This month B&Q stores across the country will be revamping their plants. The polystyrene packaging which usually comes with bedding plants will be thrown away as will the peat.
The plants will get a new make over by being replaced with something known as EasyGrow and the rather funny named invention called Teabag technology. This new technology will be incorporated into 20 different types of bedding plants across stores.
Easygrow with Teabag Technology™, consists of a self-contained biodegradable ‘teabag’ made from corn starch, a renewable resource that is fully compostable. Each bag is filled with coir, a natural fibre extracted from coconut husks.
The coir they use is produced in Sri Lanka to high ethical standards which have been independently audited. 750 new jobs there as part of the production, and have been helping to support the area with funding for a local school.
The move by B&Q is supported by the RSPB, long time campaigners for peat-free gardening. With easyGrow with Teabag Technology, each bedding plant is rooted in between 95 to 99% peat-free compost. Peat-free gardening takes the pressure away from exploiting lowland peat bogs. These special landscapes are home to birds like merlins and golden plovers, as well as dragonflies, raft spiders and carnivorous wild plants such as sundews and butterworts. It takes a thousand years for raised bogs to build up a metre depth of peat. Peat extraction is also a significant source of carbon emissions, releasing around 1.25million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
I was sent over an Easygrow kit which consisted of some beautiful little bedding plants which I think are Marigolds. Sorry I’m not an expert with plant names. We also got some handy tough plastic garden tools to help us with the planting.
The plants had a tiring journey getting to me and looked a little dry so we immediately planted and watered them.
I have only been in my house a few months and therefore the garden is still new to me. The grass in my garden is not growing too well so I’m thinking the soil underneath must have something wrong with it. I am also considering flagging off the grassy bit in the Summer Therefore I decided to put the bedding plants in pots for now at least.
Jordanna was more than happy to help out with planting out new plants. Ryan would rather go off on his bike with friends and Izebella wanted to help too, but would rather take the plants out of the pot than put them in.
The plants were very easy to pot. There was no packaging to dispose of or pull off. All we had to do was make sure they were planted deep enough in the soil and obviously water them when needed (on the odd days it does not rain). They are kept outside so should get enough sunshine. We got them a week ago and they seem to be fine. Still very bright and colourful so I guess we must be doing what we are supposed to with them.
Here are some interesting facts in regard to the new EasyGrow plant technology.
B&Q sell 80 million bedding plants between March and May – which would result in 22,500 cubic metres of polystyrene being sent to landfill, enough to fill 87,200 wheelie bins or 9 Olympic sized swimming pools
• The new packaging is 95% peat free, helping to ease pressure on the excavation of peat bogs, using coir instead which is made from coconut husks. Each plant can be put straight into the ground, encased in a ‘teabag’ and is fully compostable
• 94% of this peat bogs in England have been excavated largely for use in compost
• Peat use in gardening in the UK releases around 1.25 million tonnes of CO2 each year. Around 400,000 tonnes of this comes directly from commercial peat extraction on UK bogs.
To find out more about EasyGrow and the Tea bag technology you can visit the B&Q website where you will find lots more information as well as what plants come with this new technology. There is also an option to find your nearest B&Q store.
B&Q also have a great short video to watch. It features Emilia Fox talking about Greener Gardening and can be watched over on YOU TUBE