Peat-free compost – the sustainable choice for vegan gardeners
What is peat?
Peat is a dark brown, spongy, partially decomposed organic material that is primarily made up of sphagnum moss (as well as other wetland plants). It is found in varied landscapes, from marshes to moors.
The areas where peat grows are called bogs or bogs.
When conditions are ideal (for example, wetlands that are very acidic and saturated with water with few nutrients and little oxygen), plants slowly compact and decompose to form peat.
This process takes between hundreds and thousands of years, accumulating at a rate of about 1 mm per year.
The long life cycle of this natural resource is one of the main reasons why it is not sustainable to continue to exploit it at the current rate.
Why are peatlands important?
Believe it or not, peatlands are one of the most vital ecosystems on the planet.
If you ever find yourself in a bog, you might not immediately see why. These are soggy, muddy terrains that don’t often seem to thrive with life.
But appearances can be deceiving.
Mainly found in the UK and Europe, peatlands are home to endangered and rare species of flora and fauna, from sundews to golden plovers.
If you’re lucky enough, you might spot a Ground-nesting Northern Harrier or Emperor Moth perched on a leaf.
These are extraordinary and diverse places on which many species depend.
Perhaps more importantly, peatlands are an important ally in the fight against climate change.
They are one of the most efficient carbon sinks on the planet, storing twice as much carbon as the world’s forests.
And that’s not all ! Peatlands are also excellent natural forms of flood management.
They are absorbent landscapes that can absorb massive amounts of precipitation, reducing the risk of flooding.
Impressively, sphagnum moss (the species from which peat is mainly formed) can contain up to 20 times its weight in water.