by Rhiannon James
© iStockphoto/Steve Humphreys
Check out the latest tools and accessories to make gardening quicker, easier or just more fun.
This month we take a look at the latest composts to hit the shelves – all of them have the benefit of being peat-free.
If you don’t have a car or your growing space is several flights up, getting compost to the garden is no joke. Help is at hand though with these two new lightweight, peat-free formulas.
Expand ‘n Gro from Miracle-Gro starts small but expands to up to three times the size when water is added. It contains a slow-release feed which will provide nutrients for up to six months, retains water for longer and has an open structure to help air circulate to plant roots. A bag that provides 50 litres of compost costs £9.99 from www.crocus.co.uk, www.greenfingers.com, www.primrose.co.uk and garden centres.
West+ Light & Easy Multi-Purpose Compost is made from expanded wood fibre and milled coir and although it’s used like peat-based compost, it weighs 60% less. It contains feed for four months and costs £6.95 for a 60-litre bag from www.unwins.co.uk, www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk and garden centres.
Keeping containers well-watered in summer can turn into a bit of a chore so it helps to pick composts that can hold on to moisture.
New Horizon Tub and Basket Compost, which is peat-free and organic, contains a naturally-occurring water-retaining agent to help counteract the speed with which compost dries out in containers. The agent creates a film on the surface of the compost which promotes water absorption and retention without affecting the amount of air available to plant roots. A 35-litre bag costs £4.99 from garden centres.
RSPB Multi Purpose Compost is made by Vital Earth and uses recycled garden waste (including plants, grass cuttings and hedge clippings) which has been sanitised to get rid of weeds, diseases and other contamination, in combination with bark. Additional natural slow-release fertiliser is also included. A 50-litre bag costs £5.99 and is available from garden centres.