Peat Free Compost
At the start of this year, here at The Derwen we have taken the decision to end sales of peat containing compost. Peat Compost has been used for decades by horticulturalists and growers. However our enthusiasm to feed our gardens is doing a lot of damage to the environment.
Peat bogs are created from decayed plant remains from over 10,000 years ago, these peat bogs are home to many plant and wildlife species that can only survive in these unique conditions. Mining raised bogs for their peat destroys these environments and the wildlife along with it.
Peat bogs can also prevent homes from being flooded due to the masses of upland water they absorb, a study by the Wildlife Trusts in Wales carried out tests in Ceredigion and discovered that up to 25% more water could be retained if these peat bogs were properly managed.
Here at The Derwen, we have around 15 arctic lorries full of compost annually, which is the norm for a garden centre of our size. If you scale it up to all garden centres, this amounts to a devastating annual reduction in peat bog coverage, which not only threatens the wildlife that is dependant on the bogs, but also releases a devastatingly huge volume of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To put it into perspective, peat bogs contain twice the amount of carbon stored in all forests combined.
Unless the compost bag says ‘Peat Free’, chances are the bag of compost contains up to 70% of peat.
Gardening enthusiasts account for 60% sales of the UK peat market, if we all try and make a difference by using an alternative product, we will make a difference.
Many gardeners trust peat as a growing medium. But it’s not always ideal. It is a poor mulch, quickly dries out, and is easily blown away.
Peat compost alternatives have been refined over many years to provide a fantastic growing medium. The composts that we have carefully sourced are peat-free, they wet easily, have good water retention, do not blow away in the wind and are pleasant to handle. No dirty peat-stained fingers ever again!
The cost can be higher but that’s because it has to be processed more which takes longer.