Plus, you need to understand for what purpose you want to use a particular fertilizer. If the soil is very poor, then you first need to improve its structure with the help of peat, and later attend to its fertility, making humus. You can also use peat digging, and cover with a layer of humus on top for a better effect.

Often there is a dilemma before owners of badlands: peat or black soil - which is better. Huge plus chernozem in a large content of humus - the organic part, which is necessary for plant growth.

However, this black soil is the most infected with diseases and pests, which threatens future harvests.

Peat also contains humus in an amount sometimes exceeding that contained in black soil. If it is mixed with sand, perlite (vermiculite), humus, then this substrate will surpass black soil in its properties.

Now you know the complete information about peat, what it is for and how to apply it correctly. If peat fertilizers are really shown on the land in your area, then do it correctly and efficiently, in order to avoid negative consequences.