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Another petition: Ban peat compost for garden use

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  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,812
    That poll is slightly misleading though. In my case for example I'm still using 3 bags of JI compost every year knowing it contains peat because I can't find a viable alternative for certain plants but I only use peat free for everything else. I have no idea what the peat content of the various JI brands is though and there's no requirement for them to state it.
    I would like to see peat sold separately as 100% peat and JI becoming a  recipe that gardeners have to mix themselves. Peat sales could then be regulated rather than banned. Stick cigarette packet style warning labels on it if necessary. 
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,931
    The standard JI base formula is (if I remember rightly) approx. half loam, a quarter peat and a quarter sand, by volume.

  • nicktennickten Posts: 118
    Most people who buy compost from places like B&Q and Asda have no idea about what peat is, what it does, or where it comes from and probably wouldn't notice if their compost was peat free. Ban it, I'm sure commited and informed gardeners will be able to work out a solution for needy planting.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 12,060
    edited April 2021
    I say that if the bag doesn't have 'PEAT FREE' on it in large bock capitals, the compost is going to have peat in it. Unless it's something like mushroom compost, but even then, you have to look closely at the actual list of ingredients because these products (like food) turn out to have 'mostly' the thing featured in blocks on the packets but also a load of other things only mentioned in the small print. 'Hazelnut milk' for example, contains around 2% hazelnut milk.

    Peat compost is one example of many where we consumers have to break common current habits and preferences and find new ones. Eating lots of meat all the time, flying everywhere, having 12 children and transporting perishable fruit, veg and flowers half across across the globe are not sustainable patterns. It's not comfortable, it's a political and and corporate hot potato, but there it is. We have to find ways to change, without throwing toys out of the pram or putting our head in the sand.

    (I wonder if one can put one's head in the sand throw toys out the pram at the same time. It sounds uncomfortable).
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 10,328
    We need to be slightly careful here, in that some of the suggested alternatives, are also terrible for the environment. Coir production, for example, uses totally unsustainable amounts of water.
    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,912
    So far I haven't found any compost which works as well as peat based.  Most simply doesn't retain water or is so light there is virtually no real structure to it. 
    I wonder how much peat has already been lifted and is ready to be used in compost.  Much like not using plastic pots when millions have already been produced and will otherwise go to landfill, there is nothing remotely ecologically sound about banning the use of peat based compost until all current stock is used up.
  • hatty123hatty123 West YorkshirePosts: 106
    As a relatively novice gardener who's trying to go peat free I've found the lack of clear labelling really irritating. I've been buying new horizon because it's the only one labelled peat free in any local shops and in my limited experience it's fine. I'm going to have to buy top soil soon for a new raised bed and can't find any labeled peat free and have no idea if top soil contains peat? But i do think it would be better if all soil and compost products were upfront about the peat content, if only to enable gardeners to make an informed choice.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,812
    Interesting blog post from Mark Avery here https://markavery.info/2021/04/02/peatfreeapril/

    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 12,060
    KT53 said:
    there is nothing remotely ecologically sound about banning the use of peat based compost until all current stock is used up.

    I don't suppose anyone anywhere is proposing to destroy the peat already dug out.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,912
    Fire said:
    KT53 said:
    there is nothing remotely ecologically sound about banning the use of peat based compost until all current stock is used up.

    I don't suppose anyone anywhere is proposing to destroy the peat already dug out.

    You'd be surprised.  On another gardening group somebody actually did suggest that all remaining plastic pots should be destroyed.  They would probably suggest digging a hole an burying the peat.
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