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Please can anyone recommend a good peat free compost? the ones I have brought recently have been rubbish, there must be a good one out there somewhere!

Also we have just put in a couple of raised beds (yea!), but I am after advise on what to fill them with. We have some home made compost (not nearly enough), and can get manure from a local farm for free. Will this be enough, or should I mix it with something? I don’t have any topsoil to spare, so would have to buy it in (there’s not been any on freecycle for ages!). Am planning on growing a range of vegetables, but concentrating on things dd can just pick and eat, like peas, beans, tomatoes and carrots.


It probably will be enough.  You need to make sure the manure is well rotted down before planting in it, some plants don’t like it when it is very fresh.  I would probably mix it in with your own compost.  You could also mix it with the peat free compost too to reduce its richness (if it is very fresh).  Good Luck!

I don’t think there is a really good ‘peat-free’ compost, it is well debated in gardening magazines!

Using manure + some homemade compost might be OK for some plants- but the manure really has to be left to rot for 6mth or it will be too fresh and scorch plants.
It also depends what you are planting- if you start seeds off in pots on a windowsill until the are pretty big and tough, harden them off and plant them out in well-rotted manure/compost they might be OK- things like pumpkins, courgette, squashes. Potatoes too probably (planting chitted seed potatoes in the bed).

But I doubt a delicate little row of seeds like lettuce or parsley would have much of a chance in big chunky manure. They would need a fine tilth.

Most of us work it out by trial and error so have a go and see what happens!

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