Your compost of choice this year?

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cordyman
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Your compost of choice this year?

Post by cordyman » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:03 am

B+Q seemed to have some bad quality multipurpose @ my local store last year, lots of white mould and fungus growth, and it seemed very poor at holding water. Wickes my other local shed also got slated in the reviews for their 2012 batch.

This year i'm going to try the Wickes multipurpose. apparently its a new formula for 2013, and its on offer for 4 for £15 so 280 litres which aint bad.

Bought some Perlite too, never used it before but want to start some of my bulbs off indoors, got x100 to plant so mixed some in and have to say on initial thoughts the compost looks of good quality, some decent roughage in there and no signs of white fungus etc...


PH 5-6...
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Lots of fibrous bits...
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Hopefully a good perlite choice...
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After adding and mixing in the perlite...
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fern Rob
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by fern Rob » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:12 am

I uses a compost mix made at the local nursery, a really good quality compost.
Rob
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Dave Brown
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:23 am

I bought the B&Q Verve last year and it was not that good, but had to buy some this year in a hurry and the quality has improved. I buy perlite by 100 ltre bag for £20 delivered.
Best regards
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JBALLY
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by JBALLY » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:27 am

I always mix my own compost usually it consists of 40% multipurpose, 30% john innes or a good quality loam and 30% perlite but depending on what I am going to be potting up the list of ingredients changes and can also include grit for drainage and weight, sharpsand, leafmould and even some of my own compost once it has been sterilized and riddled. The multipurpose I am finding really good at the minute is from my local nursery and is called plant and grow and is made by premium horticulture limited and I think it is the same as the nursery uses since the formula they used to use changed. I do not know how widely available it is but it is very good. The mix you have used for your bulbs is very simular to what I would use for bulbs as they are not overly fussy and unless they are to be planted in pots for a cople of years (in which case they would need some loam added) then will work very well. icon_thumright


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cordyman
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by cordyman » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:30 am

Dave Brown wrote:I bought the B&Q Verve last year and it was not that good, but had to buy some this year in a hurry and the quality has improved. I buy perlite by 100 ltre bag for £20 delivered.

Do you have a link? I think I paid too much :oops:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121055631015? ... 1497.l2648


JBALLY
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by JBALLY » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:33 am

Dave I have just spotted your post, were do you get your perlite from at that price delivered, mine comes in at nearly £24 delivered, also what grade do get fine or medium. Heres where I get mine Cordy http://www.lbsgardenwarehouse.co.uk/pro ... e=1&jump=0


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Chad
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Chad » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:51 pm

I started last season with a ‘multipurpose’ 'Verve' compost from B&G. It made no claims about peat in big letters, but there is a panel on the side saying it is 58% peat. It looked OK, and I potted on all sorts of things in the spring fever. It killed [not ‘things didn’t thrive’] almost everything that went into it. Already rooted dahlia cuttings and other ‘easy' stuff as well as some irreplaceable seedlings. It had to be the compost; other things potted on the same day in the end of last years bag [from a different supplier] did fine.

Replacement compost from another source has meant I haven’t had significant other losses through the season.

Here is what I have used this year.

First a picture of my hand and a three inch pot to get the scale.
2006_01252Jan0002small.JPG
This is the B&G compost. It looked OK, with only a few small bits of plastic in it to suggest 'green waste' as a component. The potted up Dahlia were left to soak standing in 2cm of water and it didn’t moisten through; it needed watering in from above the next day.
2006_01252Jan0003small.JPG
This is the replacement peat based compost from a horticultural supplier. I had forgotten how good ‘proper’ compost felt and smelt! It is a little fine for a lot of things, but doesn’t need sieving for fiddly work.
2006_01252Jan0005small.JPG
This is [for me] this year’s revelation. It is potting bark. I had tried some from B&Q [Verve again] and it was just shredded woody waste. This is an altogether different experience. It is very sharp draining, but mixed with the peat based compost at 1:2 of bark/peat base it is wonderful. It drains well; it distributes water through itself and is a joy to work with. On its own I have some orchids in it too.
2006_01252Jan0006small.JPG
I have found it difficult to source a good loam based compost. Our local horticultural supplier offers this ‘John Innes’ compost. The ‘sharp grit’ seems to have become pea gravel [which adds useful weight but doesn’t do much for the drainage] and the ‘good quality loam’ may be clay subsoil! I wouldn’t want to use it on its own; but added at about one part in ten to the peat/bark mix it seems to slow down that final bit of drying out between things needing water and being dead; helps with re-wetting and the weight stops top heavy pots falling over. I think it is evening out the nutrient supply as well.
2006_01252Jan0004small.JPG
This is ‘super course perlite’. For cuttings and seedlings I use it to lighten the peat based compost. Finer grades tend to turn to clay in my pots. This stuff keeps composts open, freely drained, well aerated, and is easily re-wetted. It is probably less environmentally sound than peat but I wouldn’t wish to garden without it. I'm paying £11.49 delivered if i'm putting a big order - or the same price if I collect it from the depot on its own. Monro's are wonderful if you live near them!
2006_01252Jan0007small.JPG
Gravel helps drainage and adds to weight, but unlike perlite doesn’t seem to help to pull moisture through the compost and doesn’t hold moisture on its own at all. It does add weight to pots though. In the right circumstances that is really useful. Hippeastrum fall over without grit in the pot, and smaller shrubs ‘growing on’ in pots outside are much more stable with a good addition of gravel to their mix. In Cornwall ‘Cornish grit’ is a waste product from the local granite quarries and is just what is needed. I think most of the cost is in transport for this; so I guess whatever stone is local would be what is used for ‘local grit’.
2006_01252Jan0008small.JPG
The final ‘bulk purchase’ of the year was a slow release fertiliser. I add it to the mix when I pot up and it makes up for me forgetting to put the in-line feeder on the hose. It has made a huge difference to things this year. I have far fewer yellow and struggling plants! I went for the longest acting one I could find – 18 months. For much of my stuff it should have been re-potted again soon after that.
2006_01252Jan0017small.JPG
Chad.


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Dim
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Dim » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:36 pm

I use imported composts, however, when I have landscaping jobs, and the clients want to cut costs, I use John Innes #3, but I also add a bit of Plagron vermicompost (worm manure) .... I get large bags for £8.99 from a hyroponic store nearby ....

today, I worked in a garden, but also added a handful of vermicompost to each of their indoor pot plants ....

it's worthwhile buying a few bags ... a couple of handfuls around your outdoor shrubs does wonders, and a few handfulls mixed with the normal composts bought from garden centres, will do the world of good
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We live off The Energy IN the food we eat!!!"
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Dave Brown
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:31 pm

cordyman wrote:
Dave Brown wrote:I bought the B&Q Verve last year and it was not that good, but had to buy some this year in a hurry and the quality has improved. I buy perlite by 100 ltre bag for £20 delivered.

Do you have a link? I think I paid too much :oops:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121055631015? ... 1497.l2648
Cordy,

This is the link to the seller on ebay. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160817355013? ... 1439.l2649

The size is 1 to 6mm, and a fair proportion of it is at the large end, so is called supercoarse.

Interesting post Chad. Just checked and my Verve compost is also 58% but seems reasonable stuff and wets through from bottom soaking. Maybe if they use recycling material it is variable. I find it VERY moisture retentive, and would never use it on it's own. For Begonia I'm using about 20% sharp sand, 20% topsoil loam, 20% perlite with it.
Best regards
Dave
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Mr List
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Mr List » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:01 pm

I always use verve, always seems good to me.

I nearly always mix in bark and/or perlite though.

I used just verve on its own for hosta empress wu and I repotted that today.
in one year it filled a 38cm pot with bit strong roots from a little 1litre bareroot from Bowden hostas.
so it is great neat for hostas. icon_thumleft

where can you get that good bark from chad?


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call
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by call » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:08 pm

paul's own mix from meadow grange nursery, good stuff icon_thumleft
callum
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Addictedtopalms26
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Addictedtopalms26 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:17 pm

I tend to use whatever is on offer at the garden centre. I don't buy from the DIY places as I haven't been impressed with the quality. You can tell a good compost by the texture. :) Currently got westland 3x50 litre bags for £10. Levington is lovely but i'm not paying £12 for 2 bags!!
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by bordersboy » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:42 pm

Not buying any compost this year. Instead Im using soil/old compost/stuff :wink: from over the fence thats had this rubbish dumped on it for the last 15 years. Mixed with a bit of last years leaf mould a bit of builders sand,growmore,fish blood and a bit of builders sand.
Cheap, and hope its ok :ahhh!:


Tom2006
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:48 pm

Like everything, its all getting more expensive. I wish I could find a supplier of good compost. Might ring around my local nurseries. I've bought some Westlands this year. Although I'm avoiding pots this year as much as I can.
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Dim
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Re: Your compost of choice this year?

Post by Dim » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:04 pm

Tom2006 wrote:Like everything, its all getting more expensive. I wish I could find a supplier of good compost. Might ring around my local nurseries. I've bought some Westlands this year. Although I'm avoiding pots this year as much as I can.
go to a local area that has a forest/large trees (not pine or acidic trees) .... dig up some topsoil... add a bit of perlite and it will be as good, (if not better) than any garden centre compost :wink:
"We don't live off the food that we eat,
We live off The Energy IN the food we eat!!!"
- Dr. Carey Reams, Phd. in Biophysics and Biochenistry


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