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So, I am extremely new to mixing my own potting media and have been reading in various places online about peat and which types to use and the lessened availability of late etc. I am still looking into peat substitutes and how to use them but am not having too much luck finding solid info at the mo. Any info on peat substitutes would be great!

In the meantime, I asked my friends/family to keep an eye open for sphagnum moss peat on their travels & today I came home to a 100litre bale of Irish moss peat... Unfortunately it's Westland brand which, upon investigating on this forum, I have learned has a pretty bad rep! I don't know what to do with it as I can't return it. Is it completely unusable? Is there anything I can do with it to make it less potentially damaging? I can always palm it off on my mum for use in her garden, but if I can get any use out of it at all, I'd like to as I can't find anything else in this area!

Thanks :)

Edit: I should mention that I was hoping to use it in seed growing experiments as well as repotting. A couple of the recipes for seed sowing mixes (for Nepenthes) I have found online have given peat moss, sphagnum and perlite as ingredients. Also, for seeds, is live sphag recommended? I have some Gardman 'Fresh' sphag. Any good?

Edited by paradisaea
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Get rid of it. I'm lucky to not have used it and can't remember the names of the people here who had the trouble from it. You may be able to return it as I hear there is somewhere on the bag that states that it's mixed with regular compost sometimes (or it says it on their website or something) Someone found that out, can't remember who but that would surely be information strong enough to warrant a refund.

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In the wild carnivorous plants often do grow on humid acid sandy or loamy soils with a little bit of humus from pintetrees on top. And those habitats get regularly burned so some ash remains and minerals get into the soil. Sarracenias and Drosera are a good example. So that should be an alternative option. Maybe some ash from burned pine needles is good to add.


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Just read the notes above about Westland which I've been using so am in a panic now ! I even rang them to check the peat wasn't adulterated with fertiliser or anything (and they said not) !

I use Westland peat, and have never had a problem with it.

Edited by Ares
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There's a whole thread on here about Westland and the people that had problems with it. Aparrently if they have a split bag of multipurpose then it gets mixed in with the peat. It doesn't always happen but it does happen and people have lost plants due to it.

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Their reply to my question:-

"Dear Mr Armitage

Thank you for your email. We add no fertilisers or mix in any other compost to our Irish Moss Peat, each bag contains 100% peat.

I hope this helps.


Jo Redshaw

Customer Services

Westland Horticulture

Tel: 0870 066 3566




I intend to use your moss peat for cultivation of insectivorous plants. Can you assure me that your product is unadulterated moss peat with no added fertilisers or composts ? Many thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have used Westlands moss peat and Gardmans sphagnum moss for 2 years and only lost 1 sarra that was sickly when potted. I used to deliver 24 tonne loads of compost for Sinclaire horticulture of Lincoln, when they made a "mix" it was done on a warehouse floor with a bulldozer, 100s of tonnes at a time, when it came time to bag up Irish moss peat the odd 20 kg bag of general purpose thrown in was "diluted" to such an extent as to render it void.


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