Peat-free case studies

Many growers and nurseries in the UK are already 100% peat-free, or are well on their way. A range of growers have discussed their peat-free journeys with us to share the issues they faced along the way, the solutions they found and the tips they’ve learned

Botanica Plant Nursery

Peat-free status: Peat-free apart from some propagation material

Plants grown: Over 6,000 species/varieties, including trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, fruit, grasses, ferns, native hedging and wildflowers

Number produced per year: About 30-40,000

Growing environment: 25 acres of irrigated container beds and tunnels plus open-ground field; IPM system with minimal chemicals

Interview with: Jon Rose

© Botanica Plant Nursery

British Cosmos

Peat-free status: 100% peat-free

Plants grown: National Collection holder for hollyhocks and cosmos

Number produced per year: At least 4,000

Growing environment: Two 72ft polytunnels, hand-watered by watering can from stored rainwater

Interview with: Jonathan Sheppard

© British Cosmos

Chew Valley Trees

Peat-free status: Peat-free apart from a small amount of incoming young material

Plants grown: Containerised deciduous and evergreen trees as standards and hedging

Number produced per year: About 40,000, not including liners

Growing environment: Open ground with drip irrigation to all pots; everything grown in Melcourt Sylvamix Special (Chew Valley Trees Mix 1) with 8–9-month CRF

Interview with: David Scarth

© Chew Valley Trees

Greenwood Plants

Peat-free status: All plants grown peat-free; some peat in incoming plug plants

Plants grown: A wide range of outdoor plants and trees

Number produced per year: At least 3 million

Growing environment: Combination of glass, tunnel and open ground. Various irrigation methods depending on varieties grown

Interview with: Melanie Asker

© Greenwood Plants

Hampshire Carnivorous Plants

Peat-free status: Growing Sarracenia peat-free and will have a peat-free carnivorous plant display at RHS Chelsea 2024

Plants grown: All carnivorous genera

Number produced per year: Around 40,000

Growing environment: 90% unheated glass, 10% heated glass. Irrigation uses 100 per cent harvested pure rainwater; plants don’t need feed

Interview with: Matt Soper

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