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Peat compost?

FireFire Posts: 17,116
edited April 2018 in Tools and techniques
Anonymous poll: When you buy compost or soil conditioners, what do you chose? How do you feel about using peat? 

Multi-purpose compost, unless it's labelled 'peat free', contains around 70+ % peat

Peat compost? 79 votes

I use products containing peat because it's clearly the best growing medium
22% 18 votes
I don't use peat for environmental reasons. I look for peat-free options.
49% 39 votes
I keep an eye out for peat-free options but am not much bothered
8% 7 votes
I use whatever is to hand or cheapest
12% 10 votes
there is no real problem with using peat so I keep using it
3% 3 votes
I didn't know there was any problem with sourcing and using peat
0% 0 votes
I don't really care
1% 1 vote
I never buy any such products (soil conditioner, compost, manure blends etc)
1% 1 vote


  • B3B3 Posts: 25,155
    I've got the guilts :|
    I mostly use my own compost, but it's quite weedy so I buy a small bag of commercial compost for my seeds and I don't check how much peat it contains.
    I've seen the terrible scarring of the land in Ireland but it is also used for fuel there. I don't know what the proportion of usage is - whether it's for compost or fuel .
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I use the peat that's recovered from reservoirs and doesn't damage peat bogs. It's called something like "Moorland Gold", I order it from the organic gardening catalogue.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    This isn't about judgement. I'm just interested to know how much of a question it is for gardeners these days.
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    edited April 2018
    I think the debate will continue. If the manufacturers insist on selling us wooly fibre and recycled waste full of twigs and plastic, as MPC then I have no problem leaving it on the shelf. At least things grow in peat based products and that's what I want.
    SW Scotland
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,041
    edited April 2018
    If Ireland has so much peat it can use it to fuel power stations, I'll carry on using it to grow plants.
    "The amount of peat used in power generation had been reduced from six million tons in 1990 to below 3.8 million tons this year."óna-defends-using-peat-to-generate-electricity-until-2030-1.3238271 
  • I would prefer not to use peat or any other non-renewable but it is not always readily available. Homebase had peat-free on offer earlier in the year but it seems that once the stock ran out they stopped stocking it. So, I do keep an eye out for peat-free options and I am bothered but I do still use mpc due to cost and availability issues. In 2010 Defra proposed that all garden centres would stop selling peat based compost by 2020, but there doesn't seem much likelihood of that happening. By 2015 peat-free represented only 9% of the market (up from 5% in 2010).

    The fact that Ireland uses peat as an energy source, and exports masses to supply the UK gardening market does not mean they have limitless supplies. It means they have an environmental catastrophe happening to the wildlife that depends on it, and they will fail to meet their carbon reduction targets.
    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,041
    I'm old enough to remember being told we shouldn't use John Innes composts because it was depleting the Surrey Loam Beds.
    I also remember being told there was enough coir lying about to last us 300 years then shortly afterwards hearing that virgin forests were being cut down to plant more coconut trees , just for the coir.
    Hey ho.
  • I remember being told by our technical drawing teacher at school "Boys, if you must smoke outside the top gate then at least smoke a pipe". Apparently pipe tobacco was considered better for you, plus I think he had a Bing Crosby thing going on. There's always a fug of poor information about these things, but it seems a good principle that if in doubt don't use up the things you can't grow again (except for Mares Tail).
    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,041
    I remember seeing a "Public Health " film where an unmarried mother went to see the Doctor. 
    He pulled up a chair for her and when she sat down he got his fags out , handed her one, and then one for himself and lit them both while they discussed her pregnancy.
    How things change .
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    I remember visiting my grandfather in hospital and the patients.....him included ....were smoking in their beds!
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