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Gardening Materials and Covid

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Tee Gee:
Over the last couple of years, when I hear people talking about the problems Covid and the lockdowns have created, I have always replied that the worst is still to come!

My thoughts were.....these costs will have to be paid for!!!!

From experience, I have always known that successive governments and commerce often use a disaster or national crisis to sweep some unsavoury problem/s (such as raising prices) under the carpet and blame it on the current problem/s

Looks like that I am being proven correct!

Last week I went to purchase a few seeds and compost, and I was amazed at how things have increased in price, for example;

Multi-purpose compost from my usual source had risen approximately 30% in price and on looking around I noticed that other necessities such as fertilsers etc had risen by a similar amount.

Then I had a look at mail order plants and here some prices had risen to spectacular levels, needless to say I didn't buy any plants, I now plan on growing these from seed this year!

Luckily I am now making my own compost so this morning I worked out roughly what my compost was costing me and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is costing me around 3 p per litre whereas my source was charging 8 for 70 litres of multi-purpose compost (11.43 p /litre)

Incidently I am making my own compost to the John Innes recipe so 3p/litre for Ji N2 is a great saving, add to that, I have the option of making any of the Ji recipes (Ji1/2/3/seed) which makes my saving even greater.

Plus, if I say so myself, the quality is excellent!

To do this, I have been saving the used compost from my containers over the last two years and recycling it, where I sieve out any old detritus from the spent compost before rejuvenating it with Ji Base mix.

At the same time, I check the pH to ensure it is OK, I also add a little Perlite to improve/open up the texture.

I currently have a stock of around 1000 litres of used/spent compost stored in Daleks & Dusbins. I mix this with some new fibrous compost at a ratio of 3 parts spent compost to one part new compost, then I add the fertiliser/Perlite & Lime as required!.

I am also finding that making my own compost is quite therapeutic,  so I think I have created a "Win Win" situation for myself during these troubled times! :icon_cheers:

Obelixx:
Some of those price rise swill be Brexit related, not Covid.  Lots of the bog standard plant plugs, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees are raised in bulk in highly mechanised Dutch and Belgian greenhouses on an industrial scale and with clever heating and lighting systems to increase output and reduce  costs.  Any that now come to the UK have to include the costs of phyto sanitary certificates, import licenses, increased fuel and transport costs and so on.

British growers just aren't geared up for those economies of scale and also have increased fuel and transport costs.

Even here, half way down the Atlantic coast, plants are already more expensive than I was used to in Belgium and they don't have the varieties I want so I now grow most of my veg and perennials and some shrubs from seed.

I don't know much about composts as there seems to be no standard formulation here but 8 for 70 litres seems cheap to me.   Usually about 13 for 60 or 70 litre bags tho I do usually find BOGOF and 3 for 2 offers in February.   I asked for a compost sieve for Xmas as it seems to be increasingly lumpy.   We use our home-made composts as soil improvers.

Tee Gee:

--- Quote ---Some of those price rises will be Brexit related
--- End quote ---

I agree this will be part of the increase, but I think the retailers here in the UK have lost a lot of trade due to Covid lockdowns, and now I guess they are trying to recoup some of their losses.

Obelixx:
Maybe but their fuel and commodity prices have gone up too and not all got support during Covid thanks to holes in govt furlough systems.  They're also likely to have to pay their staff more to keep them.

gray1720:
I don't know how much nurseries relied on casual staff, but all those dreadful Eastern Europeans have gone home, and suddenly there's a shortage of people to do all the jobs that they used to do, who would have forecast that?

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