During Springtime, we advise you to compost your border and fertilize the ground. In Spring, garden plants need nutritious compost, because they have conquered a though winter period. At Trowbridge, you find all kinds of compost to feed your garden plants. But what kind of compost do you need? This compost choice sometimes can be hard. With such a wide selection of different garden composts available in our garden centre, it's difficult to know which to choose. Don't worry, it's simple: just ask yourself these three questions.
Tips to choose compost
- Is my plant growing in a border or in a container?
Soil improvers such as well-rotted farmyard manure boost nutrients in the open garden, so that's what you should use added to the planting hole for new shrubs, trees and perennials.
Annuals and bedding in containers enjoy multi-purpose compost, but for longer-lasting displays of shrubs, perennials or grasses, mix this 50:50 with a soil-based compost like John Innes no. 3 which holds on to nutrients for longer.
- Is my plant acid-loving?
Ericaceous or acid-loving plants, including rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and blueberries, only grow well in soils with a pH (acidity) of less than 6.5. If your soil isn't naturally acidic, grow them in containers of special ericaceous compost, also available in our garden centre.
- Do I want compost for propagating seeds or cuttings?
Seeds germinate best in soil-based seed compost such as John Innes Seed. Later, young seedlings can be potted up into multi-purpose compost.
If you aren't able to come to our garden centre, you can also make compost yourself. First of all, it's not as hard as you think. It is not too difficult, you just need to know which items you can use and which items aren't suitable for compost. Compost is organic material you add to your garden plants to improve the growth of garden plants. If you feed your plants right, you will see bigger produce, prettier flowers, and a healthier garden. First, if you want to start making your own compost, we advise buying a bin or bucket with a lid. Find the list below of fruits and vegs that are suitable for compost.
What to compost
- Fruit scraps
- Vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Grass and plant clippings
- Dry leaves
- Hairs (from yourself and your pet)
- Finely chopped wood and bark chips
- Old newspapers
- Sawdust from untreated wood
What NOT to compost
- Anything containing meat, oil, fat, or grease
- Diseased plant materials
- Sawdust or chips from pressure-treated wood
- Dog or cat faeces
- Weeds that go to seed
- Dairy products
How to make compost?
We divide compost in "green waste", like moist matters as fruits and vegs, and "brown waste", these are dry items like coffee filters, newspapers and hair. Create an equal amount of green compost and brown compost. Maintaining a balance is important is because "brown" waste is rich in carbon, feeding the organisms that break down the scraps and "green" waste supplies nitrogen, which is key for building the cell structure of your new soil. The third item is water, you have to keep the compost moist. You will know that your compost pile is right if it becomes hot in the middle. This is important to sterilize the compost and kill weed seeds or bad diseases. The heat is your proof that the ratio is working for your compost pile.
How long does it take to make compost?
It takes a few weeks before your food compost turns into soil. Turn your mix of green waste and brown waste over every two weeks. If you mix the compost, oxygen and moisture can get access to the compost. If the compost smells add more "brown waste," and turn it over more frequently. If you don't see any progress after weeks, add more "green waste." Your compost is ready if it looks and smells like normal soil. It has to colour blackish and smells and feels like particular soil you normally buy at our garden centre.
How to use compost?
If your compost is ready, incorporate it into your garden bed or sprinkle the compost on top of the border. Don't replace soil by compost. Compost is a supplement to normal soil. Garden plants, trees and shrubs will grow better and flowers will bloom prettier. Good luck with creating your compost. If you don't want to make your hand dirty, but still want to give your garden plants a boost, come to our garden centre for the best fertilizers for your border or bedding plants.
Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Trowbridge - Wiltshire for more information and advice about choosing the right composts for your plants.