Maximising Plant Growth With Melcourt Peat Free Compost
Peat-free compost is sustainable, eco-friendly and versatile, used for almost any gardening task, from planting trees and shrubs, growing flowers in containers and pots, and potting on as your seedlings develop.
As one of AK Kin’s top-selling composts, Melcourt Peat Free Compost is among the best-known brands, with RHS endorsement and vegan-friendly credentials essential for allotment gardening and balanced nutrients sufficient for growing fruit and veg in a vegan environment.
While the UK government intends to ban peat-based compost from 2030, having been postponed since 2020, there are multiple benefits to switching to peat-free, from an environmental and plant health perspective.
Advantages of Purpose Peat-Free Compost for Thriving Gardens
The primary issue with peat-based composts is that natural peatlands are irreplaceable habitats for thousands of native species. Peatlands are also essential for water management and are heavily damaged by peat burning, drainage and extraction, where peat has been used for years in products such as gardening compost and fuels.
Melcourt’s extensive range incorporates sustainable growing medium compost with added fertilisers for optimum fertilisation, creating soil conditions that help support healthy plant growth, using a mixture of natural materials and recycled components such as coir, wood fibre and bark.
These materials are both non-harmful to the environment and ideal for gardens, assisting with nutrition, soil quality, aeration and drainage, with every ingredient sourced from sustainably managed British forests.
Fine bark is a great example – a repurposed by-product saved from landfill and used within Melcourt compost. Bark boosts the soil structure and controls weed growth while safeguarding delicate plant roots from temperature changes and retaining a good balance of moisture.
As organic components break down, they release valuable nutrients back into the soil, assisting with natural growth and enhancing the condition of the soil for years to come. Adding liquid fertilisers every few weeks can further augment the pace of plant growth.
How to Use Melcourt Compost
The quality of Melcourt Compost makes it a widely used solution everywhere, from professional landscaping and planting to veg plots, container growing and residential garden applications, with an easy-to-handle texture that is specifically designed to deliver the perfect fertilisation for plants within four to six weeks of growth.
Using this top-quality compost correctly ensures your plants, fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and flowers have the best possible start, sometimes mixed with other materials to create the right density, depending on the gardening project in hand.
Potting On With Melcourt Compost
Before potting a junior plant, give it plenty of water, and select a new pot that is marginally larger than the tub or pot currently used. Fill your container with peat-free compost, pressing a hole into the compost that will comfortably accommodate the roots. Place your plant into the gap and fill the compost so it is level across the top, patting down and watering.
Using Peat-Free Compost for Seed Sowing
Seeds vary considerably with countless varieties, so we advise reading the instructions on the packet carefully. All-purpose compost has a slightly coarser texture than some composts created for seed sowing, so you can mix the compost with coir or sand at a 50:50 concentration.
Planting Trees and Shrubs With Melcourt Peat-Free All-Purpose Compost
Shrubs and trees should be planted into dug holes around double the root ball size, filling the space with peat-free compost combined with soil at a 1:5 ratio. The hole should be filled so the soil and compost mixture reaches the same height on the plant or the tree as when previously planted.
Gardeners can add stakes to support the weight of the shrub and should schedule regular watering initially, adding top dressing once a year to maintain steady growth. Once plants, shrubs and trees have been planted or potted, the peat-free compost will deliver nutrition for up to six weeks, after which time you can add liquid fertiliser or mix slow-release granules into the soil.
Adapting Gardening Techniques to Peat-Free Compost
Many gardeners unfamiliar with peat-free compost are concerned about the differences between conventional composts, but transitioning to a sustainable, peat-free garden is simple and, over time, produces excellent plant growth.
Peat-free compost is 100% natural, so it inevitably can begin to deteriorate if left in storage for extended periods, so it is advisable to purchase the correct compost bag size, rather than keeping unused compost in a garden shed.
Some plant species also require enhanced drainage, because softer and smaller roots can be vulnerable to rot and other issues due to water saturation. In these instances, mixing some horticultural sand or grit into the compost mixture, as recommended above for seedling planting, is ideal.
Peat changes colour, so gardeners often rely on the soil appearance to decide when to water – using your finger to check the soil moisture is an easy way to water peat-free compost, with watering little but often ideal, since a bark-based compost can be tricky to rehydrate.
Tips for Peat-Free Compost Gardening
Below, the AK Kin team has collated our top tips to ensure you’re ready to use your Melcourt Compost and don’t encounter any stumbling blocks!
- When repotting plants that have been in containers or pots for several months, blend some of the garden soil with the peat-free compost to avoid ‘shocking’ the plant with a sudden change in soil conditions.
- Most nurseries and garden centres will now sell plants grown peat-free (many exclusively), which is a great option if you wish to add new plants or shrubs to your garden.
- Potted plants in patio containers and tubs thrive well in peat-free compost, and you can use mulch over soil or between shrubs to retain perfect soil moisture, prevent weed growth and add more nutritional content to your compost.
Gardeners keen to adopt the most eco-friendly gardening approaches can even collect leaves and rot them down as a base for a home-grown compost for potting on and purchase trees and shrubs with bare root balls, reducing the plastic waste and pots used throughout your garden.
AK Kin Garden Supplies stock a broad range of Melcourt composts, all peat-free approved, including SylvaGrow Soil Improver, Decorative Bark Compost, Organic Peat-Free Melcourt Planter bags, and Melcourt SylvaGrow Multipurpose, suited for almost every gardening project.