Are you looking for a way to feed your plants without fueling climate change?
Then, for peat’s sake, it’s time to stop depleting peat bogs—and make the switch to peat-free compost brands.
So why is peat no longer used in compost? Is peat-free compost better?
Yes, for both your plants and the planet.
Peat is one of the world’s most valuable natural resources.
Peatlands are valuable ecosystems that act as flood inhibitors, water sources, and carbon sinks—sequestering 42% of all land carbon, or twice as much as all the world’s forests combined!.
But they are severely depleted, largely due to the use of peat in compost.
In the UK, peatland depletion is as high as 80%, which is why they’ve banned the sale of peat-based compost, set to take effect in 2030.
While the US has not yet implemented similar regulations, many gardeners are choosing to switch to peat moss-free potting soil and compost alternatives to reduce their impact on the environment.
When it comes to compost vs peat moss, these brands have no doubt they know the right choice.
The Best Peat-Free Potting Soil Brands For More Bloom & More Bogs
Certified B Corp Carbon Gold offers nutrient-rich and soil restorative compost that’s 100% organic, peat-free, and chemical-free.
Dalefoot makes their compost locally in the UK, using locally-sourced materials, including ethical sheep wool and surplus bracken from the Lake District.
If you want to know where to buy peat-free potting mix in the USA, your choices are more limited, since peat compost isn’t banned there yet, but R&M Organics is ahead of the game, offering 100% organic manure-based compost.
So what is peat-free compost used for and where can you find it?
It’s made from various organic materials that can provide nutrients, moisture, and structure to your soil, and it can be used for many garden purposes, from peat-free seed compost to amending soil in outdoor beds.
And fortunately, there are plenty of other brands out to lend a green thumb.
Our Curated List Of Peat-Free Compost Brands For Greener Gardening
Where To Buy Peat-Free Compost USA
1. R&M Organics
Price Range | $21 | Shop R&M Organics
Values | Organic, Made in the USA
Ingredients | 100% locally-sourced dairy cow manure
What We Love | Made by farmers for farmers, this peat-free compost brand is family owned and operated and fully organic.
R&M Organics’ Organic Peat-Free Compost
R&M Organics provides an all-purpose peat-free potting soil made exclusively from dairy cow manure.
Their OMRI-certified mix is cured to remove odors and bad bacteria, resulting in a compost fertiliser that is beneficial for moisture and nutrient retention.
R&M Organics’ Sustainability
Certifications | OMRI
Carbon | For every bag of organic peat-free compost sold, R&M Organics plants a tree.
Sourcing & Supply Chain | R&M Organics operates from California, where all their compost is created and bagged,
Price Range | $14–$33 | Shop Wakefield
Values | Made in the USA
Ingredients | Biochar created from burning FSC-certified untreated wood stock and scraps, naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria.
What We Love | Inspired by their horticulturist Venezuelan immigrant father, we love this family-owned brand’s commitment to keeping things small and entirely in the USA.
Wakefield’s Peat-Free Multipurpose Compost
Wakefield offers premium peat-free potting soil produced from sustainable forestry certified (FSC) wood scraps.
Available in bags of pure biochar, premium compost, or Compost + Biochar mix, each option reduces plant disease and retains soil moisture, creating optimal growing conditions for flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees, plants, shrubs, fresh lawn seeding, and raised garden beds.
Certifications | FSC, OMRI
Sourcing & Supply Chain | Their compost is made in the USA, specifically in Georgia.
3. Charlie’s Compost
Price Range | $20 | Shop Charlie’s Compost
Values | Made in the USA, plastic-free
Ingredients | Chicken manure, biochar, organic grasses, and crop remnants
What We Love | Charlie’s Compost isn’t just dedicated to helping you grow your own sustainable ingredients. Not only is their compost peat-free, but it utilises a base of vegetarian and antibiotic-free chicken manure.
Charlie’s Compost’s Peat-Free Potting Soil USA
Charlie’s Compost offers one of the best peat-free compost bags out there–which is why they keep it simple and only offer one kind.
This concentrated formula jumpstarts soil bioactivity and enhances the nutrient content of depleted soils, promoting the growth of beautiful and vibrant plants or vegetables.
Charlie’s Compost’s Sustainability
Certifications | OMRI
Sourcing & Supply Chain | All Charlie’s compost is made in Kentucky.
Thoughtful Packaging | As one of the few peat-free compost supplies to offer sustainable packaging, Charlie’s using 100% biodegradable paper bags.
Pay It Forward | Charlie’s Compost is proud to be a member of the US Composting Council.
Where To Buy Peat-Free Compost UK
Price Range | £7–£13 | Shop Miracle-Gro
Ingredients | Both organic and synthetic natural components, depending on which variety purchased, though they don’t provide specific ingredient lists.
What We Love | Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in home gardening, Miracle-Gro has taken steps in recent years to become more sustainable (like beginning to replace peat compost with alternatives) and we hope to see them continue the trend in that direction.
Miracle-Gro’s Peat-Free Composts
Is Miracle-Gro soil peat-free?
Not all of it, but Miracle Go now offers a whole range of peat-free potting compost and garden bed alternatives.
Offering the best range in the business, you can shop all-purpose compost, fruit and veg compost, peat-free mulch, tree and shrub compost, and even a Premium Moisture Control mix, which is some of the best compost for vegetable gardens.
Certifications | OF&G Organic (white “organic” labeled bags only)
Sourcing & Supply Chain | Miracle-Gro is an accredited member of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme, though they don’t specify where or how their products are made.
Pay It Forward | The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation works to make the world a better place in a variety of ways, from youth empowerment to fighting for equality through their sub-entity, the Hawthorne Social Justice Fund.
5. Carbon Gold
Price Range | £33 | Shop Carbon Gold
Values | Organic
Ingredients | Organic coir, mycorrhizal fungi, worm castings, charred plant matter, seaweed, and a vegetable-based green waste
What We Love | Carbon Gold’s products are 100% organic, peat-free, and chemical-free.
Carbon Gold’s All-Purpose Peat-Free Potting Soil
Carbon Gold is a brand that produces biochar-based composts and fertilisers for organic gardening.
Biochar is a form of charcoal that is made from plant waste and has many benefits for the soil and the climate. It has tremendous planetary benefits, including locking away carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil for hundreds or thousands of years,
For your own garden, their Biochar All-Purpose Compost improves soil structure and porosity, reducing nutrient leakage, and of course, stimulates plant growth by providing an optimal environment for soil microbes.
Carbon Gold’s Sustainability
Certifications | Soil Association organic, FSC, B Corporation, Carbon Neutral
Carbon | Carbon Gold is both a Certified B Corp for social and environmental stewardship, and certified carbon-neutral.
Price Range | £21 | Shop Melcourt
Ingredients | Fine composted bark, wood fiber, grit, loam, and other vegan organic matter
What We Love | Endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Melcourt peat-free compost is also friendly for vegans, being free of any manure or animal byproducts.
Melcourt’s Peat-Free Ericaceous Compost
Melcourt is a supplier of various peat-free composts, including their own Sylvagrow range made from sustainable and renewable materials.
Their bestseller is the Sylvagrow John Innes No. 3, a nod to the famous compost developed at the John Innes Horticultural Institute in the 1930s.
If you’re wondering when to use peat-free composts from Melcourt, their mix is suggested for use on mature, established plants only, like trees, shrubs, climbers, fruit bushes, vines, and “plants which will remain in their pots for a long time”.
The Sylvagrow line also includes an ericaceous peat-free compost designed specifically for acid-loving plants.
Carbon | In addition to their environmental policy (which includes things like commitments to energy and resource efficient manufacturing) Melcourt advocates for climate positive action by being members of various environmental organisations, like the FSC, Renewable Energy Association (REA), and Soil Association.
Price Range | £22–£44 | Shop Dalefoot
Values | Organic, Made in the UK
Ingredients | Ethical sheep’s wool and regional excess bracken
What We Love | Not only is Dalefoot’s committed to making the most sustainable compost possible, all 100% in the UK, but they’re committed to helping your growing be more sustainable, too, by reducing the need for watering by up to 50% thanks to its fabulous moisture retentive qualities.
Dalefoot’s Wool Peat-Free Potting Compost
What is the best potting soil without peat moss?
Dalefoot thinks it’s similar to some of your favorite winter clothing.
They create wool-based compost that uses ethical sheep’s wool and bracken to create a highly bioavailable nutrient-rich and water-retaining mix.
Available in standard, double strength, and specialised clay-buster formula, all options are naturally high in natural potash, trace elements, and minerals to feed slowly through the growing season.
Certifications | Soil Association organic
Sourcing & Supply Chain | Their compost is made in the UK using a blend of sustainable sheep’s wool and bracken sourced from the UK’s Lake District.
Price Range | £3–£8 | Shop Homebase
Ingredients | Wood scraps, coconut coir, bark, and fertiliser
What We Love | Homebase is a UK home and garden retailer that produces its own award-winning compost, as well as selling that from other brands—giving customers maximum sustainable choices.
Homebase’s Best Peat-Free Composts
Homebase has a compost for every purpose.
However, the Homebase website also sells some peat-based compost from other brands, so be sure you’re limiting your search to their in-house brand or other peat-free options.
Pay It Forward | Via a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, Homebase helps in their mission to provide at-home comforts for cancer patients.
9. For Peat’s Sake
Price Range | £5–£34 | Shop For Peat’s Sake
Values | Plastic-free
Ingredients | Sri Lankan coir (coconut husk fiber)
What We Love | Not only is coconut coir incredibly lightweight to ship, but is a byproduct of other industries, so turning it into plant food repurposes what would otherwise be waste.
For Peat’s Sake’s Peat-Free Soil
For Peat’s Sake specialises in non-peat compost that repurposes coconut husks from Sri Lanka.
Their products are carefully formulated to provide optimal nutrition and growing conditions for plants, without the use of peat.
Note that coconut coir does make for a suitable growing medium on its own. It should be combined with other material, whether topsoil, potting mixes, or another variety of compost.
For Peat’s Sake’s Sustainability
Certifications | ISO9001, ISO14001, Sedex
Carbon | The shipping impact of coir is extremely low due to its lightweight nature, but this brand still offsets any remaining shipping emissions.
Sourcing & Supply Chain | As members of Sedex, they work with third party agencies to ensure their supply chain is ethical and source only from certified supplies.
Thoughtful Packaging | For Peat’s Sake’s coir is packaged in only compostable cardboard boxes.
Our Considerations For Choosing Peat-Free Potting Mix
What is peat-free potting soil?
As we’re already established, it’s compost without peat moss, but that isn’t the only thing we considered when curating this list.
After all, finding the best peat alternatives for gardening soil is both an art and science—just like gardening itself!
Since peat-free composts are simply those without peat moss, there are numerous peat alternatives one might find.
Coir, made from coconut husks, is a natural byproduct of the coconut industry. It has an open structure, is biodegradable, and lightweight, making it ideal for young seedlings and root cuttings. While coir loses an eco point for its shipping, it repurposes waste products to balance it as a sustainable alternative to peat.
Wool, which is a byproduct of the wool industry, is a natural, biodegradable, and renewable material that locks in moisture and provides a slow release of nitrogen fertiliser. Wool also contains useful trace elements like potassium, sodium, iron, and phosphorus.
Biochar is a form of charcoal that is perfect for climate-conscious gardeners as it stimulates plant growth effectively and works as a carbon sink. It is the world’s latest carbon-storing savior.
Other options include forestry scraps and wood shavings, animal manure, and worm castings.
Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Soil Association, Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G), International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001, ISO 14001), Sedex
Choosing to offer an alternative to peat products, and thus not to have any part in the negative environmental consequences of harvesting peat—thereby preserving some of the larger carbon sequestering power the planet has—is a huge step toward climate responsibility.
However, it’s an added bonus if brands are carbon-neutral, plant trees, or advocate for the planet in some other way.
Sourcing & Supply Chain:
We love to see many of the USA-based brands proudly making their products in the USA, but on the whole, we would love to see more transparency about where these brands make their compost and how they source their ingredients.
Unfortunately, regardless of where brands stand on the peat compost vs peat-free composts debate, few of them have stepped up to offer sustainable packaging alternatives. Most peat-free composts still come in plastic bags.
However, Charlie’s Compost and For Peat’s Sake are leading the way by offering paper packaging.
Pay It Forward
In our garden, we believe in growing a little extra, so we love to see peat-free potting soil brands sowing seeds of kindness by donating or doing a little something for the betterment of the world.
Closing Thoughts On Peat-Free Compost: Pros & Cons
Peat-based compost has traditionally been the go-to option for gardeners due to its ability to hold in nutrients from other sources and low pH levels that are helpful for acid-loving plants.
But is that worth it if our growing gardens are simultaneously stunting the growth of our planet?
We think the answer to the question, “Why use peat-free compost?” is a no-brainer.
Not only does it preserve the needed carbon sequestering power of our world’s peat bogs, but it’s just as effective—if not more so—at helping our plants and soil happy and healthy.
You can’t peat that!
If you know of any sustainable gardeners out there, please pass this article along so that we can all better nurture our plants, while also protecting the environment.