There are some areas of gardening where there is no excuse for using peat, or precious coir either for that matter. One is in soil improvement, where recycled materials such as farm manure, Lakeland wool clay breaker, Happy Soil Improver and also Bloomin’ Amazing are wonderful in making your soil healthier. You can also make your own garden compost. This not only reduces the amount of debris going to landfill but it also creates a very useful material out of your garden waste.

All of these products are fibrous materials, which will open up heavy clay soils and allow water and plant roots to move freely. They will also create a living environment full of healthy bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and microorganisms, keeping your plants healthy. On a sandy soil, the material will give your soil some body, holding it together and also helping with moisture retention.

The second area where there is simply no need to waste precious resources is with mulching. Mulching is the process of laying material on top of the soil, with the benefits being a reduction in weed growth, conservation of moisture in the soil, a reduction in the damage caused by heavy rain and long-term soil improvement.

Materials such as chipped or composted bark are ideal, but so is Bloomin’ Amazing and the straw based Strulch.

Bloomin’ Amazing comes from a local source, as it’s a by-product of a bio gas plant near Poundbury and is the material left over once the gas extraction process has been completed.

Bloomin’ Amazing and Strulch also have slug controlling properties, which I learned of quite by accident. A couple of years ago, we were helping build a garden for a hospice at the Bath and West Show. It contained lots of vegetable plants and growing the plants for such a garden can be nerve wracking, especially with the vegetables. I was worried about slug damage, but determined not to use pellets. As the days went by though, there was no sign of slugs, which puzzled me. I had mulched around the plants with Bloomin’ Amazing and then a few days later after a conversation with a rep from Bloomin’ Amazing discovered that the feedback they had been getting from customers was the same. As well as being an excellent mulch and soil improver, it also has slug deterrent properties!

All that goodness, no downside and definitely no peat.