One symbol, the hash sign (that’s one of these #) grafted onto the words ‘peat’ and ‘free’ (as in ‘#peatfree’) is giving all gardeners confidence in forgoing peat use – by slaying tired old myths about whether our garden plants can be grown without it.
We’re all feeling the #peatfree vibe: gardeners and allotment-lovers of every hue; big commercial and smaller specialist plant growers; plant and wildlife ecologists; alpine plant enthusiasts; devotees of carnivorous plants; low-mileage flower growers; professional head gardeners and managers; compost makers and shakers; ericaceous plant enthusiasts; garden centre and nursery owners; farmers; television and radio gardening ‘expert’ broadcasters (a few at any rate); multiple Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) medal-winning nurserypeople; tree producers; shops and supermarkets; growers of grasses; herbophiles; fuchsia fanatics; gardens large and public, small and private; magazine and newspaper editors; lily lovers; peatland conservationists and peat bog restorers; garden
show organisers; perennial plant nurseries; seed companies; ‘plug plant’ sellers; hedgehog saviours; consumer watchdogs; bloggers, authors and writers; bulb buffs; organic vegetable growers (big and small); designers and landscapers; DIY stores; environmental campaigners; houseplant huggers; local authorities; community groups; rose aficionados; wildflower and meadow-making specialists; permaculture purveyors; coir converts; botanic gardens; ‘young horts’ (and old ones, too); heritage seed savers; naturalists; gardening and horticultural clubs, societies and charities; plant nuts and geeks and – somewhat belatedly – even some gardening journalists (including diehard pro-peat myth-makers lurking amongst them) are finally feeling the quiet, change-making and unstoppable power of ‘#peatfree’.
(If anyone feels left out, let me know and I’ll add you to the #peatfree roll call.)
Show and share: we’re all in the #peatfree bag together
To see #peatfree in action, you need to check out the online social media platform Twitter. You can do that here, but you don’t have to join Twitter to see #peatfree strutting its social stuff (although it would be wonderful if you did and chipped in with your own #peatfree contribution). You can check in on what’s happening #peatfree-wise using your smartphone, tablet or a desktop computer. And don’t forget it’s easier than ever to snap a picture of your own #peatfree triumphs.
When a ‘tweet’ is posted on Twitter, with ‘#peatfree’ included in it, that tweet automatically shows up in the #peatfree ‘timeline’ (if you use ‘peat-free’ or ‘peatfree’ without the #, it won’t). Click on #peatfree anywhere you see it, and a list of tweets (which can include pictures and links out to online articles, blogs and news stories) tagged with #peatfree, will pop up. Give it a try now by going here.
It’s a great levelling and encouraging online space. You’ll find tweets from gardeners side by side with those from big commercial plant growers; pictures from flower growers amongst those from peatland ecologists. The combinations are endless.
But they all do one important thing: they share and celebrate the increasing success we’re all having sowing, propagating and potting with modern and reliable #peatfree composts (or ‘growing media’ as the professionals like to say).
Goodbye argy-bargies, hello #peatfree positivity
There are no argy-bargies; it’s a positive place to swap ideas, ask questions, and to share observations. It’s somewhere you can get a peek behind the scenes of #peatfree businesses and projects you might not otherwise get to see (or even be aware of). It’s somewhere you can refer to the next time you hear the lazy, throwaway ‘peat-free compost is rubbish’.
Social media, Twitter particularly, is helping change gardening and horticulture for the good (and for good). The #peatfree hashtag is an inclusive, persuasive, and gentle yet powerful change-maker. Whether you have just one patio pot, or a nursery growing thousands of plants each year, why not chip in with your own bit of #peatfree positivity, and help spread the word?
You know you want to.
More on going peat-free in your garden or allotment…
• For tips on peat-free sowing, potting and growing see How to Succeed in Your Garden With Modern, Reliable and Nature-friendly Peat-free Compost.
• See what other peat-free gardeners and commercial growers (yes, there are flourishing peat-free businesses out there) are up to, and share your own peat-free experiences by joining Twitter and tagging tweets from your balcony, garden or allotment with the hashtag ‘#peatfree’. Nature’s loving it.
• Check out my articles and posts about all things peat-free here.