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Peat Free. An unscientific study

CeresCeres Posts: 2,583

For years I have been a fan of growing without using peat, if possible. I know a lot of you are not keen on the peat free composts and with good reason; many of them are very unpleasant and give extremely poor results. So this year I decided to compare my favourite with another brand to see how they stood up in the tomato growing stakes.

I use New Horizon (and no, I am not being paid by them to advertise) but the milkman delivers Durstons and it is always worth trying something when you don't have to carry it far. New Horizon is fairly lumpy with the occasional woody bit and Durstons is a joy to handle, being fine and just like good peat. But the proof of the pudding etc. etc. so my greenhouse tomatoes have been planted up with three in New H and one in Durstons and the results are already interesting. Three of the plants are big and butch and growing away nicely, but the Durstons tomato is thin and pale and not doing at all well. Its a 'chocolate cherry' which is normally rampant. I feel it will need a helping hand to catch up with the others.

As I said, unscientific. It could be that I am the owner of a pale and weedy 'chocolate cherry' that is unlike any of its ilk that I have grown in the past. The experiment has been abandoned in order to rescue the pale plant as I can't bear to see it up against the other three.




  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    Interesting.  I used New Horizon for my seedlings.  I switched to Miracle-Gro peat-free for growing on--  mixed with topsoil.   I thought the added feed would be helpful before the tomatoes start to flower and need high K feed.  I've never grown tomatoes before though so don't really know.    New Horizon seemed fine though.  I appreciate you sticking with peat-free and for doing these experiments.  I try to stick with peat free except with my blueberries because I couldn't find any peat free ericaceous compost without an exorbitant shipping rate.    Do you have any idea if topsoil is environmentally sustainable?  It seems they have to get if from somewhere...


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583

    I know that some topsoil comes from building sites.

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