Is Peat Moss Good for Your Strawberry Plants?

When preparing your soil for strawberry plants, it is important to use an appropriate medium to amend the soil and achieve the ideal pH level for healthy strawberry growth. Peat moss is a common soil amendment medium, but is it suitable for strawberry plants?

Peat moss is good for your strawberry plants because strawberries typically thrive at a lower pH, around 5.5-6.5. Peat moss naturally lowers the soil’s pH level and increases acidity, making it an ideal soil amendment for strawberry plants. 

The rest of this article will explain peat moss and how it affects strawberry plants. I will also share some alternatives to peat moss and provide helpful tips for growing a flourishing strawberry garden. Read on, and you’ll be fully prepared to plant a thriving strawberry patch!

Peat Moss Creates Ideal Soil Conditions for Strawberries

Peat moss is highly acidic, and when mixed with soil, it raises the soil’s acidity. Strawberry plants thrive in acidic soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5.

Before planting strawberries, you should test your soil to check for high pH levels. If your pH level is above 6.5, adding peat moss is an excellent solution. However, you must do more than simply sprinkle the peat moss on top.

For the peat moss to have a real positive impact on the strawberry patch’s soil, you will need to add 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) of peat moss layers per plant. This is an adequate amount to lower your soil’s pH level by about 1 point and should be adjusted accordingly depending on the current pH level of your soil.

The peat moss must be about 6 inches (15 cm) down from the plant, so it will take time and effort to amend your soil effectively. However, completing this process should improve the acidity of your soil for up to two years, meaning next season, you won’t need to do it again! 

If you want to mix peat moss into your soil before planting your strawberries, simply mix one part soil and one part peat moss until thoroughly combined. Starting with healthy soil for your strawberry patch is the easiest way to encourage successful growth. 

Are There Any Alternatives?

While peat moss is proven to be effective and used commonly in vegetable gardens around the world, there is some controversy surrounding its use, as some claim that its use is harmful to the environment

Harvesting peat moss can damage the environment, as the bogs from which it derives are home to many fragile ecosystems and animal species. These bogs are also an essential source of fresh water.

If you are looking to achieve a healthy level of acidity in your strawberry patch but prefer to avoid using peat moss, you can try some of these alternative soil amendments:

  • Coconut coir comes from the material between the coconut seed coat and the outer shell. The material is ground up and creates an excellent medium for increasing acidity in the soil. 
  • Compost is made easily at home from decomposed, organic materials. 
  • Aluminum sulfate is a compound that can balance out soil pH levels but needs to be accurately measured and used carefully. You should always use a gloved hand to distribute and only use it in safe amounts.  
  • Elemental sulfur can be tricky to add to your garden when plants are already in place, so it’s a good idea to use this amendment before planting your garden.
  • Cottonseed meal is highly acidic and an excellent fertilizer! It is also commonly used as animal feed.

How to Grow a Flourishing Strawberry Patch

Strawberry patches are a lovely addition to any garden with their sweet fruit, luscious greenery, and gorgeous red berries. While strawberries are one of the simplest gardens to grow, spreading rapidly and producing more and more fruit each year, it is important to take proper care of your patch for it to flourish. 

The essential steps for adding peat moss to a strawberry patch are: 

  • Identify the variety of your strawberry plants.
  • Calculate the number of strawberry plants in your patch.
  • Test the soil before adding peat moss.
  • Work peat moss into the soil of your strawberry patch.
  • Use raised, contained beds to prevent excessive spreading.
  • Harvest your berries as soon as they turn bright red.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these helpful tips:

Identify the Variety of Your Strawberries

Before adding peat moss to your patch, you’ll want to evaluate which type of strawberry plant lives in your space to determine whether peat moss will benefit it. 

There are two main types of strawberry plants

Ever-bearing strawberry plants steadily produce smaller berries throughout the entire summer. Because the harvesting season lasts so long, these plants are ideal for growing if you like snacking on strawberries over the summer season. You may have fewer berries available at any time, but they will continue to produce for 2-3 months.

As the name suggests, June-bearing strawberry plants produce berries mainly in June. Although strawberry production only lasts about 3-4 weeks, the bounty is extensive, giving you plenty of berries to preserve in various forms for the rest of the year. 

Both June-bearing and ever-bearing strawberry plants can benefit from applying peat moss. Still, it is important to identify which variation you have to know whether your plants are producing as they should. 

Peat moss can aid in creating the right environment for healthy growth, but if you expect quick, high-producing berries out of an ever-bearing plant, for example, you may wrongly assume the peat moss isn’t doing its job.

Calculate the Number of Plants in Your Patch

Applying the right amount of peat moss to your strawberry plants is essential to successful growth. Using too much can cause adverse reactions in the plant, while applying too little can have no effect at all, rendering your efforts useless. 

You’ll need to calculate how many strawberries you have planted to identify precisely how much peat moss you need. 

Test the Soil Before Adding Any Amendments

Strawberries prefer acidic soil with a low pH level. Before adding peat moss, you should test the soil for acidity, as this will help you determine how much peat moss to add. Again, the ideal pH level for strawberry growth is about 5.5-6.5. 

If you don’t have a way to test your soil, I recommend the Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Kit (available on It is perfect for keeping on hand for quick, accurate pH tests, whether you need it for indoor or outdoor soils. Each kit includes 100 pH test strips featuring a simplified design for better accuracy and a full-color handbook to help you interpret precise results. 

Should you be using a well-balanced potting mix or amended soil, your soil reading is likely above 6.5, probably at or around 7, which is neutral. If this is the case, you can add peat moss to lower the pH and raise the acidity. 

If your soil test results indicate the pH is in the ideal zone for strawberries, there is no need to add peat moss, as this would lower the pH too much, causing adverse effects on the plant.

Work the Sphagnum Moss Into the Soil

Typically, it is best to apply peat moss in a 2-to-1 ratio, meaning two parts soil to one part peat moss.

As explained above, you can accomplish this ratio with 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) of peat moss worked about 6 inches (15 cm) deep into the soil. By combining the moss with the soil, you will reap the benefits of peat moss without damaging the nutrient-rich soil that your strawberry roots rely on for growth. 

Put a layer of peat moss over the soil, and use your hands or a hand rake to combine. Mix the materials thoroughly to ensure a consistent pH adjustment throughout the soil. 

Use Raised, Contained Beds to Prevent Excessive Spreading

Strawberries love to multiply! They naturally spread over time as “runners” or pieces of the plants reach over and start to grow beyond their intended patch.

For this reason, growing strawberries in a garden bed is an excellent idea because the walls of a garden bed prevent the strawberries from spreading beyond the strawberry patch.

If you have other plants growing nearby, the raised beds will help keep them safe from being taken over by strawberries!

Harvest Your Berries as Soon as They Turn Bright Red

Once your strawberries turn bright red, harvest them immediately! Strawberries can quickly become mush when exposed to the hot sun. Ideally, you should harvest berries during the coolest time of the day, usually early morning or after the sun has gone down.


Peat moss is an excellent amendment for strawberry plant soil and will provide extra acidity, lowering the pH of your strawberry patch. While commonly used and effective, there is some controversy over the use of peat moss due to its potential environmental damage. 

Alternatives to peat moss include coconut coir, compost, aluminum sulfate, elemental sulfur, and cottonseed meal.

To learn more about ways to lower your soil ph, you could check out my other article: 5 Natural Ways to Make Soil More Acidic

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the founder of and its lead content writer. He created the website in 2022 as a resource for horticulture lovers and beginners alike, compiling all the gardening tips he discovered over the years. Alex has a passion for caring for plants, turning backyards into feel-good places, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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