March 2020Below is an extract from our March 2020 Newsletter. To see a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link in the righthand column.
PROS AND CONS OF USING A PEAT FREE COMPOST
Using peat in gardens releases a million tonnes of CO2 every year. Removing it from composts and grow-bags would cut those emissions at a stroke and would be the same as taking about 350,000 cars off the road. It would also help end the destruction of our precious peat bogs and the loss of birds, plants and insects that rely on them.
With a peat-free or peat-reduced product, you tend to find that they retain water better than a peat product. That can be great during the summer months but, of course, in the winter that can cause a lot of plants serious problems and they become very sensitive to the excess moisture. You have to reduce the amount of water that you use and you may have to mix grit and sharp sand with the peat-free and peat-reduced product, to create ideal drainage and water retention properties in the product.
In the summer, when you're watering pots of bedding plants and pots of tomatoes and aubergines, try watering little and often. Apply the same total quantity of water you would normally use but water over a longer period, just use a trickle supply with a peat-free product which does the job just as well.
The same is true of nutrients. The peat-free product tends not to hold onto nutrients very well. So what you need to do is apply the same type and quantity of nutrient but over a longer period. Instead of feeding once a week, feed twice a week with 50 per cent of the quantity.
The trading centre sells Durston’s peat-free multi-purpose compost in 40lt bags.