‘Avoid peat’: Monty Don shares top tips for potting compost in winter – ‘it is cheap’

‘Avoid peat’: Monty Don shares top tips for potting compost in winter – ‘it is cheap’


Monty Don calls on gardeners to stop using peat

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Potting compost has many benefits including improving soil structure, maintaining moisture levels, and keeping the soil’s pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease. It will have everything plants and soil needs to improve their condition, but what is the first thing to do when posting compost?

Monty wrote: “The first thing is to avoid peat. 

“This is not because peat itself is a bad growing medium – it is cheap, reliable and consistent. 

“But none of this justifies the loss of peat bogs caused by extraction for horticultural use. 

“We are using peat at around 200 times the speed that it can reform and over 95 percent of British peat bogs, which are essential for a whole range of birds and plants, have been lost this century.”

Monty explained that extracting peat for gardening releases huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, increasing global warming.

He added: “Extracting peat is every bit as damaging to the climate as cutting down the rain forest but much harder to renew. 

“It is an ecological and environmental disaster.  

“It cannot ever be justified.”

Cleaning: Mrs Hinch fans share 37p ‘easy way’ to clean an air fryer [COMMENT]
4 hacks for preventing window condensation [TIPS]
Houseplant expert shares the best plants to naturally purify the air  [EXPERT]

Monty suggested that coir is a good alternative to peat.

He said: “Coir is very effective especially if mixed with home-made garden compost and/or leafmould. 

“Composted bark works very well in most cases. Composted bracken makes an excellent ericaceous alternative, as does composted pine needles. All are widely available.”

The gardening expert explained that by mixing in “extra goodness” and “improving drainage” for the ease of “root development” you can make the compost better.

Monty wrote: “I start with a measure of my own garden soil. This should always come from your own garden as it will have its own specific ecosystem. 

“Also keep a supply of well-sieved garden compost in a bag and add a shovel or two to each mix. 

“Finally invest in some bags of horticultural grit and add this liberally to ensure good drainage and a free root-run for the growing plants.”

Monty discussed that some weeds may appear in the soil.

He said: “They are very easy to remove. Most importantly your plants will be healthy and specifically adapted for your soil from the first day.”

Monty stressed the importance of always using fresh potting compost for every new planting.

He added: “Even though used compost might look perfectly good, most if not all of the nutrients will have been used up. 

“Recycle the used compost by spreading it on a border or your compost heap.”

Source: Read Full Article