Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

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ralphrmartin
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by ralphrmartin » Tue May 04, 2021 3:53 pm

I have nothing against peat free composts, and indeed have used coir for a long time myself.
Indeed, in some ways coir is superior in that it can be rewetted moire easily than peat.

I do have something against people deliberately misleading the public by claiming something is one thing, when it is another.
If it were labelled "Peat-free John Innes subsititute" that would be fine in my book, as it is clear that it is an attempt to provide an equivalent without peat.

But as John Innes himself had nothing to do with the peat free version, and has not endorsed it, I believe it is a shameful misuse of his name to simple call it Peat Free John Innes Compost, wrongly insinuating that it was subject to all the same rigorous research that went into the original John Innes recipe.
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by FredG » Tue May 04, 2021 5:27 pm

ralphrmartin wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:53 pm
I do have something against people deliberately misleading the public by claiming something is one thing, when it is another.
I thought it was clear all through the thread that that was the objection.

Apparently not to some. :???:
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by el48tel » Tue May 04, 2021 5:35 pm

I have a problem with 'labels', or should I say, 'mislabels' which include the fudge words 'free' 'lite' 'new' 'improved' "0%" 'less" "more" etc when used to sell the same stuff under a different label at an increased price or new crap stuff with the the same label except for a weaselword hidden in a tiny font and again at an increased price to fool even the most savvy consumer.
I'm not sure about my feelings about peat. I understand the arguments for and against. As long as the stuff does the job without compromising the plants and not depleting my bank balance, I'm happy. You can probably grow cactus in shredded polypropylene from recycled waste (in fact I have tried and it has some success). Whether or not they survive longterm, or the aesthetics of the pot filled with powdered multicoloured gunk appeals, is a matter for longer debate.
As to whether JI is JI or not with or without peat, I know not because JI is merely a recipe. Is sponge cake, made with rice flour, rapeseed oil, synthetic sweetener and coagulated gunk, actually sponge cake. In these days of hyper this and saturated that, much is sold under the guise of sponge cake. My grandmother might have taken exception to the labeling. Are we to see JI suffer the same fate?
Endeavouring to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, attempting hybridisation, and enticed by Mesembs.
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by Pattock » Tue May 04, 2021 7:09 pm

ralphrmartin wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:53 pm
But as John Innes himself had nothing to do with the peat free version, and has not endorsed it, I believe it is a shameful misuse of his name to simple call it Peat Free John Innes Compost, wrongly insinuating that it was subject to all the same rigorous research that went into the original John Innes recipe.
John Innes died in 1904, 30 years before testing started on these compost formulations. It would be strange if he had endorsed peat-free versions of something he had never encountered. If you read the John Innes Centre quote that I added above, you would know that they are perfectly happy with the altered versions sold by the horticultural retail trade.

Perhaps you would like to contact Melcourt and ask them how much research went into their formulation? Certainly, worse things have been sold as John Innes.
FredG wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 5:27 pm
ralphrmartin wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:53 pm
I do have something against people deliberately misleading the public by claiming something is one thing, when it is another.
I thought it was clear all through the thread that that was the objection.

Apparently not to some. :???:
Actually, the thread started with someone asking if anyone had experience of one particular brand of peat-free John Innes Compost. A simple request to which the answer seems to be "no". People riding hobbyhorses arrived soon after but were not all through the thread.
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by ragamala » Tue May 04, 2021 7:11 pm

ralphrmartin wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:53 pm

But as John Innes himself had nothing to do with the peat free version, and has not endorsed it, I believe it is a shameful misuse of his name to simple call it Peat Free John Innes Compost, wrongly insinuating that it was subject to all the same rigorous research that went into the original John Innes recipe.
Ralph this makes me laugh. John Innes himself didn't endorse the peat-included recipe, he was dead 3 decades before the "recipe" was concocted.

This is a futile argument as to whether peat-free composts adequately represent the JI intent, which in my reading was an attempt to determine nutritional advice rather than medium straitjackets. We are now 80 years and more on, and in many ways are - or should be - wiser - about the impact of peat usage by gardeners.
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by ragamala » Tue May 04, 2021 7:15 pm

Apologies Pattock, my typing overlapped with your last response.

FWIW I share it seems a similar hobbyhorse to you, but I can't be dogmatic because nobody's perfect. What's important is that we try and learn from the experience of others of new and hopefully improved commercial composts. Complaining about names is irrelevant.
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by Pattock » Tue May 04, 2021 7:31 pm

ragamala wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 7:15 pm
Apologies Pattock, my typing overlapped with your last response.

FWIW I share it seems a similar hobbyhorse to you, but I can't be dogmatic because nobody's perfect. What's important is that we try and learn from the experience of others of new and hopefully improved commercial composts. Complaining about names is irrelevant.
No problem, great minds think alike, as they say. :lol:
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by ralphrmartin » Wed May 05, 2021 7:32 am

Pattock wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 7:09 pm
John Innes died in 1904, 30 years before testing started on these compost formulations. ...
If you read the John Innes Centre quote that I added above, you would know that they are perfectly happy with the altered versions sold by the horticultural retail trade.
Then I stand corrected, and thank you for putting me right. I was under the impression, wrongly, that John Innes was the guy who did the research. Instead, the centre where the research was done was named for him.

The point still stands though, that considerable research and many trials went into the original JI composts to come up with some good recipes. The whole point of the JI name should be that the compost adheres to one of those original recipes proven through testing.

Different recipes may be less good, or better, and testing alternatives clearly falls within the remit of the JI Manufacturer's Association. While they did commission Coventry University to investigate alternatives, this was a study considering e.g. their availability and environmental impact, and was not a practical cultivation-based study of their suitability as a growing medium.

So, the point remains. The JI name on a compost implies a standard formulation backed up by considerable research. Using that name on a different formulation is likely to mislead the public into believing the replacement has been tested in the same way and has been demonstrated to be at least as good. This does not appear to have been done, as if it had, I am sure the JI Manufacturer's Association would be at pains to point this out.
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Members visiting the Llyn Peninsula are welcome to visit my collection.

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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by el48tel » Wed May 05, 2021 1:05 pm

I see that on Friday 14th, Gardeners World is looking at the issue of the use of peat in the horticultural industry.
Endeavouring to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, attempting hybridisation, and enticed by Mesembs.
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Re: Has anyone tried the peat-free John Innes?

Post by SimonT » Thu May 06, 2021 7:40 am

I found the report linked from this page, https://www.coventry.ac.uk/news/2020/peat-free-uk/,
quite informative about the current state of peat-free.
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