Peat free compost is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional peat-based compost. It is made from a mixture of sustainable materials such as coir, wood fibre, green waste, and composted bark. This type of compost is becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the negative impact of peat extraction on the environment.
Peat bogs are important ecosystems that act as carbon sinks, and their destruction through peat extraction releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. By using peat free compost, gardeners can help to reduce the demand for peat and protect these valuable natural habitats.
While we all should already be making the change from peat based compost to peat free before long it will be compulsory.
While peat-free compost offers several advantages, there are also some potential issues to consider, and knowing these issues will help us tackle and improve our growing media.
Nutrient content: Some peat-free composts may have lower nutrient content compared to peat-based compost, which could require additional fertilization to support plant growth.
Peat free compost often has lower water retention properties compared to traditional peat-based compost, due to the absence of peat which is known for its excellent water-holding capacity. This can result in the need for more frequent watering, especially in dry conditions. However, by incorporating water-retentive materials such as vermiculite or perlite, and adding organic matter to the soil, gardeners can enhance the water retention capabilities of peat free compost
Peat free compost may also not be able to draw water up effectively so may need to water from the top rather than sitting in a tray of water
Top tips for going peat free
1) Make your own compost
2) Mix and blend with other ingredients
3) Water wisely
4) Feed plants routinely
By making these changes, gardeners can contribute to the preservation of peatlands and reduce their environmental impact, ultimately creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to gardening and horticulture without negatively impacting their garden.