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Westland Peat free compost

Discussion in 'Compost, Fertilisers & Recycling' started by KarolinaW, Mar 25, 2024.

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  1. KarolinaW

    KarolinaW Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello!
    I bought Westland peat free compost today and it turned out to be very brown. Looks like it's not composted properly. I usually get sticks etc. but I don't think it was ever in this state. I was going to plant potatoes in it and repot strawberries. Is it ok and I'm being silly or is it a no no?

    IMG_5017.jpg IMG_5018.jpg
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Really the only obvious thing to say is it should be ok to use otherwise they wouldn't sell it.
    But lots of people complaining about peat free composts.
     
  3. KarolinaW

    KarolinaW Apprentice Gardener

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    Thank you! I never actually used a different compost other than peat free. I just started gardening a year ago :) It just seems like this time there is waaaay more bright brown bark in it (looks worse in real life then on photos), so that's why I was wondering if it's ok to plant edibles.
     
  4. ViewAhead

    ViewAhead Gardener

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    Have to say it does not look all that great. Mind, the quality of compost seems to have deteriorated across lots of brands, so whether a different make would prove better is impossible to gauge.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Its not really something that anyone can say, its not going to be poisonous or anything like that, its more about how well your plants will grow in it.
      And that nobody can say until you try.:smile:
       
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      • infradig

        infradig Gardener

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        Which Westland product do you have?
        www.gardenhealth.com/products/compost-and-soil
        My experience recently of Westland Gro-sure is positive, its (0-30% peat it says !) but have had other versions in previous years without issue.
        Personally I consider it too expensive to grow potatoes (that is ,not cost- effective) in bought medium such as these but realise some see things differently. I can get PAS100 compost (green waste) at around £14 per tonne (Plus haulage, which is the killer) and have a medium sized garden.
        If you are growing strawberries in pots/tubs/baskets then it would be a useful material to mix with some soil , to fill these.
         
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          Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
        • KarolinaW

          KarolinaW Apprentice Gardener

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          @infradig It's the New Horizon all plant compost. I was pleased with it last year. Recently I got some community compost to fill a raised bed(£2 a bag), but unfortunately they're closing in April due to the funding cuts. I'm growing very small quantities because my garden is small. Getting compost is expensive, but for my needs it's not too bad!
          Thank you:)
           
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          • akwe-xavante

            akwe-xavante Apprentice Gardener

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            My experience of bought compost in recent years hasn't been great and to complicate things even further, a supplier / manufacturer's bag may remain the same outwardly from year to year the contents tends to seemingly change from month to month and year-on-year!

            For years i bought a local nurseries own brand, they claimed it was peat free, and they said that they made it themselves with added fertiliser which looked somewhat like an osmocote product mixed in. It was excellent. Today it's nowhere near as good as it used to be, and it contains very little added fertiliser any more either, and for double the price it used to be.

            I've yet to find a bag of compost that actually says anything specific or meaningful about what the actual contents of the bag your buying contains and what does "With added this, that and the other" actually mean........ With added nutrients without specifying exactly what and how much!

            The bag of compost for me has fallen victim of shrink inflation, less of what really matters for more money.

            It's time manufacturers detailed exactly what's in the bag and how much there is of everything that's added, perhaps by weight or as a percentage of the overall weight or volume etc.

            To say we've added essential nutrients on it's own is not enough. Do they mean 1gram or 30grams per bag and of what exactly?

            Peat is a wonderful product that we must stop using now, absolutely and now not in 10yrs.

            If the alternatives cannot be reliably the same month on month and year-on-year, the gardener faces the nightmare of not knowing if it's good enough for it's intended purpose.

            I know i've wasted a lot of money on compost in recent years.
             
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            • akwe-xavante

              akwe-xavante Apprentice Gardener

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              The images look like an old bag of compost that started to go mouldy to me, last year's stock!?

              I bought a couple of bags real cheap from Morrisons last year early in the season that looked just like what you have bought. I think they were cheap to get rid of, rather than pay someone to take away as waste to make way for new stock.

              Tried the first bag and decided to empty the second onto the compost heap!
               
            • Logan

              Logan Total Gardener

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              For 2 years now I've used Westland peat free compost with added John innes, it does have some big pieces in it but it's ok for large pots, can always take those out if need to use it for seeds or cell trays. I find that it's good.
               
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              • KarolinaW

                KarolinaW Apprentice Gardener

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                @akwe-xavante I agree 100% Same thing when you buy food, you want to know what's in it! Last year when I started looking into compost I was very surprised that the information about each bag is so vague. Hopefully it will change with the pressure from customers.
                 
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