Compost choices

With such a wide selection of different garden composts available in our garden centre it's sometimes difficult to know which to choose. Don't worry, it's simple: just ask yourself these three questions.

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.

Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Holt for more information and advice about choosing the right composts for your plants.

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