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Why is John Innes called 'compost'?

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Why is John Innes called 'compost', and why is multipurpose called 'compost'? The compost of a compost heap is compost. A dictionary defines the word 'compost' as "a fertilizing mixture of decaying vegatable matter for soil". Yet John Innes is not this at all, and multipurpose I think is only this a little bit. Can anyone help to solve this mystery for me, and indeed for us all? I have wondered for as long as I can remember.



Compost is a catch all term, as you describe above, Jonathan -what's really important is what comes before that word, as in "potting", multi purpose, seed and cutting, ericaceous, garden, etc. Unfortunately, most people just talk about "compost" without the preceding noun/adjective, so the difficulty arises precisely because of that, bit like saying "conifer" when you want specific height/width details of a particular plant, without naming the cultivar.

9 Apr, 2010


So really, "composted" means rotted down and decomposed. 'To compost' is a verb. But 'compost' just means 'bag of stuff'. Perhaps we should replace the word 'compost' with the words 'growing medium'.

9 Apr, 2010


Except that compost isn't always a growing medium, as such, Jonathan, sometimes its just a soil conditioner, isn't it.

9 Apr, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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