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PEAT-FREE GARDENING

pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,145
Here’s some information from the Wildlife Trust about their desire to stop peat extraction for adding to garden compost.

It lists some well known suppliers and their efforts to go peat-free.

It also makes suggestions about what to use instead of peat.

At the end is a petition asking that the government acts too.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-go-peat-free


Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,072
    Thank you, this is a useful summary. I have never bought non-peat-free compost so that bit's easy for me, however I have neglected to be so careful when buying plants (not that I buy many).

    I was reading this article the other day, and thought the suggestion of composting comfrey leaves with leaf mould to make a peat-free potting compost was interesting.
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/dec/06/comfrey-gardens/
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,089
    I've been using peat free compost for years but last year was a difficult one for getting hold of things so I dabbled in coir. Turns out to be pretty good stuff though you do need to add plant food. Its great for bulking out other composts too. You can buy it in dried bricks and just add water so that makes it easier to transport and to store.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 27,582
    edited 2 May
    what about the eco damage transporting coir half way round the world?
    Devon.
  • Chris-P-BaconChris-P-Bacon Posts: 134
    Hostafan1 said:
    what about the eco damage transporting coir half way round the world?
    Not to mention the energy required to produce it. Which will increase exponentially as peat free compost becomes more mainstream....still comes in plastic bag too.
    There is a myth that because something is waste or a by-product that it automatically becomes either environmentally sound or sustainable.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,963
    Coir is very efficient to transport. Have you seen the compressed bricks of the stuff that expand to 10x their size when wet and felt how light they are? The main problem is we buy it from the garden centre already expanded in big plastic bags with the extra weight of the added water when we could be buying smaller bags of ingredients and mixing our own at home. Or adding it to homemade stuff for extra volume.
  • FritillariaScotlandFritillariaScotland AyrshirePosts: 45
    This is the first year I've used peat free compost and it seems to be working well but I've noticed that it looks much lighter and drier in containers. It's it because we've not had a lot of rain the past few weeks and my pots need more water or is it down to something else? 
  • CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 273
    I wonder if it might depend on the brand @FritillariaScotland

    I had always had this problem with peat free compost (and often also with bad batches of the other stuff) but I'm using the Peat Free Miracle Gro stuff this time around and it seems to hold the water much better.
  • hatty123hatty123 West YorkshirePosts: 74
    I use New Horizon as it's the only brand I can get in shops local to me and it's pretty good at holding moisture. But I read the bag the other day and it contains coir in the mix - something I prefer not to use! 😐 I've also had a couple of tons local household waste compost for filling new beds. I've used some for sowing bean seeds but it just doesn't seem to hold any water so won't be doing that again, and will be adding plenty of manure and top soil when I put it in the new beds.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,089
    Hostafan1 said:
    what about the eco damage transporting coir half way round the world?

    I agree that there is a problem with the fact that it has to be transported but right now a lot of the commercial peat free brands are not up to the job. I used to use New Horizon but had such a bad batch one year that I have never bought the stuff again. It just wouldn't drain and my tomato plants barely existed in a suppurating stew of foul smelling compost. Last year a local firm produced a pretty decent peat free compost but of course that is no help to the wider population. There seems to be a lot of variation in quality from year to year with the products available from the big manufacturers.
  • Chris-P-BaconChris-P-Bacon Posts: 134
    Ceres said:


     <SNIP> I used to use New Horizon but had such a bad batch one year that I have never bought the stuff again.There seems to be a lot of variation in quality from year to year with the products available from the big manufacturers.
    And therin lies the peat-free problem @Ceres. Consistency. 
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