The joys of home composting

Blawhorn Moss NNR and Flanders Moss NNR

Well, this is about the magic of a compost heap.

I recently cleared out on the bottom of one of my composting bins – two barrow-fulls of lovely brown growing medium. This is placed in another composting bin to break down a bit more and be ready for use in the Spring. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to dig out the voluminous, brown, earthy-smelling material that has been changed from what goes in the top – vegetable and fruit peelings, coffee, tea etc. It seems like magic that all that waste is turned into something that can be so useful.

And what do I use if for in the Spring? Well I have a couple of fish boxes ‘rescued’ from the coast that get planted up with salad seeds once the weather warms up a bit. Two fish boxes planted up in rotation is enough to give us fresh salad leaves through much of the summer.

So, not only do we save money on not buying bags of salad but also save money on not buying sacks of growing medium from the garden centre. And it really doesn’t take up much space – about 2m by 5m in total for two compost bins and two fish boxes.

But what has this got to do with Flanders Moss and Blawhorn Moss? Well, the millions of tons of growing medium that is sold in garden centres generally comes from bogs. It usually has peat in it in varying amounts. So to produce this material for gardens valuable bog habitat is destroyed for ever. This is bad for the special bog wildlife and even worse for the planet as every time you dig up and dry out a bog you release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

Flanders Moss so nearly fell to this fate. It was ditched and dried out ready to be dug up before it was saved and we are now busy restoring it.

So, if there is one thing you can do to save bogs, and the planet, then peat-free gardening is it. And you would not be alone. Increasingly celebrity gardeners are endorsing it. Monty Don is now very vocal about not using peat in gardens as is Bob Flowerdew – see here.

So, if you want to experience the joy of producing fine home compost, the guilty-free relief for saving bog wildlife and the glow of satisfaction of helping to save the planet then there is plenty of information on how to do so below:

Information on peat-free alternatives here and here.

For more information, visit Peat Free April Campaign at


Garden Organic,

Dogwood Days blog, for a list of peat-free nurseries:

Peat-free compost brands to ask for at your garden centre or order on-line:

Dalefoot Composts, – lots of formulations, including ericaceous, seed and bulb compost

Melcourt,– their Sylvagrow® brand is RHS endorsed

The Compost Shop,

Compost Direct, – supplies Veggie Gold Compost in bulk

Westland,– produce New Horizon

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4 Responses to The joys of home composting

  1. Ladylanders says:

    A timely article, Mr Pickett – I have two ‘dalek’ compostainers and they are both due to be emptied out and forked through – a job for the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    It is always good to be reminded about home composting – wherever we happen to live 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom Cunningham says:

    Awesome Dave, thats some magical stuff you have got going there and its a food cycle… enjoy the salads and compost binning

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: National Frog Day! | 2 bogs, a swamp and some islands

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