WHAT IS PEAT?
You may have seen compost labelled as peat-free, but if you aren’t aware what peat is, and importantly, where it comes from, you wouldn’t understand why it is so important to choose a peat-free product. You also probably wouldn’t know that if a compost is not labelled as peat-free, then it likely comprises between 60-90% peat!
To fully appreciate WHY we should all be sourcing peat-free composts, it’s best to start at the beginning; what is peat, and where does it come from?
Peat is a natural product. It is made from partially decomposed plant material and forms in waterlogged, acidic bogs. A lack of oxygen means the plants do not rot completely.
The formation of peat happens very slowly – over thousands of years. A 10 metre deep peat reserve will have taken 10,000 years to develop!
We use peat at a far greater rate than it forms, which means that peat is not a renewable resource, certainly not in this lifetime!
Currently, living peat bogs cover approximately only 3% of the Earth’s surface.