hands holding seedling in soil

Written by Beth Bright

Compost. A guide (and special offer)

What’s compost all about? 

Garden compost is made from breaking down organic matter like food waste. Then there’s the compost you buy in bags which is a mix of organic matter and other things such as fertiliser to make your plants, seedlings, fruit and veg strong and healthy.

Why compost at all?

It’s TLC for your soil. It makes the soil condition and structure better, helps keeps weeds under control and also stops plants drying out too fast. Think of compost this way: it’s the difference between dull lifeless hair and thick luxuriant locks that look really healthy.

Which compost is best?

The kind of compost you choose depends on what you’re growing. Seeds and cuttings need a different compost to larger plants, as do fruit, vegetables and bulbs. What you put on a lettuce won’t be the same as what you need for orchids. It’s all down to what plants like to eat (which soil nutrients) and how much water they need to grow well.

What about peat?

If you want to go green choose a peat free or low peat compost.

How much compost and when?

Sprinkle on about 10 to 12 cm of compost and keep topping up because watering will make the compost sink. Be careful about covering up shoots (they need the light!) Some plants don’t like to be over covered in compost (especially Peony crowns) but generally, a good dollop of compost is much better than none.

Don’t make your garden hangry!

Stressed and hungry plants, just like humans can get hangry (a combination of hungry and angry). Compost and a good watering should do the trick and you’ll be repaid with beautiful blooms and tasty veg.

It’s National Gardening week and we’ve got three bags for £12 of Levington multi purpose compost with added John Innes. Hurry while the sun and stocks last… 

                     John Innes multi purpose compost bagJohn Innes multi purpose compost bagJohn Innes multi purpose compost bag