Barnsdale’s Peat Free record

The late much-loved Geoff Hamilton (pictured banner above) experimented with peat-free and chemical-free growing over 30 years ago at his Barnsdale garden and the garden today is still continuing those principals.

Peat is something of a hot topic at the moment with Defra expected to announce a ban on peat use in the amateur gardening sector by 2024. Geoff is remembered as one of the most popular presenters on BBC Gardeners’ World and today Barnsdale is still run by his son Nick.

Carrying on the family tradition, Nick has plenty of tips and advice on peat-free growing. As he points out, we need to remember that this type of compost is a different growing medium from peat, so not to treat it the same. You will probably need to feed your plants a bit more and if the compost dries out it’s much easier to re-wet than a peat-based compost. He also points out that multi-purpose peat-free compost is great for raising seeds and growing on, although at Barnsdale they add pelleted chicken manure to it when potting on seedlings.

Rutland’s Barnsdale Gardens, is situated Nr Oakham and has one of Britain’s largest collection of individually designed gardens. Geoff was a firm believer and pioneer in organic gardening and for him Barnsdale became his great experiment in peat-free and chemical free growing. The gardens today continue to remain an outstanding example of these organic principles.

Geoff’s son Nick (pictured above) offers advice and consultations on organic gardening and in an extension to Barnsdale’s practical advice he now offers one-to-one consultations to enable garden owners to have their own particular gardening challenges addressed. Details can be found at:
Barnsdale is open every day between 9am and 5pm.