Sue Beesley

Latest posts by Sue Beesley

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B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 19:55

For seed sowing, try a scattering of medium vermiculite or fine grit on the surface of the seed tray. Stops that greening on the surface and 'capping off' where the seed tray gets a crust on it. 

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 18:57

Just to add - have never found glass etc. in our commercially bought peat-free compost. We do get it a little plastic in the composted green waste we get direct from the council, but that's very cheap, and just goes onto the garden as mulch. 

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 18:55

Where to start... 

Compost which has been stored outside in the wet starts to decompose anaerobically - producing exactly the unpleasant rotted smell many have noted. It also means the compost can start to leach out compounds which are inhospitable or even toxic to plants. Compost bought early this spring may have been left over from the previous autumn and may well have been too old. If I opened a bag of compost and it smelt bad I would take it straight back and complain. No plant will thrive in it. Roots must have air - oxygen - to grow and plenty of it.

Many of the complaint posts here are about soil based and peat based composts too, such as the Levingtons and JI. Also, it's not clear that the opening question referred to a peat-free compost. Multi-purpose composts usually include peat, unless they expressly say peat-free. Many people are surprised by this - they assume that a compost which includes peat would say so clearly, but it's the other way round.

I choose not to use peat because I think it's the right thing to do - as a gardener I want to leave the world a better place, environmentally, if I can. I have grown peat-free for over 10 years and now grow 20,000 plants a year without peat. The phrase I hear murmured most often around the nursery is 'Don't the plants look healthy?'

I use New Horizon peat-free compost for pretty much everything. The retail mix is a little more fibrous than the commercial mix I now get in large bulk bags, but for three years I used the bags. I mix in a bit of horticultural grit sand to give it a bit of 'bite' for potting up. I sieve it for seeds.

BBC Gardening Arrivals - Meeting Point

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 21:47

Hello too. Here under my dull office name. I also answer to 'Trillium'.

Talkback: Dieback on Leyland cypress hedges

Posted: 14/02/2012 at 17:31
Yippee if you have to dig it out (OK it's hard work, but it's a marvellous work out and cheaper than the gym membership). Other than hiding the neighbours, this plant doesn't have much to recommend it.

If you do replant, I'd replace it with Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata). Does exactly the same job, but a slightly slower growth rate. It can be cut back into old wood and will re-shoot, and it's a nicer, brighter green. Finally, it smells fruity so cutting them is a pleasure...
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