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Home-made garden compost is often recommended for use as a soil conditioner. However, it is presumably also a constituent of (commercial) compost for potting-up/potting-on plants, etc. What would be a recommended admixture of the other ingredients which again presumably comprise such things as leaf mould and grit, depending on the particular purpose intended?



Unless you are sure your compost is weed free I would not use as part of a potting compost mix. Our potting compost consists of loam, grit and leaf mold. We vary the balance depending on what we are potting up. Our garden compost all goes into the veggie garden.

22 Mar, 2010


Many Commercial composts are made from Peat with added fertilisers etc.
John Innes composts are made from sterilised loam, peat and again fertilisers in differing concentrations depending on the intended use.
Non-peat based commercial composts are often made from commercially produced garden waste. Now the difference between this and garden produced compost is that the commercial stuff is made at a much higher temperature which (is supposed) to kill off all the pathogens in the original material. It is very difficult to get those sorts of temperatures in a garden environment.
Leaf mould is made by the anaerobic decomposition of leaves, a different decomposition method to compost making where the process needs large amounts of oxygen. Again this method results in a fairly pathogen free material(but not always).
Sharp sand is often added to compost. This must be salt free.
The ratio of materials is down to you really. I do it by feel, hand: cuttingly sharp for alpines. softer for bulbs and softer still for seeds.

22 Mar, 2010

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