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Soil-based peat free compost

Can anyone suggest a brand name for a compost of this sort. I'm after a John Innes type compost but peat free? I really don't like using those fibrous multi-purpose composts, and I can't find a John Innes type that is peat free. I like putting my plants in a compost that is like nice soil!!



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,109

    surely ALL John Innes compost is peat free? I've seen some peat based composts "with added JI compost" but I'm pretty sure JI compost is peat free.

  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,021

    JI composts are loam based as far as I'm aware. Seedling compost and JI 1,2 and 3 are the usual. No peat in any of those.

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • TootsietimTootsietim Posts: 178

    John Innes composts contain peat. By volume they are 7 parts loam, 3 parts peat and 2 parts sand for the No 1,2 & 3. plus various nutrients.

    I am not aware of any peat free variations, (although  by definition they would not be 'John Innes' compost ) 

    It might be possible to make your own version substituting the peat for an alternative.

  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,021

    i didn't know that tootsietim, I just assumed because it was loam based that it didn contain peat! How wrong was I. Thanks for putting us right.

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,949

    My understanding is that the "added JI" refers to the addition of nutrients as formulated by John Innes, not to addition of the "potting medium" itself. 

    Think I heard it on GQT years ago. 


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Look for Melcourt products, Sylvagrow range, all peat free. I stock the stuff and use it and it has produced some good results for me.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,109

    I have to confess, I've never bought JI compost. Too flippin' pricey. I've used peat bases MPC all my life, I'm used to it and I'll only change when I can find something as good, for the same, or lower price.

  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,021

    It is pricey hostafan, I tend to mix it with MPC to make it a bit looser and eek it out.

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,109

    I've yet to hear why peat free compost is so expensive. ( generally )

    My gut feeling is they're just ripping folk off who are trying to do their bit for the environment.

    I'm just a cynic, I know.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Hostafan, the answer is that after reducing our peat supply to nil putting people out of work and closing some industries they now import it from Eastern Europe. It is still the best seed medium and the big plant growing firms still use it by the ton. It appears others take advantage of any bans put on and they can manage to circumvent the ban but it costs. 

    The result for us gardeners is a very poor type of potting soil from so called green plants where it is heated to higher temperatures than we can manage in our Compost bins then bagged complete with sticks stones plastic and anything else that gets in the mix.

    I riddle the compost removing extraneous matter then mix it with washed sand and grit. One third compost one third sand one third grit for seeds. One half compost and one half sand and grit mixed for potting seedlings then two thirds compost and one third sand and grit for potting on, it has worked for me for donkeys years but I much preferred peat it is what I grew up with.

    Rant Over.


    Last edited: 14 March 2017 10:19:11

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