The Gardens Group’s peat policy:
Our path to peat-free gardening

We've been working towards peat-free gardening for many years, educating customers on the alternatives and becoming entirely peat-free in our own nursery. In line with the government's upcoming ban on all peat-based products in amateur gardening, we're now committed to becoming completely peat-free in our growing media range by 2024.

Our progress so far

At the start of 2021, the peat-free content of our compost range reached just short of 70% and we are working hard to make sure this percentage continues to grow.

We do not sell sedge or moss peat in their unmixed forms.

Peat-free compost has a prominent position, wherever we display compost for sale.

We do not sell or recommend any peat based soil conditioner/improver and the same applies to products for mulching and top dressing.

‘Traditional’ compost brands in stock are all now ‘reduced peat’ formulas, in cases where they cannot yet be peat-free.

An increasing number of our plant suppliers are now entirely peat-free and we are encouraging more of them to make this transition.

We are totally peat-free in our own nursery.

We have hosted free talks for our customers discussing peat alternatives and how to use them to best effect.

The next steps

We plan to offer customers a choice of five different peat-free multipurpose composts. We will introduce a multi-buy offer on every peat-free compost to encourage gardeners to try something new.

We will continue trialling batches of plants grown in improved and new compost formulas, while monitoring results on site and actively gaining customer feedback.

We will increase the proportion of our plants sold in reduced-peat and peat-free compost, thereby further reducing our peat throughput.

We will maintain a proactive dialogue with current and potential plant suppliers on the subject of reducing/removing the peat content from their products.

Education is key, so we will stay up to date with the latest research and carry on providing clear and comprehensive advice to customers who are making the switch to peat-free, to help ensure their success.

We will introduce and educate customers on the Responsible Sourcing Scheme labels on future compost bags.

We will continue actively supporting the #PeatFreeApril media campaign to propagate the message and to emphasise the importance of becoming peat-free.

We will retain an awareness of the environmental impact and sustainability of all potential peat substitutes, to avoid falling into the trap of replacing peat with something equally harmful to the environment.

Why are we not completely peat-free already?

At the current time, there is a shortage of reliable alternative raw materials to replace peat and the techniques for growing some plants and crops in peat-free mixes are not always straightforward.

We are committed to:

  • Proactively sourcing and trialling reduced-peat and peat alternatives
  • Supporting and promoting the proven peat alternatives
  • Increasing the proportion of non-peat by total volume sold each year
  • Staying ahead of the research in this area

Our compost suppliers are making progress in gradually reducing the peat content within their core ranges, whilst maintaining the quality and efficacy of their products. By retaining the range of familiar growing mediums that traditional gardeners are accustomed to, we continue to be visited by shoppers for these products, which in turn gives us a unique opportunity to educate these shoppers about peat-free alternatives.

Our peat-free composts

  • New Horizon all plant compost
  • New Horizon vegetable compost
  • New Horizon tomato planter
  • Melcourt Sylvagrow multipurpose compost
  • Melcourt Sylvagrow with added John Innes
  • Melcourt Sylvagrow Ericaceous
  • Happy Compost all purpose
  • Dalefoot Wool compost
  • Dalefoot wool compost for seeds
  • Miracle-Gro peat-free all purpose compost

Our peat-free mulches

  • Happy Compost soil improver
  • Dalefoot Lakeland Gold
  • Bloomin Amazing
  • Composted Bark
  • Farm Manure
  • Strulch