Peat-free Boultons sell plants on own merit

Boultons Wholesale Nurseries near Stone, in Staffordshire, remain passionate about what they do and in the protection of the environment; in 2005 they switched all production to peat-free.

2 mins

The nursery propagates and grows on 750,000 plants a year, supplying garden centres as well as country estates, botanical gardens and landscape gardeners.


Peat-free mixes

Casting his mind back to early peat free trials, nursery manager Adrian Roughton recalls the quality of the original mixes was extremely variable.  “In 2011 we switched to ICL, and a bespoke Levington Advance Sustain peat-free mix, and haven’t looked back,” he says.


The two CNS mixes contains Fibagro Advance Standard, two grades of pine bark and coir together with Osmocote 5 controlled release fertilizer and Micromax Premium – containing all the minor nutrients.  For early N availability and to help minimise leaching, the mixes contain Osmoform High N – a slow release fertilizer with an 8-10 week longevity, plus H2Gro granules to aid water management.


“We’ve always relied on Osmocote for plant nutrition – it has consistently done the job,” says Adrian. “The latest generation product, Osmocote 5, has been specifically designed for peat-reduced/free growing media.”


Consistent high performance

“These sustainable ICL mixes give us the consistent high performance that was lacking in previous peat-free mixes,” says Andrew Dobson, general manager.


“This is quite a wet area and with overhead irrigation we need a free draining mix – one which contains plenty of bark. Working with ICL’s knowledgeable technical team we’ve developed bespoke mixes which suit our site well.


“Some customers are unaware of our peat-free status.  We produce high quality plants that sell on their own merits. With the peat-ban looming, we have begun to actively promote our peat-free status on our pots to make customers aware.


“We take the quality of our peat-free growing media for granted and the quality of our finished plants speaks volumes.”