Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

What’s in the bag? Peat and its alternatives: garden centre training.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "What’s in the bag? Peat and its alternatives: garden centre training."— Presentation transcript:

1 What’s in the bag? Peat and its alternatives: garden centre training

2 Objectives for the training session  For garden centre staff to understand what’s in a bag of growing media  To build confidence talking to customers about peat and the alternative materials  To build an understanding about why it is important to move away from peat

3 What’s in a bag: potted history  Early 1900’s – used soil and domestic compost  1930’s - early growing media based on the ‘John Innes’ mixes from blends of ‘loam’ (composted grass turves), peat and sand  1970’s – new lightweight mixes based in peat  Recently – reduced peat mixes and peat free using alternative materials Message: peat is still widely used but alternative materials are replacing it

4 How much peat do we use in the UK? 3 billion litres used by UK horticulture a year:  69% by amateur gardeners  30% by professional growers  1% by local authorities and landscapers Message: garden centres are a key outlet for peat-based growing media or plants grown in peat

5 How much peat have we stopped using?  The UK horticultural market is 57.5% peat free for all bagged products  Approximately 6.3 billion litres of peat have been saved through using alternative materials

6 Why is using peat an issue?  It’s not renewable Peat extraction Previously extracted area left to re-grow – mostly reeds with sphagnum moss starting to reappear Same area with no peat extraction. It will take thousands of years to grow the peat back to this thickness

7 Why is using peat an issue?  Healthy, undisturbed peat bogs bring so many benefits such as drinking water quality, a huge store of carbon, homes to special flora and fauna and recreation

8 Why is using peat an issue?  90% of UK’s peat bogs are already destroyed  Alternative materials to peat are increasingly delivering good results for the amateur and professional grower  Retailers are increasingly specifying peat-reduced products  Defra has set targets to phase out peat use in horticulture by 2020 (amateur) and 2030 (professional)

9 Do we need to use peat?  Customers want a growing medium that grows good plants, is consistent, safe to use, looks and smells nice and is reasonably priced  Most compost is already peat reduced and not many people have noticed  Many alternatives to peat bring as many, and in some cases even more benefits to the customer than peat

10 Challenges with peat replacement  Peat reduced and peat alternative materials need to be treated differently to peat to get good results – particularly watering and feeding regimes  Alternative materials have, in the past, suffered a few setbacks in quality. Garden centres need to contribute to rebuilding confidence with their customers

11 What are the alternative materials?  Coir pith  Green compost  Composted bark  Pine bark  Wood fibre  Other wood by-products

12 Coir pith  Produced from the husk of the coconut and a by-product of making coir products  Produced mainly in India and Sri Lanka  Used as 100% peat free material or used as a peat diluent  Very lightweight, easily transported  Stable and good with seedlings  Good natural water holding properties  May need extra feeding

13 Green compost  Derived from green waste and made under BSI PAS 100  Used as high quality soil conditioner and as a diluent in growing media  Readily available in the UK  Good levels of natural nutrient e.g. NPK with good slow release qualities  Can be heavy to handle so often diluted with lighter materials

14 Composted bark  By-product from forestry  Used in multi-purpose composts as a diluent for peat and as the main ingredient for peat free mixes  May need extra feeding, especially if over 6 months old

15 Bark  By-product from forestry  Used in tree and shrub mixes and more specialist products such as orchid composts  Adds good drainage structure and air into compost for more mature plants

16 Wood fibre  By-product from forestry  Major peat diluent in multi-purpose composts  Good shelf-life  Very light material and so good for handling  Excellent drainage properties

17 Other wood by-products  By product of forestry and manufacturing of wood based products  Readily available and often locally sourced  Often found as a peat diluent and has similar characteristics to composted bark  Good air holding qualities  May need extra feeding

18 What’s in the bag?  Credible labels for origin of raw material  Growing Media Initiative Means that the bag contains 50% peat or less and the manufacturer has signed up to an initiative to reduce peat in their business.  Forest Stewardship Council Means that the bag contains wood from a well managed forest.  Recycle Now Means that the bag contains recycled materials

19 What’s in the bag? Statements and claims  ‘Which ‘Best Product’ Award - performance of the product has been independently tested and found to be the best for the year stated. Does not refer to origin of raw materials Defra’s Green Claims Code states that: ‘the claim does not use vague, ambiguous words’  Terms such as ‘low peat’ or ‘peat reduced’, ‘organic’, ‘ made from 100% naturally occurring ingredients’ or ‘100% sustainable’ or ‘helping protect the environment’ – are all completely ambiguous statements and need clarification with the manufacturer

20 What can garden centres do to reduce peat usage?  Understand the alternative materials to peat and how to use them successfully  Know what raw materials are in the growing media you sell  Provide better point of sale information to customers on peat, the issues and the alternatives

21 Summary  There are many environmental reasons to reduce peat use  Good alternative materials are available  Defra targets mean that peat will be phased out in horticulture  Everyone can play their part

Download ppt "What’s in the bag? Peat and its alternatives: garden centre training."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google