• 10 Best Peat-Free Composts UK 2022 | Westland New Horizon, Miracle Gro and More 1
  • 10 Best Peat-Free Composts UK 2022 | Westland New Horizon, Miracle Gro and More 2
  • 10 Best Peat-Free Composts UK 2022 | Westland New Horizon, Miracle Gro and More 3
  • 10 Best Peat-Free Composts UK 2022 | Westland New Horizon, Miracle Gro and More 4
  • 10 Best Peat-Free Composts UK 2022 | Westland New Horizon, Miracle Gro and More 5

10 Best Peat-Free Composts UK 2022 | Westland New Horizon, Miracle Gro and More

Peat has traditionally been used in compost because it contains nutrients and retains water brilliantly – unless specifically labelled peat-free, a bag of compost is likely to be made up of at least 70% of it. However, from 2024, peat will be banned from retail all-purpose compost and potting soil because its use is so detrimental to the environment. 


In the past, peat-free compost has been of questionable quality, but with the 2024 ban looming, mainstream compost manufacturers have been investing heavily in the development of viable peat-free alternatives. We look at the suggested use, composition, cost and bag sizes of the best peat-free composts to buy in the UK, all of which are available for delivery from Amazon, B&Q and others.

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 12-04-2022
Table of Contents

Compare the Best Peat-Free Composts

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:

  1. Dalefoot - Peat-Free Wool Compost for Seeds for £17.25
  2. Natural Grower - Natural Peat Free Compost For Organic Growers for £19.99
  3. Melcourt - SylvaGrow Peat Free Multipurpose Compost for £16.99
  4. Homebase - Peat Free Multi-Purpose Compost for £5.95
  5. Fertile Fibre - Peat Free Organic Seed Compost for £18.95

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of peat-free compost available and understand how our ranking was determined.


This article’s chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.

Image
1
Dalefoot  Peat-Free Wool Compost for Seeds 1

Dalefoot

2
Natural Grower Natural Peat Free Compost For Organic Growers 1

Natural Grower

3
Melcourt SylvaGrow Peat Free Multipurpose Compost 1

Melcourt

4
Homebase  Peat Free Multi-Purpose Compost 1

Homebase

5
Fertile Fibre Peat Free Organic Seed Compost 1

Fertile Fibre

6
Westland  New Horizon All Plant Compost  1

Westland

7
Bathgate  Peat Free Champions Blend Multi Purpose Compost 1

Bathgate

8
Miracle-Gro® Peat Free Premium Moisture Control Compost for Pots & Baskets 1

Miracle-Gro®

9
Rocket Gro Peat FreeMulti Purpose Potting Compost 1

Rocket Gro

10
My Happy Garden  Peat Free Compost 1

My Happy Garden

Name

Peat-Free Wool Compost for Seeds

Natural Peat Free Compost For Organic Growers

SylvaGrow Peat Free Multipurpose Compost

Peat Free Multi-Purpose Compost

Peat Free Organic Seed Compost

New Horizon All Plant Compost

Peat Free Champions Blend Multi Purpose Compost

Peat Free Premium Moisture Control Compost for Pots & Baskets

Peat FreeMulti Purpose Potting Compost

Peat Free Compost

Features

A Fine Compost Made Entirely in the UK, With Added Wool for Water Retention

A Conscious, Organic Choice Containing By-Products From a UK-Based Renewable Energy Plant

Green-Waste-Free Compost Endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society

A Budget-Friendly, Multipurpose Option for Veg and Flowers

A Which? Best Buy That Speeds Up Seed and Cutting Growth

Triple-Formula Peat-Free Compost With Zero Green Waste

Ultra-Fine Premium Compost With Added Seaweed and Volcanic Rock Dust

With Exclusive Aquacoir® That Stores and Releases Water When Needed

100% British Peat-Free, Ultra-Fine Compost Made in Somerset

Finely Textured Compost That's Safe to Use Around Kids and Pets

Price£17.25£19.99£16.99£5.95£18.95£4.49£15.99£6.50£9.99£10.99
TypeSeed compostMultipurpose compostMultipurpose compostMultipurpose compostSeed compostMultipurpose compostMultipurpose compostMoisture control compostMultipurpose compostMultipurpose compost
Best ForSeeds, pots, planters and hanging basketsSeeds, containers, hanging baskets, borders, fruit & vegetables, indoor plantsPotting on, planting out, or use as a grow bagSeeds, containers, fruit & vegetablesSeeds and cuttingsSeeds, containers, fruit & vegetablesSeeds, containers, borders, fruit & vegetablesMature plants in pots and hanging basketsPots, containers, window boxes, planters and hanging basketsSeeds, containers, borders, fruit & vegetables
NurtrientsNutrients will last from germination until potting-onNot specifiedNutrients will last for 4-6 weeksNutrients will last for 6 weeksSlow-release nutrientsNutrients will last for 6 weeksSeaweed, beneficial fungi and volcanic ash to provide nutrients throughout the growing seasonNutrients will last for 3 monthsNutrients will last for 3 monthsNutrients will last for 3 months
IngredientsBritish wool and composted bracken (latest batch has added comfrey)Maize from a UK-based renewable energy plantCoconut coir, fine bark and wood fibreWest+ (a patented FSC wood fibre and fertiliser), composted bark and coconut coirOrganic coconut coir, vermiculite and Fertile Fibre nutrientsWest+ (a patented FSC wood fibre and fertiliser) and coconut coirNot specified Wood fibre, fine bark, Aquacoir® and composted green wasteGreen waste and Rocket Gro soil improverWood fibre, bark, coconut coir
Green Waste IncludedNoNoNoNoNoNoNot specifiedYesYesNot specified
OrganicNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoYesNo
VeganNot specifiedYesYesNot specifiedNot specifiedNot specifiedNot specifiedNoNoNot specified
Professional Endorsement-Soil Association approved and certified by the Vegan SocietyRHS-approvedA 2021 Which? Best BuySoil Association approved and a 2022 Which? Best Buy-Soil Association approved-Soil Association approved-
Link

How to Choose Peat-Free Compost in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Choose the Right Type: Seed Sowing, Hanging Basket or Multipurpose
  2. Select Compost With Components That Fit Your Sustainability Goals

1. Choose a Suitable Compost for the Gardening Task You Have in Mind: Seed Sowing, Hanging Baskets or Multipurpose Use

1. Choose a Suitable Compost for the Gardening Task You Have in Mind: Seed Sowing, Hanging Baskets or Multipurpose Use

Pick Seed Compost for an Appropriate Level of Slow-Release Nutrients and a Fine Texture for Seeds, Rooted Cuttings and Seedlings

Seed compost contains a suitably low level of slow-release nutrients for newly grown seedlings, a level sometimes called John Innes 1 (John Innes 2 is used for potting on young plants and 3, which has the most nutrients, for the final potting up). Seed compost can be used for seeds, rooted cuttings and for potting seedlings that are big enough to handle by the leaf tips. 


It is usually shredded more finely so that developing shoots and roots aren't blocked or misshapen. However, the increased use of wood fibre instead of peat has resulted in gardeners often needing to sieve even compost labelled as 'seed compost' before sowing. 

Opt For Moisture-Control Compost for Pots and Hanging Baskets or Multipurpose Types for Versatility

Compost designed for pots and hanging baskets has extra water-retaining features, so it releases water slowly when plants require moisture. Most have controlled nutrient release too. Alternatively, you can add water-retaining gel/crystals and slow-release nutrient pellets to multipurpose compost to use in hanging baskets.


Multipurpose compost tends to have a more rugged texture (as it is processed less to keep costs down), meaning it is suitable for potting on, planting out, containers and borders. It has a level of nutrients suitable for mature plants but will typically need supplementing with additional feed after about 6 weeks.


Take a look at our suggestions for the best hanging baskets and outdoor plant pots.

2. Select a Peat-Free Compost With Components to Suit Your Budget and Sustainability Goals

2. Select a Peat-Free Compost With Components to Suit Your Budget and Sustainability Goals

Green Waste Is a Cost-Effective Option but Is Often Contaminated by Plastic Waste

Green waste is the term for garden and agricultural waste (plant cuttings, grass clippings, seed husks, stalks etc.) which is industrially composted by councils and the farming industry. Whilst being nutrient-dense and water-retaining, this green waste often suffers from contamination – think how many stray plastic bags and wrappers you see discarded in nature. 


Finding shredded plastic (leading to microplastics after further degradation) is a real risk when you choose compost containing green waste. As such, some composts are labelled specifically as free from green waste. Some brands will also state that their agricultural by-products are from a single, known source, rather than relying on public garden waste bin collections or from other multiple sites.

Look For Shredded Wood That's FSC-Endorsed or From Sustainably Managed British Forests

Shredded wood, timber pulp and fine bark chippings are often used to bulk out compost as they improve drainage and keep the pH low. Look for those which are labelled as by-products of sustainably managed British forests or which are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) endorsed. 


Overly-large fragments of wood can inhibit seed and seedling growth, distorting root formation and reducing germination rate, so do read reviews before buying or opt for more finely-milled seed compost.

Coconut Coir Is Excellent at Retaining Moisture and Improving Soil Structure but May Not Suit Those After a Sustainable Compost

Coconut coir (the hairy fibre from coconut husks) retains water well and also ensures that air pockets remain in the compost, aiding healthy root growth. Coir is nutrient-poor, however, so should not dominate the compost mixture.


Coir is a by-product of coconut farming, but removing the husk fibres from the shell requires soaking in water – yet coconuts are predominantly farmed in places where fresh water is scarce. If soaked in saltwater, the coir must be heavily rinsed before being added to gardening products. The large carbon footprint of overseas transportation adds to the environmental concerns that some have about coir. 

Select Compost With UK-Grown Components Like Wool, Bracken and Maize for a Lower Carbon Footprint

For those who value environmental credentials highly when selecting a growing medium, there is now completely traceable compost available. This is made with locally farmed UK produce, such as wool, bracken and maize. These options are predictably more expensive, but worth it if supporting UK businesses and choosing sustainable products are important to you. 


If you fancy making your own compost (which then needs mixing with dry sand), you'll need a suitable compost bin.

10 Best Peat-Free Composts in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used. 

1

Dalefoot Peat-Free Wool Compost for Seeds

12 Litres

£17.25

TypeSeed compost
Best ForSeeds, pots, planters and hanging baskets
NurtrientsNutrients will last from germination until potting-on
IngredientsBritish wool and composted bracken (latest batch has added comfrey)
Green Waste IncludedNo
OrganicNo
VeganNot specified
Professional Endorsement-
2

Natural GrowerNatural Peat Free Compost For Organic Growers

50 Litres

£19.99

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForSeeds, containers, hanging baskets, borders, fruit & vegetables, indoor plants
NurtrientsNot specified
IngredientsMaize from a UK-based renewable energy plant
Green Waste IncludedNo
OrganicYes
VeganYes
Professional EndorsementSoil Association approved and certified by the Vegan Society
3

MelcourtSylvaGrow Peat Free Multipurpose Compost

50 Litres

£16.99

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForPotting on, planting out, or use as a grow bag
NurtrientsNutrients will last for 4-6 weeks
IngredientsCoconut coir, fine bark and wood fibre
Green Waste IncludedNo
OrganicNo
VeganYes
Professional EndorsementRHS-approved
4

Homebase Peat Free Multi-Purpose Compost

50 Litres

£5.95

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForSeeds, containers, fruit & vegetables
NurtrientsNutrients will last for 6 weeks
IngredientsWest+ (a patented FSC wood fibre and fertiliser), composted bark and coconut coir
Green Waste IncludedNo
OrganicNo
VeganNot specified
Professional EndorsementA 2021 Which? Best Buy
5

Fertile FibrePeat Free Organic Seed Compost

35 Litres

£18.95

TypeSeed compost
Best ForSeeds and cuttings
NurtrientsSlow-release nutrients
IngredientsOrganic coconut coir, vermiculite and Fertile Fibre nutrients
Green Waste IncludedNo
OrganicYes
VeganNot specified
Professional EndorsementSoil Association approved and a 2022 Which? Best Buy
6

Westland New Horizon All Plant Compost

10 Litres

£4.49

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForSeeds, containers, fruit & vegetables
NurtrientsNutrients will last for 6 weeks
IngredientsWest+ (a patented FSC wood fibre and fertiliser) and coconut coir
Green Waste IncludedNo
OrganicNo
VeganNot specified
Professional Endorsement-
7

Bathgate Peat Free Champions Blend Multi Purpose Compost

50 Litres

£15.99

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForSeeds, containers, borders, fruit & vegetables
NurtrientsSeaweed, beneficial fungi and volcanic ash to provide nutrients throughout the growing season
IngredientsNot specified
Green Waste IncludedNot specified
OrganicYes
VeganNot specified
Professional EndorsementSoil Association approved
8

Miracle-Gro®Peat Free Premium Moisture Control Compost for Pots & Baskets

40 Litres

£6.50

TypeMoisture control compost
Best ForMature plants in pots and hanging baskets
NurtrientsNutrients will last for 3 months
IngredientsWood fibre, fine bark, Aquacoir® and composted green waste
Green Waste IncludedYes
OrganicNo
VeganNo
Professional Endorsement-
9

Rocket GroPeat FreeMulti Purpose Potting Compost

50 Litres

£9.99

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForPots, containers, window boxes, planters and hanging baskets
NurtrientsNutrients will last for 3 months
IngredientsGreen waste and Rocket Gro soil improver
Green Waste IncludedYes
OrganicYes
VeganNo
Professional EndorsementSoil Association approved
10

My Happy Garden Peat Free Compost

40 Litres

£10.99

TypeMultipurpose compost
Best ForSeeds, containers, borders, fruit & vegetables
NurtrientsNutrients will last for 3 months
IngredientsWood fibre, bark, coconut coir
Green Waste IncludedNot specified
OrganicNo
VeganNot specified
Professional Endorsement-

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Not Use Peat-Based Compost?

Peat grows at an excruciatingly slow rate of 1 mm per year in wetland bogs, which are only found on 3% of the Earth's surface. Despite this, they store 1/3 of the world's soil carbon, meaning it is vital to protect peatlands in the fight against climate change.

What's the Difference Between Regular and Peat-Free Compost?

Peat-containing compost – often labelled as multipurpose compost or soil improver – can be made of up to 70% peat, which itself is essentially decayed organic material i.e. the partially decomposed remains of plants and animals. Peat-free composts are made up of recycled garden materials, coir, wood fibre and composted bark.

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Written and researched by Lucy Smith

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