Peat-free garden advice

Following the governments announcement that it hopes to phase out the use of peat-based garden compost among amateur gardeners, a national newspaper has published tips on the alternatives.

Using such materials can have an environmental impact both in terms of lowland raised bog habitat destruction and the carbon cost of extracting it.

The Guardian recruited the help of Wrap waste reduction adviser Peter Hill, who has previous experience of garden centre management, to help readers with the issue.

He explained that it can be confusing for growers trying to make an ethical choice about compost as, unless the products are labelled peat-free, they can contain anywhere between 70 and 100 per cent peat.

He advised eco-conscious gardeners to opt for compost that is not only free of peat, but made from recycled garden materials that would otherwise have been sent to landfill.

"Ive been using peat-free composts for a number of years and wouldnt turn back," Mr Hill told the newspaper, adding that he uses it for his allotment and general gardening activities.

However, the expert explained that such compost is not always great for sowing seeds and that users will have more success if they sieve it and mix it with vermiculite.