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Peat free compost.

 
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What do you think of reduced/peat free compost?
I love it
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Its ok
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Not very impressed
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 9

Author 
 Message
biscuitchris



Joined: 14 Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Location: The Fens but moving.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 04 9:05 pm    Post subject: Peat free compost.  Reply with quote    

What do you think of this crap?

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 04 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Charmin' language. There are ladies present, you know

But I agree with the sentiment, much as I don't want to. Several different brands have been pretty disappointing and yup, we've resorted to buying Homebase's own if we want to make sure our seedlings survive.

Any more heartening stories would be welcome.

I think we had a peat reduced one this year that was rather better...but I fear it might be up there with the 79% fat free foods for realistic promises.

Maybe one day we'll have enough leaffall and molehills to knock up our own.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've been using completely peat free composts for the last 10 years or so, and have never had any problems with it at all. I won't use anything else for home growing.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41943
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't have any problems with it. Mind you, I haven't much experience of using anything else to compare it with.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm sure I posted on this before, but I can't see my message...

Peat free compost needs a bit extra. I either add some well rotted stuff from my own compost bin, or I add some rotted down muck. It's then normally fine for the job.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wot Cab sed: Add your own muck and it works a treat. Having seen how peat bogs are ravaged, I can't justify using peat compost any more. I know that's how the Norfolk Broads were created, but modern peat digging is just the rape of the landscape!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44219
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use a mix of different peat free products and have no probs at all. If you must use peat and have loads of wonga then there's always Moorland Gold reclaimed peat from the Organic Gardening Catalogue

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Anybody reccommend a brand (lowlander?) I don't know what is and what isn't and don't trust the labels to tell me - I'll be sending himself to get it, so he needs specific instructions.

biscuitchris



Joined: 14 Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Location: The Fens but moving.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think that the peat free stuff still needs more work on it to get it up to the standard of peat. This is some what suprising as peat has very little nutrients except what is added later. I found that germination was fine albeit the stuff looked claggy, but later the seedlings seemed to slow down. The other seed trays with peat based compost were quite markedly ahead. This was with the same seed hence my negative comments. Is not the use of peat, recycling a waste product? The organic products laid down in the peat beds are locked up. By using the peat we let these products back into the enviroment. ...Just a thought.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 04 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can't remember the name of the main brand I use - I get it by the 20 bag loads through John at the farm shop where I get the milk; he uses it for his organics, it's SA approved. Will try and remember. When that's gone, or before it arrives, I use one called something Horizons which is very good. I occasionally use B & Q peat free organic compost (their name) which I have also found to be good. I think I'll have to have a delve through the rolled up bags in the shed to find out the names of what I use!
I have used Moorland Gold, but not keen on it; I found it too fine, and it capped over after watering.
We also have a lad in a van from Devon who comes round in the summer with some at a very good price, and I get a lot from him too. Again, can't remember the name, though.................
Sorry that wasn't much help, really, was it?

bimini



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 04 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use New Horizons (I guess that this is the same stuff that Sarah D uses). It is the best I've tried.

tinyclanger



Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Posts: 190
Location: in the kitchen, baking
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 04 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi,
have a look at this...


http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/ksheets/peat.html#peatbog

its an article from Kew Gardens website. Says it all really.
Tiny

Guest






PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 04 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The use of peat for compost (growing media) started off about 40 yrs ago as a way of using the waste top layer of peat when it was cut to burn in power stations and cement factories, until then, gardeners had made their own composts to closely guarded recipes. The problem with peat now is that the most cost effective way to get it is to trash virgin peat bogs, usually SSSI's, cos' the damaged stuff is too expensive to process. The French have no natural reserves of peat and manage without it very nicely, thank you. Have a look at the Friends of the Earth website and the Peat Producers Association (might have been renamed) then make up your own mind.

As for using peat-free compost, it needs careful watering, it often looks dry on the surface but is wet lower down, it forms a salt crust more easily, and is therefore better watered from below, and as it is still fairly new, we're all on a learning curve. This year I made my own from leafmould, loam from a turf stack, garden compost and growmore,seaweed meal and bonemeal as fertilisers, beat the heck out of peat based in my own trial.

Hope I wasn't ranting!

Tristan

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