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2022 What compost are you using this year thread?!

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Deb P:
Sowing season is upon usÖ.but what compost are you using for seeds this year?

So far Iíve purchased some Westland with added  John Innes (mostly coarse green waste, lightweight and no soil or sand like additional stuff that I can see!) and B&Q Verve multipurpose which has a better texture but still needs a good sieving before using it for seeds. Anyone found any new composts that are worth trying this year?

Not a brand you'd find in the UK but, for the first time since we moved here, France Rurale, where we buy compost, plug plants and bird food, had peat free compost on sale so we got 4 60litre bags to get me started.

Tee Gee:
I am making my own this year again!
This last couple of years since giving up my allotments I have been growing a bit more stuff in containers which you will appreciate requires a lot of compost, hence my plan to make my own.

I got to thinking that I grew my stuff in the same soil for over 30 years, why can't I use the spent compost I end up with after harvesting? On the allotment, all I did was aerate(dig) the soil add humus and fertiliser and my stuff grew quite well.

So now I sieve my stored compost in lieu of digging and add fibre/humus and fertiliser.

I decided to make all my compost to the John Innes formula which is made up of loam and peat with added fertiliser and lime.
Ji No. 1
7 parts sterilised loam
3 parts peat
2 parts sharp sand
Then add:
0.6gms per litre ground limestone (0.6kg per cubic metre)
3gms per litre John Innes Base fertiliser (3kg per cubic metre)

So I now use my spent compost in lieu of loam, and as it is now difficult to get peat I have found a very fibrous compost (see pic 1 )and I buy my Ji Base fertiliser in bulk (see pic 2)

I mix up largish batches of compost and spent compost, but do not add any fertilser to it at this stage,I think of this as my 'base mix'

As most of you will know Ji comes as Ji 1, 2 or 3 where the only difference between them is Ji 1 contains 1 measure of Ji fertilser  and 2=2 measures and Ji 3 =3 measures so I add my fertiliser to the "base mix" to suit the mix I require e.g 1/2/3

For seed, I put base mix through a fine sieve and neuk it in a microwave oven, and I do not add fertilser.

Having seen the results for the last two years I am optimistic that I won't need to purchase the Westland compost as I have a source of horse muck which if left long enough reduces down a mixture that resembles a chocolate mousse, so I will use this as a peat substitute!
I went to purchase some Westland compost a few weeks and found the price has risen by around 30% luckily my supplier gave me my order at last years prices. I have roughly calculated that my homemade mix costs me around 3p per litre meaning a 70 litre bag costs me around £2.

Finally if I say so myself the quality of my homemade compost is excellent, unlike the sort of stuff that is on the market today as Deb describes!

I would love to use my own compost as I havenít found a peat-free compost that I feel is affordable in quantity or of good quality.
I produce quite a lot of my own compost but weed-free it certainly isnít!
Recently though Iíve watched a webinar which promotes the use of composted woodchip plus vermiculite as a seed-sowing medium, and Iím rather interested in trying this. ( ) Iím lucky enough to produce quite a lot of woodchip and have bagged some in the hope of keeping it weed free and hope it might be ready for next yearís growing. Vermiculite doesnít have brilliant credentials as itís imported, but seems better than using peat. I think a sieve with a turning handle might help, so something to look into.

Hopes for the future, but at the moment Iím not very happy with the mixture of unsatisfactory composts Iím using.

I'm mostly using the B+Q Verve, but mix in some sharp sand, having had problems with waterlogging in recent years.


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