The substitutes that garden centres offer for well made compost too often cause environmental damage. Artificial fertilizers are washed out of the soil and find their way into rivers, lakes and water supplies. Nitrates are particularly harmful. In rivers, they cause an excess growth of algae, fatal to other wildlife. In water supplies, nitrates are accused of aggravating various diseases. Peat is an off the shelf solution to a lack of soil organic matter. It does no particular harm to the place where it is applied, but considerable harm to the places from which it is removed. Gardeners who like to conserve their bank balances might also reflect that peat is an expensive commodity, which lasts for a very short time in the soil.
Organic manure pellets are an acceptable fertilizer