potting soil-without peat

11 Alternatives To Peat In The Soil

Peat is contained in almost all garden soils. We show which environmentally friendly alternatives are available to replace peat and give tips for peat-free gardening. Peat replacement is an important topic in climate protection. We explain which properties have made peat in substrates so successful and show good alternatives.

Why is peat in the garden soil?

Peat is a good base for garden potting soil. This is because it stores water well without the roots suffering from lack of air and thus starting to rot. In addition, its pH value and nutrient content can be flexibly adjusted depending on the plant to be cultivated. Last but not least, it is light and easy to transport when dry.

But unfortunately, peat also has disadvantages: Peat is a finite resource, and its extraction and uses release CO2, which should actually remain stored in the soil. Further degradation of peat prevents former moors from being rewetted and resuming their work as a CO2 reservoir.

Because of its advantages and disadvantages, both professionals and hobby gardeners should use peat as a substitute within the bounds of their possibilities.peat pots

Alternatives to peat

Environmental protection is close to the heart of every garden lover. But of course, our green thumb should not have to suffer from it. Alternatives to peaty soil are mixtures of different materials that make gardening without peat possible. We would like to introduce you to common peat substitutes.

Wood fiber, wood chippings

Both are made from untreated wood scraps. They provide a loose, airy substrate, but store hardly any water. Wood fiber has little structural stability. Wood chippings are coarser and therefore have little water storage capacity, but good drainage properties. Wood materials cannot store nutrients. Apart from organic lawn soil.


Compost has the advantage that it has a high pH-value and hardly sags together. Compost can effectively store and release nutrients and water, which is why it is contained in all organic soils. Quality assured substrate compost is free from plant pathogens and weeds.


Sand can act as a source of iron in substrates, but otherwise hardly stores any nutrients. It has a high weight, which is why mixtures with sand are particularly suitable for buckets that cannot be blown away so quickly. Mixed in sufficient quantities, it ensures good water drainage and adequate root aeration, for example in organic lawn soil.sand


Bentonite is a natural clay mixture of various clay minerals. These can swell due to water absorption. Used in substrates, they, therefore, increase water storage enormously. The clay minerals can absorb nutrients, store them, and release them again when required.

Expanded clay

Expanded clay is produced by the strong heating of clays. Compared to the raw material, expanded clay allows very low water and nutrient storage. When added in sufficiently large quantities, expanded clay improves water permeability and thus root aeration, which is beneficial to organic flowering plant soil.

Coconut materials: coconut pulp, coconut fiber, coconut chips

Coconut pulp is the abrasion of coconut shells. Coconut fibers are completely detached from the coconut and cut into small pieces. Coconut chips are the same fibers but in cube form. All three are structurally stable and store hardly any nutrients. Coconut fibers and chips hold less water but aerate the substrate well.coconut fibers

Rice husks/rice husks

Rice husks are produced when threshing rice. Rice husks are very light and provide a loose, air-permeable substrate. They cannot store large amounts of water or nutrients.


Perlite is a volcanic glass that expands and becomes porous under high heat. It is pH-neutral and does not retain any nutrients. It stores small amounts of water, but when mixed insufficiently, it loosens up substrates so that the roots are well aerated.earth-with pearlite

Pine Bark

Pine bark is obtained from the Mediterranean pine. It is structurally stable and ensures good aeration in the substrate. It contains hardly any nutrients and can be easily adapted to the needs of each plant with fertilizer and lime.


Xylitol is a precursor of lignite, i.e. incomplete incoherent plant parts. It is a by-product of lignite mining. It is very structurally stable and provides an airy substrate with good water storage. In addition to the alternatives mentioned, bark humus, brick breakage, and vermiculite are also used, for example, in peat-free and peat-reduced potting soils.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *