Yet another manufacturer has unveiled plans to introduce a peat-based universal compost.
In January, J Arthur Bower’s will launch Masterblend Compost, made from 100 per cent Scottish peat with added John Innes.
Bord na Mona recently unveiled bales of Irish Moss Peat. And in August, Thompson & Morgan launched Incredicompost, a new brand that contains 80 per cent Irish peat.
The government has a target for UK gardening to be peat-free by 2020.
J Arthur Bower’s also makes SuperFyba, its latest peat-free compost. A spokesman said that peat use is falling, but said it is launching Masterblend [peat] compost because “most gardeners still want peat-based compost”.
He added: “Many have never tried peat substitutes, while others may have tried early peat alternatives and found them wanting.
“Developments like SuperFyba will encourage more gardeners to switch, even before the regulatory deadline,” he added.
Masterblend will have an RRP of £6.99 for a 50-litre bag, or £12 for two bags. The compost is enriched with a six-month controlled-release fertiliser, and also contains Celcote, an ingredient which is claimed to result in watering savings of up to 25 per cent, “without plant stress or wilt”.
The return of high-peat composts angered Friends of the Earth, which wants peat bogs to be protected.
After AG reported on T&M and Bord na Mona’s peat compost launches, FoE policy director Craig Bennett Tweeted: “I’ll be writing to the DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] minister to ask what steps the government is going to take with industry ignoring [peat-free] targets.”