Dalefoot Compost

This year we have embraced coir blocks and mycorrhiza in the greenhouse. Plants have grown well in it, but we discovered early on if we mixed in some compost there will be less of a reliance on us having to add nutrients weekly. All plants need N-P-K. N-P-K is nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Each does its own job. Nitrogen promotes green growth. Phosphorous aids root growth. Potassium makes strong stems. That's the basics really but when you turn your back on peat, you may think that you'll have to reach for the chemical feed but your wrong. This year we were introduced to Dalefoot Composts.

Going peat free is now a necessity not a luxury

Dalefoot composts use bracken and sheep's wool in their mixes, no peat and a real commitment to improving habitat for birds, grazing animals and butterflies. Now, over the years we have come across many companies with green credentials but the products have fallen short but on first inspection of our order the multipurpose compost is wonderful to the touch. Sometimes as gardeners we can tell how a good a compost is by touching and smelling it, and how sweet this compost smells. For those of you unaware of bracken compost, it is one of our oldest forms of composting in the UK and until Dalefoot had fallen out of practice on a commercial scale. By 2020, all gardeners will have to get used to being peat free and yes, you are going to have pay more for going peat free, for awhile. It's all about supply and demand. If we all went peat free tomorrow, the prices would go down, that's economics. The RHS are now pushing that all compost packaging has clear labelling on it. You expect this on food packaging and you should expect this on compost you are buying to grow food in. Some of you won't know that the RHS banned the use of peat for staging plants at there shows. This is the RHS! You only have to see our photos from this year's Tatton Flowershow Floral Marquee to see that the growers are still producing quality stands. So, what plans do we have for our compost order? We want to push the boundaries a little with the multipurpose and keep Andrew gardening during his back problems by giving him a windowsill herb garden to tend. So, we are running a trial that pulls together coriander seed that you can buy in the supermarket and Dalefoot Compost. We went for the coriander seed from the supermarket because this is often easier for a new gardener on a budget to find, our's cost 69p for a 500g package, let's see if we can get it to grow in dwindling light levels in a heated home, in a peat free compost using an old recipe that blends wool and bracken. Let the trial begin.

Growing supermarket coriander, save money


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