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A peat-free compost is top in UK Which? magazine trial

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default A peat-free compost is top in UK Which? magazine trial

Post by Compostwoman on 14th March 2011, 7:43 pm



The results for the container compost trial are in - and as ever
there were big differences between the best and worst. This year, two
composts share the top spot - and one of them is peat free.

This is significant as peat-free composts often get a bad press. In Which? Gardening's recent trial of composts for seed sowing and growing on young plants,
we found that peat-free composts have a way to go to match the
performance of peat for sowing seeds and growing on young plants. However the picture is often more positive when it comes to container composts, and this year is no exception. Our Best Buy peat-free compost outperformed seven peat-based composts - and was the cheapest in our trial too.

What's the problem with peat?

The
use of peat is the subject of much debate in the horticultural world.
Some professional growers and gardeners are adamant that peat is
essential for growing healthy plants. However environmentalists say that
peat is a valuable store of carbon and a precious wildlife habitat. The
previous government set a target for growing media, mulches and soil
improvers to be 90 per cent peat-free by 2010, but this was not met by
the horticulture industry. Although the 2010 target wasn’t
reached, good in-roads were made and many manufacturers are looking at
peat alternatives. Meanwhile Defra has recently launched a consultation
on proposals to phase out the horticultural use of peat by amateur
gardeners in England by 2020 and to eliminate peat use by all gardeners,
growers and procurers by 2030.



Read the full article here

Compostwoman

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