Saturday, 17 March 2012

Peat-free compost

Don't forget that if you want to have real green credentials you should use peat-free compost. New Horizon is the best I've found and it's been given good reviews in several mags recently, including the Garden Organic members magazine. (better yet, make your own! I've read that home compost mixed with leaf-mould makes a good seed compost. Our home and allotment don't generate enough home-made stuff so I buy-in the New Horizon multi-purpose for sowing seeds and growing toms etc in the lean-to, with usually good results and good germination rates).

Today it rained (still is) but we trekked down the plot to attach guttering to the shed, to catch the precious stuff falling from the sky (kind of ironic really!). It was a bit fiddly and the old guttering we'd been donated had been a bit hacked about previously but we managed to get a reasonable seal, fashioning some extra-thick seals from old bike inner-tubes, (we also bought the end-stops and brackets from BnQ) and the tub started to fill up straight away. We just need to find a bit of pipe for the down-pipe but in the mean-time it's happily dripping down from the end-connector bit. Quite satisfying , especially as we have a drought in the east. In fact a sign has gone up on the gate saying that a hose-pipe ban will be coming in at the end of the month - not that i use a hose-pipe anyway - lugging the watering can is extra exercise!

More rain expected tomorrow so the potatoes will have to wait a while before setting out but maybe I'll sow some leeks at home instead.


  1. We have had real problems with compost for the last few years. Even different bags of the same compost seem to perform differently. It's been a hot topic on gardening forums. Compost is either lacking in nutrients or the texture is poor. Some has green waste in the formula and the provenance of this can be difficult to trace meaning contaminants can slip in. I just wish they'd get there act together and provide us with something reliable.

  2. Yes they're definitely a mixed bunch. I bought a couple of bags of Homebase own-brand a few years back, expecting it to be like the New Horizon product but it was just composted bark, which is ok if you're just using it to improve soil structure etc but no good for seeds.

    I do rate the New Horizon product very highly though. It has a good consistency between bags. There are a few big bits in in but they can easily be picked out as you go, or even sieved if you want really fine compost.

    I got rid of my car just before christmas but went and picked up 6 big bags of the NH compost to make sure I was stocked up before having to think of another way of getting it! (have now joined a car club).

  3. Thanks for the heads up about peat-free compost.

  4. Hi, Not heard anything form you for a while - have you stopped blogging?

  5. Hi Sue, ooh yes it's been a while hasn't it! But no, haven't given up, it's just been a busy year off the plot. Will post now!

  6. Hehe, no it was a timely nudge. I hadn't even seen angela's comment before, so I hope she had a good experience with peat-free compost. A bad experience is enough to make you not bother again.