Very often, a “FAQ” about compost is: “I want compost that does everything – which one should I buy?
The truth is there is no such thing! A quick look round the yard revealed that we have nine commercial composts in stock plus a bulk mix for herbaceous plants made to our own specification. Even then we often mix two types together to get exactly what we need for a particular crop and almost always add long-term fertilizer 6,9,12 or 18 months as appropriate.
We have a good range of retail composts:
- Choose a fine multi-purpose for seeds and seedlings. This will not have much fertilizer so be prepared to feed later.
- Potting composts are stronger and coarser but only suitable for well-established plants.
- Hanging basket compost will contain water retaining gel and long-term fertilizer. But do not let that stop you liquid feeding – say once a week to start with and more often in September.
- If you are potting-up a shrub which will live permanently outside, choose a compost containing soil. The clay content will help retain the important trace elements and the weight will help stop it blowing over.
- Soil containing compost also seems to give the best results for growing vegetables. We stock Michael King’s 3:2:1 – our most popular compost and very reliable. We use it ourselves sometimes.
- We will sell bags of commercial compost to keen expert gardeners – ask at the till.
Whatever compost you use, remember plants need oxygen at their roots. This is one of the vital ingredients in a compost and one you don’t pay for – air! Bags that have been stacked on pallets can become very compacted. A bit of work breaking down the lumps and fluffing it up will pay dividends.