• Duration: 01.02.2022 – 31.01.2025
  • : Renewable raw materials

Joint Project: Model and demonstration project "Hobby gardening with peat-reduced and peat-free substrates based on renewable raw materials”; Subproject 3: Marketing recommendations

The content of this subproject is divided in two work packages (WP) that deal with the following tasks:

WP4: “On-site projects with manufacturers and trade”

WP6: “Application support via an app (or browser-based solution)”

WP4 adapts the findings from interviews with hobby gardeners, choice experiments and real-life laboratory from WP1 in combination with insights from the botanical displays in WP2 into marketing recommendations. As part of this work package, seminars are organized with manufacturers to elaborate a deliberate marketing strategy. At the same time, the findings support the composition of training material in online form to provide sales personnel with practical knowledge and to make relevant information available for consumers as well.

In WP6, the knowledge from the real laboratory (WP1) and the demonstration projects (WP2) is applied to offer users a decision-making aid when working with peat-reduced or peat-free potting soil. The aim is to develop a digital interface (app or browser-based solution), which will be pretested in a practical test by the participants in the real-life laboratory and then made freely accessible to interested parties.


The reduction of peat in growing media used in Horticulture makes a significant contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and thus to climate protection in general. In line with the strategic measures adopted by the German government, such as the Climate Protection Plan 2050 and the Program of Measures for Climate Protection 2030, the BMEL is pursuing, among other things, the implementation of this strategy through the targeted reduction or complete avoidance of peat in Germany. A key focus of this peat reduction strategy is the transformation of recreational horticulture, according to which suitable peat alternatives will be available to hobby gardeners in the coming years and they should thus no longer be dependent on peat.

The Project as a whole pursues the overall objective of promoting the substitution of peat products in private and hobby horticulture with peat-reduced and, in particular peat-free substrates based on renewable resources. accelerate.

Due to the variable composition of the ingredients as well as the inconsistent manufacturing processes, peat substitute products have so far generally not offered the same functionality as conventional growing media. To ensure the usual growing success, they therefore require behavioral changes among hobby gardeners. On the one hand, the project investigates and identifies influencing factors that indicate a change in purchasing behavior. On the other hand, the experiences of the project participants will be formulated into application-oriented recommendations, which will be used to design training courses and online training for manufacturers and retailers as well as for consumers. In the form of a practical digital solution (app or browser application), long-term support for hobby gardeners will ultimately be ensured in order to promote the use of the novel peat substitute substrates as easily and smoothly as possible.

Project funding and partners

The project is funded under the Renewable Resources (FNR) funding program of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and is expected to run for three years from Feb. 1, 2022. Project partners are the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences and GreenSurvey - Institut für Marktforschung GmbH.

Project lead (HSWT)


Lead of collaborative projects (external)

Workpackage lead (external)


Adressierte SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)