Peat free compost is compost that does not contain peat. So what is peat?
What is Peat?
Peat is made from vegetation that has partly decayed due to forming in wetland areas such as bogs and peatlands. It creates a fertile growing medium that retains moisture prefect for gardening and growing plants.
What is wrong with using peat?
It takes thousands of years for peatland environments to develop and peat is a massive carbon sink meaning that it holds a lot of carbon. Although peat is not deemed a fossil fuel or renewable it has the same kind of carbon emissions as a fossil fuel.
Harvesting peat not only releases the carbon it holds, but destroys the peatland environment reducing its ability to reform and renew itself, massively reducing the potential of this carbon sink.
What is the UK doing about this?
There was a petition in Autumn 2019 regarding the ban of the sale of peat compost. The response was that it was phasing out peat ‘in the amateur sector by 2020, and the professional sector by 2030’. The concerning this is that I have yet to see any difference in the mainstream garden centres. I hope that this changes in the near future.
What can I do about this?
Firstly stop buying compost that contains peat. Secondly compost at home and use your own compost on the garden. This is the cheapest way to get good quality peat free compost. Check out my post on how do I start composting? However, this is not always practical. If this is the case there are places you can buy peat free compost.
Where can I find peat free compost?
- Local Garden Centre
- Household waste recycling centre – these sometimes sell the compost from the garden and kitchen waste they collect.
Here is a list of links for peat free compost: