The still controversial subject of whether or not to use peat in our gardens. (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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TO USE PEAT OR NOT TO USE PEAT?
With a couple of bright and sunny days at the beginning of last week where else would a gardener go but to a garden centre? Whilst browsing through the various informative leaflets I picked up one about the still controversial subject of whether or not to use peat in our gardens.
This valuable resource has been much loved by gardeners for many, many years and is made up of decomposed plant remains which over hundreds and thousands of years have become compacted to form peat.
Before making up our own minds perhaps we need to consider some hard facts. Peat bogs are our most threatened wildlife habitat, the loss of which would impact on a wide variety of plants, birds and insect species. Peatlands contain one third of the world’s carbon, even more than that of the world’s forests and with their sponge like abilities are thought to have an important role in flood prevention.
So what are the options? There is a whole range of peat free and low peat alternatives stocked by garden centres and it pays to experiment and see what suits you best. Check the contents list before you buy bags of compost to see just what it contains. For instance, for mulching try using bark chippings or sulphur chips if you need to acidify the soil for ericaceous plants.
So to use peat or not to use peat? That is the question.
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