Why You Should Switch to Peat Free Compost

Why You Should Switch to Peat Free Compost

If you’re an avid gardener, you’ll know the importance of using quality compost to ensure healthy, lush plants and gardens. But have you ever considered using a peat free compost?

Peat free compost is an environmentally friendly compost option that has a lot of benefits. In this blog, we’ll be discussing why you should switch to peat free compost, as well as the benefits you need to know.


What is peat free compost?

Peat free compost is a soil-like substance made from various organic materials such as bark, bracken, wood fibre, and green waste. It is a sustainable alternative to peat-based composts, as the process for peat extraction is a major cause of habitat destruction and can have a serious negative impact on the environment.


What actually is peat?

Peat is a type of organic matter that is formed from the accumulation of partially decomposed plant material in wetland environments. It is composed of plant fibers, woody material, and other organic material that has been slowly accumulating over thousands of years. Peat is an important natural resource for humans, as it can be used for energy production, soil amendment, and other industrial purposes. Peat is formed when plant material accumulates in wetlands that are permanently or seasonally wet, and decomposition is slow due to the anaerobic conditions. The plant material accumulates over time, forming a dark, spongy material known as peat moss. Peat moss is a valuable resource and is used in gardening, horticulture, and other industries. The formation of peat requires a wetland environment with low oxygen levels, which is why peatlands are often found in areas of low elevation such as bogs, mires, and fens. Peatlands are important ecosystems, as they provide habitat for a variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms. They are also important carbon sinks, as they sequester large amounts of carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.


Benefits of using peat free compost

The key benefit of using peat free compost is that it is more environmentally friendly than traditional peat-based composts.

Peat free compost has a long-lasting effect on the soil. It helps to improve the soil structure, and its organic matter helps to retain moisture, which can be beneficial in drought-prone areas.

It's also a great source of nutrients for plants and gardens. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which help to promote healthy plant growth and development.


The environmental impact of peat extraction

Peat extraction is a significant cause of habitat destruction. Peatlands are home to a variety of rare species, and their destruction can have an irreversible effect on the local ecosystem.

Peat extraction releases high levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it's used as fuel, contributing to global warming.

Peat extraction also depletes the soil of essential nutrients, which can have a long-term effect on the fertility of the soil.


How is peat extracted?

Peat extraction is done by first removing the top layer of soil, which is usually a layer of organic matter such as leaves, twigs and bark. After that, they dig down to the peat layer, which is a brownish layer of material composed of partially decomposed plant remains. This layer varies in thickness from a few inches to several feet. Once the peat layer is reached, it is then cut into blocks or chunks. The extracted peat is then dried and compressed for transportation. Peat extraction can be done manually, with machines, or with a combination of both.


The economics of peat free compost

The cost of peat free compost is often higher than peat-based composts. This is due to the fact that peat free composts require more labour and materials to produce.

However, the long-term cost-effectiveness of peat free compost more than makes up for the initial cost. Its long-term benefits include improved soil fertility, better water retention, and healthier plants and gardens.


Types of peat free compost

When it comes to choosing a peat free compost, there are several options available. Most peat free composts are made from a mixture of organic materials such as bark, bracken, wood fibre, and green waste.

There are also a variety of different formulations of peat free compost, such as composts specifically designed for container plants, or those with added fertilisers. Choosing the right type of compost for your plants and gardens is essential for optimal growth and development.


Benefits for plants and gardens

Peat free compost is great for plants and gardens. It helps to improve soil structure, retain moisture, and provide essential nutrients to plants and gardens.

Its organic matter helps to improve the soil’s fertility, which can help plants to grow and develop better.

Some of the nutrients found in peat free compost are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for healthy plant growth and development.


How to use peat free compost

Using peat free compost is fairly straightforward. It can be used as a top dressing for container plants, as a soil amendment, or as a potting mix for seedlings. It can also be used to make a compost tea, which is a great fertiliser for plants and gardens.

When using peat free compost, it’s important to mix it with other materials such as sand, perlite, and vermiculite to help improve drainage and aeration. It’s also important to water it regularly to ensure that the compost maintains its structure and moisture.


Tips for making your own peat free compost

Making your own peat free compost is a great way to save money and reduce your environmental impact. You’ll need a variety of organic materials such as bark, bracken, wood fibre, and green waste.

If you can, you should mix in other materials such as sand, perlite, and vermiculite to help improve drainage and aeration.



Peat free compost is a great option for those looking to reduce their environmental impact and improve soil fertility.

While the cost of peat free compost is often higher than peat-based composts, its long-term benefits make it a great choice for those looking to create a healthier and more sustainable garden.

So, if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly and cost-effective option for your garden, why not give peat free compost a try? It could just be the boost your garden needs!