Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

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alan refail
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Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:45 am

Now my first attempts are well under way viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9711 I am planning a second trial with different peat-free compost.

I have bought some Vital Earth Multipurpose 2x60 litre for £10.

Image

I am certainly more impressed with its appearance and texture than I was with New Horizon. It smells much fresher and it is finer and less lumpy than New Horizon. I have already used some for potting patio plants, so we'll see how they do.

For the trial I was thinking of sowing Wild Rocket, Japanese Mustard, Japanese Spinach, Coriander and Peas - seeds ranging from extremely small to large - and sowing about 25 June.

Does anyone else fancy having a go at something similar? It would be interesting to compare experiences.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Colin Miles » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:11 am

Hi Alan,

A simple but very effective experiment and I am sure that our esteemed magazine will take note and at the very least give it a write up, if not a full article. I will try to incorporate this experiment in what remains of my sowing this year - probably just lettuce, peas and Kale.

Looking further ahead to next year, this would be an excellent experiment to involve KG readers in. Perhaps supply free seeds especially for this purpose - that eliminates 1 variable - and give the rules. 2 composts, 1 peat, 1 non-peat, 2 seed trays/pots, same position, same watering.

Simple proper science - Defra - Soil Association - take note!
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Colin Miles » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:32 pm

Having made a complete mess regarding space availability and timing of sowing with my Sprouting Broccoli, and despite nursing the plants along in 5 inch pots, I decided to sow them again as an insurance and start the experiment early. So I went to the Coop and bought 60 litres of their Bullrush Professional Peat-free Multipurpose Compost for £5 - it hails from Londonderry and is described as Forest Gold.

I have filled one seed tray with a 32 cell roottrainer and filled half with Westland Multipurpose Compost and the other half with the Bullrush peat-free. The 2 varieties of Sprouting Broccoli are White Eye (early) and Claret (late) and if you do the maths you will realise that there are 8 of each variety in the both composts.

This way should eliminate any variations in light and watering. I hope to do the same with Lettuce tomorrow or whenever I have the time.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:02 am

Hi Colin

Pleased to see another trialler. If you would like to post your results, could you start a new thread "Peat vs peat-free experiment #3" - I for one would love to see them.

I aim to start Peat vs peat-free experiment #2 in the next day or so. I am assuming that there will be interest in my results.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Colin Miles » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:04 am

Hi Alan,

Will do. Have also sown Lettuce and Kale in roottrainers as before. Sprouting Broccoli just starting to appear. Everything slow though with the wet and cold weather. Could do with a few more Sunspots to warm things up!
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:10 am

Trial #2 is now underway. Just in from an hour's sowing on a dank and damp summer solstice morning.

Details and picture to follow.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:04 am

Here are the details.

Mindful of comments on the first trial, I decided to do a third sowing using my own compost - a mixture of approx 50% poultry manure and wood shavings, plus garden and kitchen waste - effectively peat-free.

I have sown the following in Clover MPC, Vital Earth MPC and Own Compost:

WILD ROCKET 12 cells - a sprinkle in each - almost invisible seed


MUSTARD Golden Streaks 12


SPINACH Mikado 12


CORIANDER Leaf Selection 12


PEA Kelvedon Wonder 12

In the picture below the modules are, left to right: Clover - Vital Earth - Own Compost. The modules on the right are the wild rocket.

In the next post there are close-ups of each of the three composts.


IMG_0062.JPG
IMG_0062.JPG (37.23 KiB) Viewed 2586 times
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:06 am

IMG_0063.JPG
Clover 100% peat
IMG_0063.JPG (50.52 KiB) Viewed 2586 times
Attachments
IMG_0064.JPG
Vital Earth
IMG_0064.JPG (54.55 KiB) Viewed 2586 times
IMG_0065.JPG
Close-up of Own Compost
IMG_0065.JPG (53.34 KiB) Viewed 2586 times
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:45 pm

Interested to see you include wood shavings in your home made compost Alan, I imagine this is well composted first, and I seem to remember reading somewhere that it helps prevent damping off of seedlings? Also soilless composts seem to dry out quickly and require more watering where adding organic matter helps water retention benefitting seedlings. Watching your progress with interest. If I wasn't caring for my old mum full time I would have liked to get involved with these trials myself, but afraid they might fall by the wayside, my mum is frail and very up and down, she has just been in respite care and sprouted three problems while there :D
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Elle's Garden » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:14 pm

my mum is frail and very up and down, she has just been in respite care and sprouted three problems while there


Sorry to hear that NB, I hope she recovers quickly for both of you.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:52 pm

Thanks Elle, it's just her age at 93 and diabetic she gets lots of problems and we have a good GP who is sensitive kind and very helpful. in a way it was reassuring to see it was the same with a committed group of professional nurses and not just with me. At last I have found a really good nursing home for her to go to on respite breaks, she was content in there, and I could relax more knowing that she was being well cared for.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:58 am

Ladies, can we just stay on topic, please?
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Nature's Babe » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:12 pm

Alan, I had commented on topic but you chose to ignore that and failed to answer my question about wood chips. Sorry but I felt it rude not to reply to Elle's question, however for the sake of peace on the forum if it offends you then I will gladly send a private mssage next time., though others here might have thought it was rude to ignore her not knowing I had sent a PM.
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby alan refail » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:30 pm

Nature's Babe wrote:Interested to see you include wood shavings in your home made compost Alan, I imagine this is well composted first, and I seem to remember reading somewhere that it helps prevent damping off of seedlings?


Hi NB

Can't say I'd heard that one before. If it's true it should bode well for the Vital Earth which seems to consist largely of finely chipped wood waste, though not completely composted. Though I must say I never have damping off with any compost :)
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Re: Peat vs peat-free experiment #2

Postby Elle's Garden » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:51 pm

Apologies - will use PM in future
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