This year we have significantly increased our peat-free range and introduced new signs to provide clear information to help you select the best peat-free compost for the job. We hope that we can encourage and help you to confidently and successfully switch to a peat-free alternative.
What is peat and how does using it effect climate change?
Peat is used in growing media to enhance soil condition; it helps to improve its water and nutrient retention. Peat is made up of decayed organic matter and vegetation that has developed in lowland or wetland bogs over thousands of years. It is a precious and unique eco-system to wildlife. The extraction of peat can contribute towards climate change because peat bogs act like a sponge, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it safely underground. When they are dug up the carbon is released into the atmosphere.
Why should I consider switching?
Peat has been a major ingredient of the growing media used by gardeners for many years. This peat is dug out of precious wetlands in both the UK and overseas. Over 94% of the UK’s lowland peat bogs have been destroyed or damaged. There is some good news – as awareness of the damage caused by destroying peat bogs has increased, the total peat extraction in the UK has halved since the year 2000. It is important to keep this figure reducing and find effective alternatives to using peat.
How can I be sure that I choose the right peat free to work for me?
Peat can be effectively replaced in compost with materials such as bark chippings, wood fibre and coir (coconut fibre which is a waste product). Peat-free compost can perform very well, especially if you purchase the right compost for the job.
How might it differ from my normal peat-based growing media?
You might find that it has different watering or feeding requirements. Be careful not to simply go by initial appearances, some of them can look dry on the surface but are still retaining water. Follow any guidelines on the bag, both for fertilisers it recommends or which plants it says will grow well. This will be based on evidence from supplier trials. We are conducting our own trials so will be sharing our own experiences with you throughout the year. The Perrywood team is on hand to offer advice and answer any further questions you may have. Why not try a bag of peat-free compost today?
Brands to look out for at Perrywood
The houseplant compost range from Growth Technology is now peat-free.