Peat-free growing

We are proud to be a 100% peat-free grower, and are working with our supply chain to ensure all purchased plants are also 100% peat free.

The importance of peat-free growing media

Peat growth first began around the last ice age, roughly 12,000 years ago. Peat is partially composed organic matter—from plant and animal material—that has formed under specific waterlogged, oxygen and nutrient deficient, highly acidic conditions.

Often classified as a fossil fuel, peat takes a significantly long time to grow—around a thousand years for one metre of growth. The commercial extraction of peat throughout one year, removes around five hundred years’ worth of growth; if we continue to deplete our peatlands at this rate, we could potentially run out within the next decade.

Peatlands are incredibly carbon-rich, making them hugely important to our planet. They cover around 3% of the Earth’s surface, whilst being able to sequester a staggering 33% of our global CO2—around three billion tonnes of carbon. When we harvest from peatlands they become damaged, and the carbon stored inside its bogs is emitted as CO2 into our atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

Peatlands play a vital role in our fight against climate change, so the time has come to stop digging and safeguard our planet, population and wildlife.

Our peat-free Journey

At Greenwood Plants, we care about sustainability, and are working to actively reduce our carbon footprint, improve our local communities and environment, and exercise responsible planetary stewardship. We been fully peat-free since the end of 2023, having undertaken extensive trials at our nurseries to find the best possible peat-free growing media. As growers of around six million plants a year, this was a huge undertaking, but a challenge that we fully embraced, and are now working with others to do so.

Watch It Grow

Watch It Grow provides the ultimate peace of mind, as you pre-select the plants you need, to your specification, within the timeframe you require them. As well as offering our vast array of plants, Watch It Grow can also tailor your growing medium. We are thrilled to share that Watch It Grow is now available in peat-free compost—offering fully sustainable planting for your project.

Learn more about the project

Our Peat-free Journey


Feb 2022

Trial starts

We started trialling plants in different peat-free mixes


May 2022

First Peat-free plants sold

Our first peat-free plants left Fresh Acres nursery


June 2022

Peat-free Open Days

We welcomed attendees to have a sneak peak of our trials and visit our Fresh Acres and Woodpecker nurseries


Summer 2022

First complete client planting project

Our first peat-free client project will be planted


October 2022

Watch It Grow peat-free option

Watch It Grow will be available with peat-free compost, offering fully sustainable planting for your project


December 2022

25% peat-free growing

1 in 4 plants growing on the nursery is now in peat-free growing media


July 2023

80% peat-free growing

Most lines across the nurseries are now growing in peat-free growing media, and several European Suppliers have committed to growing our orders in peat-free media


October 2023

HTA Peat Free Grower of the Year award

Greenwood wins prestigious HTA award for its achievements in peat-free growing


November 2023

100% peat-free growing

We are now a 100% peat-free grower!