More people are growing organically and peat free, whether it is to produce fruit and vegetables or to grow flowers. We were delighted when Grow Your Own Magazine asked us to write an article explaining why organic and peat free gardening is better for both you and for the environment. Find out some of the reasons why below:
Support the ecosystem in our soil
The soil beneath our feet is alive with organisms that need nurturing and feeding. They in turn help us to create healthy soil and the perfect environment in which plants can thrive. We can support them by adding organic matter like peat free compost or soil conditioner to the soil. The organisms break down the organic matter and release the nutrients back into the soil for the plants to absorb. Bacteria, protozoa, nematodes and mites all help by releasing nitrogen and nutrients into the soil. Fungi grow as long threads, or strands, helping to aerate the soil and unlock minerals and nutrients around the roots of plants. Finally, earthworms make castings that are 50% higher in organic matter than the soil around them, making nutrients more available for the plants. They also help to aerate the soil by breaking up compacted ground.
Did you know that soil holds up to three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, with half of that in the first foot of the soil. By nurturing our soil with organic matter we are helping to create natural storage sinks for atmospheric carbon. Peat bogs absorb and store vast amounts of carbon. As the peat is dug out it releases carbon dioxide into the environment. With up to 80% of peatland habitats in the UK damaged, the move away from using peat as an organic matter is vital. Our peat free compost and our soil conditioner are sustainable alternatives to using peat.
Nutrient Rich Food
Organically grown food has been shown to contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals than food that has been grown using chemicals. When you harvest your fruit and vegetables you will be able to eat them knowing they are free from chemicals and full of goodness.
Organic feeds provide long term benefits and ultimately save you money
Chemicals give a temporary boost to the plant, but provide no long term benefits to the plant or the soil. Organic feeds provide plants with all the nutrients they require, at the same time as supporting the ecosystem in the soil. Whether you use a liquid feed like our Natural Fertiliser or a mulch like our Plant Feed, you will be feeding your plants and your soil. Over time the health of your soil will naturally improve, creating a sustainable environment that doesn’t require any chemical fertilisers, costing you less in the long run.
Our range of peat free compost and fertiliser are all certified Organic by the Soil Association, BioDynamic by the BioDynamic Association and Vegan by the Vegan Society. With the change in regulations regarding the use of peat in composts, there will be lots of composts coming in to the market that are not genuinely “organic” and will serve no long term benefit for your soil. Look out for certification logos, so you know exactly what you are getting. We get one chance to look after the world and ecosystem around us, so make sure you use approved organic, chemical free and peat free products.