Boultons Nurseries celebrate centenary by going peat-free

Boultons Nurseries, a wholesale bulk plant nursery providing plants all over the UK for over 100 years, supplies many of Britain’s most famous gardens and parks and has numerous long standing customers.

As nurserymen, the company embraces new technology and have been at the forefront of modern growing techniques, with a significant shift to more environmentally friendly ways of peat free plant production.

For example, this year Boultons is celebrating 10 years as a ‘peatfree’ nursery. Peat has been used as a growing medium for decades, however, in recent years growers have taken account of the impact on the environment.

Peat is sourced from lowland bogs - a natural habitat full of rich and diverse plants and wildlife. Unfortunately bogs are disappearing across the UK and Europe, and as these rare habitats disappear, so will the flora growing there. Boultons are keen to help save these natural environments.

Boultons Nurseries have always been enthusiastic about peat free compost and the benefits to the environment.

The company has been searching for the appropriate mix that would help us work towards our aim - to provide peat free plants to the UK.

"Since making the decision to go peat-free we’ve been trialling many types of compost and have been using our current bespoke compost from ICL since April 2015," explained Richard Minton, of Boultons.

"Designed specifically with the intention of helping us grow a large variety of peat free plants, the mix enables us to have a far better spread of nutrients throughout the growing season. Best of all, it allows us better control of the release of these nutrients.

The compost behaves well at the potting stage and ‘wets up’ quickly on the first watering after potting (which is vital for a good start). The top surface stays relatively dry which helps against any liverwort build up in the future.

"By using our new compost we can deliver environmentally friendly peat free plants, throughout the UK from our nursery located in the heart of the country.

"We do our own propagation where possible ensuring a range of ‘British Grown’ plants. Shrubs are available throughout the year, with a planned programme of herbaceous plants flowering throughout the main growing season. Boultons have many contacts with other nurseries enabling reciprocal trading and are able to source alpines, herbs, heathers, trees, bulbs and bedding.

"Our main areas of supply are Local Authorities, garden centres, large estates, The National Trust (who only buy peat-free plants), new house builds and landscapers.

"Landscape Architects and specifiers should consider ‘peatfree’ to ensure environmental considerations are achieved within any projects they are involved with, helping clients achieve carbon footprint requirements."

Boultons remain committed to improving all aspects of growing plants in an environmentally friendly way, from using peat free compost, re-useable pots and natural pest control while still achieving the high standards and quality plants expected by our customers.

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