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Organic Gardening:


Compost mixtures you can make at home


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Although many proprietary compost mixtures are available commercially, the selection offered to the organic gardener is limited. However, there are many traditional compost mixtures for various purposes, and this is a representative selection of these.

Compost mixtures

Notes

After 4-6 weeks, regular feeding with organic liquid feed will be needed, as the nutrients will have been used up. Make no more compost at a time than you can use.

How much do I need?

40 litres (9 gal) of compost will fill 18x18 cm (7") pots or 30x15 cm (6") pots or 40x13cm (5") pots or 100x10 cm (4") pots or 140x9 cm (3½") pots or 200x8 cm (3") pots or 340x6 cm (2½") pots or 12 standard seed trays

Soil-based sowing compost 2 parts loam
2 parts peat-substitute, coir, leafmould or composted bark
1 part coarse grit
Bonemeal: 60g per 9L (2 oz per 2 gal)
Dolomitic lime/hydrated lime: 30 g/9 L (1 oz/2 gal)
Soil-based potting compost 7 parts loam
3 parts peat-substitute
2 parts grit
Blood, fish & bone: 150 g/9 L (5 oz/2 gal)
Dolomitic lime, hydrated lime or calcified seaweed: 30 g/9 L (1 oz/2 gal)
Soil-less sowing compost 12 parts peat-substitute
1 part coarse sand
1 part perlite or vermiculite
3 parts leafmould or composted bark
Dolomitic lime or hydrated lime: 30 g/9 L (1 oz/2 gal)
Blood, fish & bone: 90 g/9 L (3 oz/2 gal)
Hoof & horn or seaweed meal: 30 g/9 L (1 oz/2 gal)
Soil-less potting compost I 12 parts peat-substitute
1 part coarse sand
1 part perlite or vermiculite
Dolomitic lime or hydrated lime: 30 g/9 L (1 oz/2 gal)
Blood, fish & bone: 90 g/9 L (3 oz/2 gal)
Hoof & horn or seaweed meal: 30 g/9 L (1 oz/2 gal)
Soil-less potting compost II 6 gallons moss peat-substitute
1½ gallons horticultural grit
3 oz calcified seaweed
3 oz seaweed meal or wood ash
4½ oz hoof and horn or fine bonemeal
9 oz blood, fish and bone
Sift through a ½" sieve. Make the compost in the autumn and store it in a bag or bin, watering if it becomes dry. If making it in spring add 2 oz hydrated lime.
Cutting compost 1 part peat-substitute
1 part horticultural grit
Special cucumber compost
4 gallons peat-substitute
2 gallons well-rotted manure or compost
1½ gallons sharp sand
3 oz calcified seaweed
9 oz fish, blood and bone
3 oz dried seaweed or wood ash.
Dick Kitto's seed & potting compost
2 parts sifted compost from heap
2 parts peat-substitute
1 part horticultural grit/coarse sand
2 parts sifted soil (optional)
Ben Easy's seed compost I 1-2 parts sifted compost
3-4 parts loam from turf heap
3 parts peat-substitute or leaf mould
2 parts horticultural grit
Ben Easy's seed compost II 2 parts sifted compost
2 parts good soil
2 parts horticultural grit
plus 2 handfuls fine bonemeal per 10 lb
John Bond's seed compost 1 part compost
1 part horticultural grit
2 parts loam
Ben Easy's potting compost I 7 parts compost
3 parts loam
2 parts horticultural grit
1 part peat-substitute or leaf mould
Ben Easy's potting compost II 1 part compost
1 part loam
2 parts horticultural grit
1 part peat-substitute or leaf mould
G O Liss's potting compost for tomatoes and lettuces 1 part compost
1 part loam
plus a 5" pot of bonemeal, a pot of ground limestone and half a pot of hoof and horn per barrowload
For lettuces, leave out the hoof and horn.
Dudley & Stickland's potting compost I 1 part loam
2 parts garden or worm compost
1 part fine grade bark or leafmould
Dudley & Stickland's potting compost II 4 parts loam
2 parts fine grade bark or leafmould
plus 8oz seaweed meal, 4 oz bone meal and 2 oz calcified seaweed per 12 gallons
Harry Dodson's compost for pricking out 1 barrow well-matured loam, put through a ½" riddle
½ barrow grit or sand graded up to 0.125"
5" pot bone meal


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Article ©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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