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For pete's sake! Questions on peat free.

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I often have John Innes composts and multipurpose composts delivered from a garden centre, but I don't know what ingredients goes into it. I don't know whether they contain peat, and if so, then how much. Should I be asking my garden centre whether they can supply me John Innes (loam based) composts which are peat free alternatives? And should I be asking them to supply me something similar to multipurpose compost which is a peat free alternative too (assuming that multipurpose does commonly contain peat)? Are 'peat free alternatives' generally readily available, and are they as good for plant health and plant development as non peat free (usual) composts? Please can anyone explain? I am concerned that I may until now have not been doing the right things by the environment re the composts I have been using, and I am keen to do what is right. Help appreciated.



Westland Composts do a peat free John Innes, though I doubt very much that yours will be peat free if it doesn't say anything on the bag.

30 Jun, 2009


Have a look at
when this was discussed in quite a bit of depth, Jonathan. I hope this can put your mind at rest a bit.

30 Jun, 2009


Good question, i,ve read the hamish question too.
I bought a plant and the label said to use peat free compost, yet the pot it was in contained 65 % peat.
The raised bed the plant is in has peat free compost in it and it dries out quite fast but the plant is doing well.
I,m doing another raised area and will try normal compost on it, (peat included)

30 Jun, 2009


I decided on peat free compost this year due to a. peat bogs disappearing and b. the dreaded weevil which loves peat based compost. I have started all my beans - French and runners - tomatoes - sweet peas - cucumbers - peas and courgettes in a basic peat free compost and they are all doing exceedingly well - nothing added.

1 Jul, 2009


Here there are companies producing a really good compost from forest debris. You can buy a trailer load of 'peaty' stuff at reasonably low cost. It works just as well as peat, except it tends to dry out a bit more easily, and for established plants it's a good idea to add some base fertiliser. There really isn't any need to destroy peat bogs or import 'coir' compost from the other side of the world, which they should be using to enrich their own soils.

1 Jul, 2009

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