Roehampton Garden Society

Peat free composts: Water with care..

One of the key adjustments you may need to make when changing from peat-based compost to peat-free is with watering. Peat-free composts, especially those containing composted bark, often hold water for longer, so may need watering less frequently. They also tend to look dry on the surface, making it easy to overwater. So use your fingers to check the moisture levels under the surface where possible, or lift the container to feel how heavy it is. Also water using a small watering can or even a mist sprayer, so it’s easier to control the amount you apply.

Going peat free may mean changing the way we plant and deal with seedlings this winter.

The RHS says:
“Before sowing seeds, make sure the compost is moist but not soggy. Saturated compost is colder, which can slow down germination and may cause seedlings and cuttings to rot.”
For more on checking compost moisture and how to water containers, see the RHS video guide to watering.

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