- Buy peat-free, recycled composts for all your general garden use and Find out the best riding lawn mower for hills that will ensure that you evenly distribute the compost in your garden.
- If you can’t find peat-free compost, look for low-peat composts instead – any reduction in peat can help make a difference
- Reuse your compost – just add more fertilizer and it can be used a second time
We all want to do our bit for the environment and protect rare plants and animals, and using peat-free compost is a great place to start. Here is some helpful advice on how to go peat-free in your garden. Peat is a natural resource formed over thousands of years in peat bogs. These bogs gradually build up a store of carbon and are home to many rare plants and animals – that is until they’re dug up and used for garden compost. Harvesting peat for compost not only damages these important habitats, but it releases CO2 emissions into the atmosphere that contribute to climate change (as much as the annual emissions of almost 100,000 houses). Back in the 1970s, peat was the main ingredient in garden composts, but these days there are lots of alternatives to peat-based composts. And because they’re made from materials such as wood waste, coconut husk, recycled garden waste, and wood fiber, they’re low carbon and will reduce your CO2 emissions.
You’ll find that peat-free composts are suitable for almost all your general garden uses and will be as effective as the peat-based options you might be using now. There are just a couple of very specialist uses and plants (eg carnivorous plants native to peat bogs and some moorland acid-loving plants) for which certain peat-free products might not work as well as peat yet. You can read more about this here, but new peat-free alternatives are being developed all the time. Once you’ve bought your peat-free compost, make sure you read the instructions carefully. Some peat-free composts have slightly different feeding and watering requirements to peat-based composts. Diarmuid Gavin, a TV gardening expert, says: “Gardeners’ concern about what they can personally do to help protect the environment is at a record high.
But it can be a struggle to find easy ways to make a big difference. Using peat-free products in your home and garden is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to make a positive environmental impact and reduce your carbon footprint. There’s a much wider range of peat-free products now available since they were first introduced in the 1990s. And for most uses in your garden, the performance of these alternative products is now just as effective as peat. So hopefully gardeners will give it a go and realize they can have blooming good results with environmentally friendly peat-free products.