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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Plant Propagation, increasing your stock of plants in Ireland.

Peat Free Compost for seeds/cuttings?


 
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Esthalon
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Peat Free Compost for seeds/cuttings? Reply with quote

Hi,
I'd like to be peat free and last year tried a peat free multipurpose compost for cuttings and seeds but I wasn't very happy with the results. It may have been just the bag/brand I got.
Can anyone recommend anything?
Thanks!

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Belfast
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Joined: 23 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the problems people have with peat free compost is how it is used.

if you treat peat free compost the same as peat it will not work well.

watering is very different in peat free compost and hard to judge.

It is a much more difficult medium to manage than peat.

edit
RHS weight the pots to see when they need watering as compost on top can be bone dry and underneath very wet.

for this reason most commercial nurseries do not use it.

It can work but results are not as consistent and plants not as big.
edit
main problem is moisture retention is not very consistent

Peat free compost are not as good as peat based ones.


Last edited by Belfast on Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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cathd
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possibility for peat free compost is coir (coco- fibre) - but it is low in nutrients. However, if you use it as a bedding in a worm composter, the compost produced can be of very high quality. I haven't done it this year (too mean to buy the coir ) but last year, I placed a large quantity of worms in some moistened coir, added food waste-( but being careful to add nothing with seeds) and only left it for about two weeks. The resultant 'compost' or coir with added worm poop (castings) was brilliant for seed starting.
As for cuttings- although I haven't tried it myself, plenty of 'wormers' swear by just placing their cuttings directly into their wormery and they root really well. (Not sure what they do about light but the moist conditions and the natural growth hormones in worm castings seem to get things going)
I have had things root unintentially in a wormery- mint stalks being one thing that springs to mind.

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Belfast
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Compost quality challenged by consumer study Reply with quote

Compost quality challenged by consumer study
http://www.letsrecycle.com/do/ecco.py/view_item?listid=37&listcatid=217&listitemid=9587

we my all have to use peat free compost soon.

Look Like the English are going to ban them
Phase-out for peat-based compost by 2020 announced
http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2010/100308a.htm
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cathd
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aldi is doing Peat free compost on thursday- 2.99 for 40 litres. I got this last year and it's lovely stuff- really dark black and crumbly. Very fine- no big lumps of undigested wood and bark and other rubbish unlike many of the more expensive peat free alternatives.
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