Are you buying compost for your spring planting? Make sure you are Peat Free!

We all know now how valuable our peat bogs are in absorbing carbon, so it is really important we don’t buy peat. In previous years we have been depressed by the response “there’s no call for it” from garden centres when asked for peat free, but this year there seems to be much more peat free compost available, and some suppliers are at last growing their plants in peat free compost too. One of our team went out last weekend to try and find out what peat free compost is available where. This list of course may not be exhaustive, and you need to check prices and availability before you set out, but this at least gives you an idea of where you can find peat free compost locally. Words like “eco friendly” and “green” may just be hogwash: check it really is completely peat free when you buy.

List of peat free composts close to Wilmslow area

Listed in no particular order:

  1. Parker’s garden centre, Lees Lane, Mottram (3.6 miles): they have very accessible stand devoted to only Peat free Composts in the carpark near the entrance. Access is excellent (they do sell composts with a lot of peat in as well)
  2. Hadfield’s since 1755 in Macclesfield: check collection times on line. They stock Dalefoot and a host of other things!
  3. Westland New Horizon 50L (3 types): Tomato, fruit & veg & shrubs, plants & trees:£6.99 or 2 for £12 
  4. Miracle-Gro 40L (New range this year: 4 types): fruit & veg, azalea ericaceous, moisture control & All purpose: £6.99 or 2 for £12. (NB on Amazon 40L of Miracle-Gro peat free compost is £12.05!)
  5. Woodford garden Centre (Nottcutts):  (4.7 miles) very keen on peat free composts and have not sold 100% peat for 10 years. Have to go right through to the back to access the composts.
  6. Miracle-Gro 40L all-purpose peat free £6.99 (3 types)
  7. Westland New Horizon 40L £5.99 peat free 
  8. Melcourt Sylvagrow 15L £5.49 (3 types but waiting for new stock)
  9. Happy Compost (3 types) 50L £6.99 2 for £12
  10. Wilmslow Garden Centre (Strikes): Do not sell much peat free compost and definitely do not promote it
  11. Westland New Horizon 50L peat free with coir (one for all plants and one for vegetables) £7
  12.  Bud garden centre (budgarden.co.uk): small & privately run, in Burnage (11miles) is completely peat free in all their potted plants and all the compost they sell. They sell Dalefoot in a bag for life.
  13. B&Q Stores are committed to becoming a peat free retailer: bedding plants are grown in peat free medium & peat free composts sold at the same price as peat composts (see their website for their peat free policy) 
  14. Verve peat free multipurpose peat free compost £2 for 50L; poor reviews on this one 
  15. Miracle-Gro peat free multipurpose compost 50L 2 for £10 a mix of recycled green compost and forest by products! Now reduced online to £1 for 50L; good reviews.
  16. Westland New Horizon £4.55 (also at Homebase, Wickes & Amazon)

       F  Booths supermarket Hale Barnes (5.4 miles)

  • Dalefoot Wool and Bracken peat free compost £7 for 30L see www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk for their range of 5 peat free composts.

NB the Wilmslow garden centre have got  mountains of bags of peat (mostly not peat free) ready for the spring rush of gardeners, but the vast majority of people will not know why putting peat compost on their gardens is releasing CO2 to the atmosphere and damaging fragile peatlands. Importantly the price of peat free composts is mostly about the same price as peat containing composts, depending on where you go e.g.:- 

  • £6.99 for 50L bag of Westland Gro-sure (50% peat)  
  • £5.99 for 50L bag Westland Jacks Magic 50L (100% peat) plus a little seaweed, all-purpose compost
  • £6.99 for 50L Westland new Horizon peat free coir compost 

The Melcourt Sylvagrow and the Dalefoot composts are all very highly rated by gardeners. They are as good as, or better than peat. 

PS Pumpkinbeth.com has an interesting website and she has done comparison trials on different peat free composts.