Just when you thought modern and reliable peat-free composts couldn’t get any better – and there are a clutch of good ones out there – SylvaGrow, a professional grade (as used by professionals…) peat-free, environmentally sustainable, all-purpose compost, has has just been awarded another Best Buy for container compost from consumer watchdog Which? Gardening (April 2016).
It was also a Best Buy peat-free compost for container planting in April 2015, and in January/February 2016 was a Best Buy for raising young plants (Which? also commended it for sowing seeds; I’ve found it superb for seed raising, too). Read more about SylvaGrow here, including news of the introduction this spring of SylvaGrow All Purpose Peat Free Growing Medium with Added John Innes.
What’s significant is that SylvaGrow, made and mixed in the UK by Melcourt, is the only compost recommended for container growing that bagged a Which? Best Buy in the latest test: no nature-diminishing peat-based mixes made the grade (it scored 15% more than its nearest rival in the growing tests using bedding begonias and Sarpo blight-resistant potatoes).
And, in a fitting twist of irony, Alan Titchmarsh & Waitrose Peat Free Multi-Purpose Compost was recommended for its ‘good but not outstanding results.’ I found it a good doer in my trials, but it’s only available if you have a Waitrose store nearby (oddly, it doesn’t appear to be available online via Waitrose Garden).
It’s not so long ago that Alan Titchmarsh was defending the use of peat-based composts, so it’s good to see a gardening celebrity – despite his rather wobbly environmental credentials – getting behind modern peat-free composts.
Coir-based and Soil Association certified organic peat-free Fertile Fibre Multipurpose Compost also gets a mention by Which? Gardening. It was a container compost Best Buy in April 2015, but according to Which? didn’t make the grade this time around because ‘the bedding plants grew less well in the cool, wet summer of 2015’. It’s been a good doer all round in my garden trials and Fertile Fibre have a good home delivery service (which improves price-wise if you can place a bigger order, perhaps by clubbing together with other peat-free gardeners).
The entire SylvaGrow ‘passionate gardener’ range is also endorsed by The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Check here to find your nearest stockist – but always ring first to make sure they’ve got what you want. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @SylvaGrow or call 01666 502711.
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.