Most gardeners are interested in the environment and many are committed to actively promoting the environmental benefits of gardening. Some though, won’t be aware that they are using peat and others will want to stop using it, but have been brought up on it.

There are good alternatives out there, but they require some different skills and techniques. #PeatFreeApril is a great time to make the leap and I have every confidence in our customers to adapt quickly – perhaps with a little guidance along the way!

Peat has been used for soil improvement and for mulching in the past, but shouldn’t be now as there are many useful alternatives that are just as effective, or even more so, such as Bloomin’ Amazing, Composted Bark, Happy Soil Improver and the like, plus of course the well-rotted material from your own compost bin.

Peat usage in gardens is a relatively new phenomena, arriving in a big way since the second world war. Gardening has changed though and many of us now garden in pots and containers, as we don’t have the luxury of a large outdoor space. Modern housing density means that gardens are much smaller than they used to be and so growing in containers – and therefore the potting compost we use – is much more important than it was.

But we’ve done this all before; I’m of a vintage where I remember customers saying that they couldn’t bear peat-based composts and found that the John Innes composts (loam or soil based) that they had been brought up on were so much easier to use. There aren’t many of those gardeners left and they eventually did learn to use peat-based compost. So I am confident that we’ll all be able to get to the brave new world of peat-free, but we may need a little bit of help.

We’ve trialed many peat alternatives in previous years and are peat-free in our own nursery, so the team are on-hand and ready to share their knowledge as and when you visit.

Gardening is great for your physical and mental health, but it also can be really good for the environment around you.