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gardenofeden

DEFRA consultation on the use of peat

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Phil,

vested interest I don't know.

But I found a lot of info online (because I was thinking of giving them a try) from gardening sites and others, mostly all saying the same thing. This link is just the most comprehensive.

Phil

I'm currently using a mix which just cut's down my peat use.

I was using 6 parts peat, 3 parts perlite (or 2 perlite, 1 sand) - so 66% peat.

I've now tried 2 peat, 2 grit, one perlite - 40% peat

and 1 peat, 1 grit, 1 perlite - 33% peat.

But I'm also wondering about using tea leaves in place of some peat. Anyone tried tea leaves ? - used or not.

Edited by Phil Green

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But I'm also wondering about using tea leaves in place of some peat. Anyone tried tea leaves ? - used or not.

Phil, Someone tried it.

http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?s...amp;hl=capensis

I can't find the post that says so, but I don't think it ended well. I believe the plant died/was repotted back into normal compost after showing signs of great stress.

Of course, that is one little experiment. One could try it on Sarracenia and others.

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Tea leaves may have quite high NP or K content, people used to use it as fertiliser for house plants.

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Tea leaves may have quite high NP or K content, people used to use it as fertiliser for house plants.

Bit off topic - rich coming from me, I know :red33: - but I use coffee grounds from the local coffee shop. Works pretty well on cats and slugs, too.

Wouldn't put coffee grounds on a DEFRA-protected peat bog, though! :biggrin:

Vic

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Well done, Tim! :wink: (And I mean, just Tim, and probably also Dennis).

Good to know that the CPS hasn't missed the DEFRA deadline, thanks to your solo work.

I'd refrained from asking what was happening, as I knew it would just be dropped into your lap once again, and you have enough on your plate.

Best wishes,

Vic

P.S.

Please don't let your own life suffer doing CPS work. You do more than enough outside your remit.

Shame some others who should be helping you, but look after their own interests instead. :wink:

Can I please assure CPS members that the Committee has compiled the Peat Consultation response to Defra as a unit. I took the lead as I'm use to working with Defra consultations in my day job and because I'm a soil scientist (amongst other things agronomic). I asked to take the work on and the Committee agreed. Taking the lead also follows on from the peat-free conservation minded work I've been working on to help members over the last 4 years, which I presented in a large article in the last Planta Carnivora. As expressed in my article I don't claim to be the leading light here, Stephen deserves that accolade from work he has been doing in this field for many more years than me.

The EEE work is also a joint Committee exercise and I have no complaint from the support I've been given by Committee members. I've got myself knackered as I'm trying to do lots of extras to make the EEE an event to remember. For one I've designed and made 20 posters for a display covering most of the genera - the quickest one took 4 hours. I'm also indebted to the support Stewart McPherson has given me in that respect and I would also like to thank Alexis again for his help re the EEE logo and those who commented on the Forum. The brochure we published also turned into a very long-winded exercise and with general organisational duties the whole process has worn me down - my choice. Dennis and I are the high profile Committee members by the nature of our current roles, but we would not want that to hide the help and support we get on a regular basis from the rest of the Committee. This joint work will be apparent at the AGM and on the 2-3 July.

Finally, and my personal comment, I find the Committee a happy and joined up unit. We have made several strides forward in the last 18 months and I'm proud of what we are giving members, though totally accept we have further things to do.

2011 is a year to really celebrate our hobby, and I would urge everyone to get behind the Society - members and non-members. Of course, that doesn't mean members shouldn't keep us on our toes!

My best wishes to you all

Tim

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Can I please assure CPS members that the Committee has compiled the Peat Consultation response to Defra as a unit. I took the lead as I'm use to working with Defra consultations in my day job and because I'm a soil scientist (amongst other things agronomic). I asked to take the work on and the Committee agreed. Taking the lead also follows on from the peat-free conservation minded work I've been working on to help members over the last 4 years, which I presented in a large article in the last Planta Carnivora. As expressed in my article I don't claim to be the leading light here, Stephen deserves that accolade from work he has been doing in this field for many more years than me.

The EEE work is also a joint Committee exercise and I have no complaint from the support I've been given by Committee members. I've got myself knackered as I'm trying to do lots of extras to make the EEE an event to remember. For one I've designed and made 20 posters for a display covering most of the genera - the quickest one took 4 hours. I'm also indebted to the support Stewart McPherson has given me in that respect and I would also like to thank Alexis again for his help re the EEE logo and those who commented on the Forum. The brochure we published also turned into a very long-winded exercise and with general organisational duties the whole process has worn me down - my choice. Dennis and I are the high profile Committee members by the nature of our current roles, but we would not want that to hide the help and support we get on a regular basis from the rest of the Committee. This joint work will be apparent at the AGM and on the 2-3 July.

Finally, and my personal comment, I find the Committee a happy and joined up unit. We have made several strides forward in the last 18 months and I'm proud of what we are giving members, though totally accept we have further things to do.

2011 is a year to really celebrate our hobby, and I would urge everyone to get behind the Society - members and non-members. Of course, that doesn't mean members shouldn't keep us on our toes!

My best wishes to you all

Tim

Hi all

The CPS response to the Defra consultation can be downloaded from our website.

We will be looking at the best way to engage members as we have a lot of work to do. As a start I've ordered a load of bags of Moorland Gold and the CPS will hand out of few litres of mixture at the AGM to members attending who wish to give it ago. I'll be doing a mix of 60% Moorland Gold and 40% Fertile Fibre.

Tim

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I got some fertile fibre cocopeat and am mixing it 50:50 with moorland gold at the minute

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Probably be a few more years before Fertile Fibre gets here. I've only been able to get Moorland Gold locally within the last month.

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I don't know if I have missed it, but I don't remember anybody suggesting the use of unfertilised coir blocks from Garden Direct (UK). If soaked in rainwater these quickly break down to a fine and even medium which I use almost exclusively as a 1:1 mix with horticultural grit/sand to make a lime-free compost in which I have grown all my CP's (Sarracenia mainly, but also Darlingtonia, VFT and a few 'basic' Drosera for several years. I find this very simple & satisfactory - the coir blocks are very easy to store and are very convenient - entirely peat free, and I can't be fussed with anything more complicated these days!

I think growing problems are much more likely to be caused by factors other than compost (assuming the compost is acid with a reasonable structure).

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I don't know if I have missed it, but I don't remember anybody suggesting the use of unfertilised coir blocks from Garden Direct (UK). If soaked in rainwater these quickly break down to a fine and even medium which I use almost exclusively as a 1:1 mix with horticultural grit/sand to make a lime-free compost in which I have grown all my CP's (Sarracenia mainly, but also Darlingtonia, VFT and a few 'basic' Drosera for several years. I find this very simple & satisfactory - the coir blocks are very easy to store and are very convenient - entirely peat free, and I can't be fussed with anything more complicated these days!

I think growing problems are much more likely to be caused by factors other than compost (assuming the compost is acid with a reasonable structure).

Is THIS the right link?

I can't find any details of shipping costs;

What do they charge you?

Thx

Vic

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Is THIS the right link?

I can't find any details of shipping costs;

What do they charge you?

Thx

Vic

There's a shipping cost estimator in the shopping cart, but it doesn't work. Possibly due to them having the weight as 0lbs.

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Probably be a few more years before Fertile Fibre gets here. I've only been able to get Moorland Gold locally within the last month.

I don't think they are shop based at all, just Internet orders. Price very reasonable. The dried blocks make a huge volume of compost. This is the link to the webshop

vat and delivery are included in the price.

Fertile fibre is just a brand of coir/cocopeat. I'm sure any other brand will do, such as garden direct unfertilised coir, as long as it has been washed in fresh water, not salt, during the manufacturing process.

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I don't think they are shop based at all, just Internet orders. Price very reasonable. The dried blocks make a huge volume of compost. This is the link to the webshop

vat and delivery are included in the price.

Fertile fibre is just a brand of coir/cocopeat. I'm sure any other brand will do, such as garden direct unfertilised coir, as long as it has been washed in fresh water, not salt, during the manufacturing process.

Agreed re Fertile Fibre and other brands. I use Fertile Fibre as it is certified by the Soil Association as 'organic' and free of contaminants. Provided you are satisfied other brands are free of salts, etc then they will be fine to use too.

Tim

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Hydroponic shops often stock coir. Many towns have a hydroponics shop nearby, so you might be able to save a little on postage. Make sure that it has no additives and/or fertilisers though.

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I got a free sample of Fertile Fibre and made a Moorland Gold:Fertile Fibre mix with a small handful of potting grit and it makes a lovely water retentive, free draining mix. Much better draining than Moorland Gold/grit mix alone.

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I got a free sample of Fertile Fibre and made a Moorland Gold:Fertile Fibre mix with a small handful of potting grit and it makes a lovely water retentive, free draining mix. Much better draining than Moorland Gold/grit mix alone.

Agree.

At the 2010 End of Season meeting a few members took away a mix of Moorland Gold and Fertile Fibre I prepared for trial. Would be interested to see how you got on?

Like Mobile I add some grit (aquarium in this case), which also adds a bit of weight to my Sarracenia mix. Must post some photos when the traps are fully formed. Anyone who visited the EEE at Chester Zoo would have seen some of my plants growing in this mix, which, if I may say myself, were pretty good and show that there is life without cut peat! Been free of my addiction for 5 years now and not looking back.

Also set up a large flood and flow hydroponic system for a British species display. Will take a while for the plants to establish, but will do a blog soon to show what I've been up to.

For interest my disa orchids absolutely love the peat free flood and flow system I developed (expanded clay and sphagnum moss mix) originally. Given up growing them any other way in my greenhouse.

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Any news on DEFRA's conclusions re. peat use?

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Any news on DEFRA's conclusions re. peat use?

Hi Vic et al link to the White Paper, etc. Defra Peat

As expected peat will be phased out for amateurs by 2020, though that doesn't mean you won't be able to get hold of any. Hopefully by hook or by crook people will have reduced or completely stopped their consumption of peat for a lot of cps, in particular Sarracenia which uses most of the stuff.

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As expected peat will be phased out for amateurs by 2020,

Are you sure of that Tim ? As that's not exactly how I read that link.

What it says is

"•a voluntary phase-out target of 2020 for amateur gardeners; "

Voluntary and 'target', don't sound very finite to me.

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I'm really worried about this. Here in Ireland it's not all that easy to find a place that sells peat. But I can get it. Trouble is there is absolutely zero alternative to it as a growing medium available over here. The only place I've been able to buy Sphagnum moss is bloody Aldi for the love of God! I'm really worried about what to grow my plants in considering what's available over here.

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Peat is getting increasingly difficult to find in the UK too, with none of the major garden centres I've visited stocking it. There are alternatives and some of us have been trying various ones for a few years now. mantrid and I currently have VFT growing in various pine needle mixes: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=42183. I could probably dispense of the peat by adding another water retaining material, such as Sphagnum moss.

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Are you sure of that Tim ? As that's not exactly how I read that link.

What it says is

"•a voluntary phase-out target of 2020 for amateur gardeners; "

Voluntary and 'target', don't sound very finite to me.

Hi Phil

Yes, safe Defra words indeed. The bottom line is that although voluntary, if difficult to find now will be extremely difficult from 2012, and perhaps expensive to source. Voluntary in Defra language is 'if you don't expect legislation to follow'.

We have to be careful we are not seen as sitting on our hands, but seen working together to reduce, and I'd like to think eliminate, our reliance on extracted peat. I think we can all sign-up to that sentiment.

The CPS are knocking a few proposals together to get to grips with this and properly evidence sound alternatives. News to follow.

Tim

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I'm really worried about this. Here in Ireland it's not all that easy to find a place that sells peat. But I can get it. Trouble is there is absolutely zero alternative to it as a growing medium available over here. The only place I've been able to buy Sphagnum moss is bloody Aldi for the love of God! I'm really worried about what to grow my plants in considering what's available over here.

Hi Richard

The CPS is working in the background on this to help growers with this very issue, whether in or outside the British Isles. It's a topic very important to us and we're keen to identify safe, cost effective and readily available peat-free ingredients. News to follow.

You can get Big Moss Sphagnum from Big Moss. Search well online and you can get it for around 7 quid. Needs to be chopped up a bit though which can be a pain. Or you could use Supersphag instead.

I use organic certified coir blocks from Fertile Fibre Fertile Fibre, mixed with perlite on all my Sarracenia. I don't grow with peat, other than some Moorland Gold I experiment with on a few plants, and haven't done for several years. Why not get and try a bit on a few spare plants, perhaps mixed with chopped re-wetted dried sphagnum (sustainably sourced of course).

Tim

Edited by Tim Bailey

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I'll look into the coir blocks. I'm less worried about sphag now as I've come across several online sources. I want to get some live to start growing so I can use it in my Nepenthes. I don't know about Moorland Gold though, I've heard about it and am totally for it but it would be far too expensive to import to Ireland.

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