Peat vs No Peat

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Green Aura
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229762Post Green Aura »

Tony try to read to the end of the sentence, honey! :lol:

I know they had different numbers, what I don't know is what each number meant in terms of the different mixes.
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229764Post Odsox »

I did read the end of your sentence Maggie, I was just explaining what the numbers meant for quick reference ... 1, 2 & 3, - seed, potting & re-potting.
Your dad reinforces my other comment about how we gardeners used to be a lot more technical, mixing our own, making up our own, before the age of dumbing down. :lol:
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Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229809Post Green Aura »

:oops:
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229818Post Dave »

:icon_smile: thought saying the old's were stuck in there ways might get a little rise out of you
Plus I also take issue on your dismissal of using peat as a soil improver ... peat can't disappear ! The very fact that it get absorbed within a few months surely means that it is a very good soil improver
- Maybe it won't disappear in a peat soil but why would you need to add it to it? Put peat into clay soil and it's back to clay very quickly, unlike good old compost or manure. Peat is not very biologically active, that is to say it doesn't contain many microorganisms. These are what release nutrients from minerals and plant matter in the soil and turn it into a form the plant can take up. A high acid soil improver, like peat, inhibits the growth of microorganisms and as a result is LOW in fertility. Peat is only good for holding onto water, nothing else.
and if peat in the soil is so bad ... how come the fens are so sought after for commercial vegetable growing ?
- It is as much for the increased solar energy and flat easy to plough lands as anything else. Check some Norfolk postcodes on this http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes/ - doesn't seem that fertile to me!

I don't think a few gardeners using peat in Ireland from down the road is the real issue. It is garden centres selling grow bags and multi-purpose bags which people pick up without thinking about it and nurseries using it for plugs and bedding plants. Vast amounts are extracted every day for use in the horticultural trade and it is not needed. It gets replenished so slowly it simply isn't sustainable to use it - we're using it far quicker than it can come back. Once its gone we'll have to use other things anyway so why not keep it and use substitutes in the mean time?

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229820Post Dave »

I really should be getting on with something else but the fertile fenland issue got my mind working. I've been looking at postcodes in the fens and yes they are fertile, however this seems to be on chalk or clay land not acid peaty soils.

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229823Post oldjerry »

The soilscape thing is interesting,but soil structure has always been a bit mysterious to me,but I do know from experience that you can 'create a soil' in a surprisingly large area,not just allotment size,but considerably bigger,a friend and neighbour of mine, over a period of a few years has turned 2 or 3 acres of moonscape(high moorland subject of at least 2000 years of mining and quarrying) into 2 fields which crop well for hay just by rock picking,minimal drainage and continued mowing.

Bit of a digression ,but what gets a rise out of this old git is enviromental tokenism.The previously mentioned nursery(now defunct) where we used the peat free stuff used it to supply small banana plants in 'enviromentally friendly' pots to the retail shop at The Eden Project.......you've got to laugh really , huh !!........

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229831Post pelmetman »

Off topic, when we bought some of the farmers field behind us to extend the garden, I was amazed at the condition of the soil..........................totally infertile no structure..............in short it was just mud :shock:

Which todays farmers use to hold plants in place whilst they spray it with every chemical they can :roll:

I'm slowly bringing it back to life with our own compost, but even with 5 bins I can only have enough to improve the bit where I grow my veg, fortunately flowers and trees don't need to much compost :mrgreen:
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229894Post Dave »

what gets a rise out of this old git is environmental tokenism
Don't get me started on that subject, haver you come across 'degradable' packaging? It breaks down into tiny pieces proving a bigger environmental hazard than non-degradable packaging.
On the soil subject, since studying soil science I can't stress how important it is to pay attention to the soil. A good healthy living soil will pay you back no end.
Where I work we dug in compost in the first year then added a mulch of leaf mould in the autumn and spring. Now in the second year we've added more compost and turned compacted clay to a fertile workable bed.

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 229902Post Green Aura »

Have you checked the pH, Dave? I'm guessing it'll be pretty acidic - have you added some calcified seaweed or similar?
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 230449Post Dave »

It is fairly high in places but not as bad as you might think, we do correct it when we need to but the compost and leaf mould does a lot.

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 230454Post red »

I've never used peat based compost.. my bought in seed and potting compost of choice is new horizon. it has changed and is more woody lately.. but i have no probs growing anything in it.

trying to use our own more and more these days
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 230781Post Dave »

Hello Nicky, have you tried the vegetable compost from New Horizon? It's much better than the woody one.

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 230782Post red »

Dave wrote:Hello Nicky, have you tried the vegetable compost from New Horizon? It's much better than the woody one.
yeh I've used both.. the new one is much less woody isn't it? big improvement. - but for big seeds.. the woody one works out too.

I looked at making my own using coir etc.. but thats imported.. so i figure.. and i hope im right.. that this wood chip based one is the best environmentally.. if i have to buy it.

and one of the good things about the soil here in south devon is it mostly red in colour.. but once you have lots of compost worked into it, its more brown.. so you can see how you are doing :icon_smile:
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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 230803Post Rosendula »

I haven't read all of the replies on here, but I have tried some 'Neopeat' recently, which is a peat alternative made from coconut (I believe). It's dried and compressed into small blocks, so a block about a foot square and about 4inches deep, when put in water makes a whole wheelbarrow load of 'peat'. OK, it's not environmentally ideal because it has been transported a long way, but it didn't say on the packaging what it was made of or where it originated (it said Doncaster, but I was only there a couple of weeks ago and I saw no coconuts. Lions, yes. Coconuts, no.)

Anyway, I have put a couple of blocks of this stuff in the chicken area and the ladies love it. It makes the poo so much easier to clean up because it coats the slimy stuff, it's perfect for scratching about in (not like the clay I put it on), and makes a fantastic dustbath. I also mixed a bit with some really poor-quality peat-free compost I got from B&Q that was slimey when wet, and formed a solid block that still looked moist when it was dry and was totally useless. It's really improved it and meant the carppy compost hasn't gone to waste. And I sprinkled some over some grass seed I sowed and the grass actually grew! I have a patch of grass! :cheers: Unfortunately, cats love pooing in it so my patch of grass has fairy rings around bald patches where the poo had been (even though I cleaned it up every day). :roll:
Rosey xx

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Re: Peat vs No Peat

Post: # 230808Post gregorach »

Rosendula wrote:some really poor-quality peat-free compost I got from B&Q that was slimey when wet, and formed a solid block that still looked moist when it was dry and was totally useless
Oh yeah, I bought a load of that last year, it was rubbish. One to avoid!
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