The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener
“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781
This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around my work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield
Peat has long been used within the horticultural industry both as a growing medium used in composts and as a soil conditioner. It is a natural product composed of slowly decaying plant material built up over many thousands of years.
It is harvested primarily from lowland raised peat bogs, an increasingly endangered form of habitat along with the flora and fauna that it supports. But this is not all, it efficiently locks up atmospheric CO2 forming an effective and vital buffer against climate change.
Fortunately advances in recycling and composting technology has rendered the use of peat redundant for most conventional gardening purposes. Peat free compost is made up mainly from recycled waste organic material such as bark, sawdust, coir, paper etc. blended with inorganic materials such as sand , grit or perlite, with fertiliser added as appropriate.
A simple guide on how to avoid using peat in the garden:-
Only purchase composts specifically labelled as being “Peat Free”
Use recycled garden waste as a soil improver and conditioner. Traditionally gardeners have done this for themselves by constructing their own compost heap, high quality recycled composts are also available from many municipal authorities
Source plants from nurseries and garden centres that have peat free policies
Plant only what will already grow in your existing soil without adding peat
It is the policy of Tim Brayford Landscapers to avoid using peat and peat based products