How to grow without peat compost

A national newspaper has published some advice on the topic of peat-free gardening.

The Guardian has responded to revelations that the government hopes to phase out the use of peat-based composts among amateur gardeners by asking an expert for tips.

Wrap waste reduction adviser Peter Hill told the newspaper that there is no need to use such substances.

Peat extraction is a double-edged sword in environmental terms as it damages lowland bog wildlife habitats and is also responsible for increasing carbon emissions.

Mr Hill, who has years of experience as a garden centre manager and is an avid grower himself, explained that gardeners should look for labels that say peat-free in order to help protect the environment.

He added that there are a range of good composts made from recycled garden materials, which saves on landfill space and helps put nutrients back into the earth.

"Ive been using peat-free composts for a number of years and wouldnt turn back," Mr Hill told the newspaper.

He did explain that such composts are not great for sowing seeds, but that the issue can be overcome by sieving and mixing with vermiculite.

Meanwhile, the Morpeth Herald has revealed that local growers will this week be able to get advice from a former BBC Gardener of the Year, as Bob Tridgett is hosting a special surgery in the town.