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Compost choices

When it comes to keeping your soil and plants healthy, there may be a lot of questions regarding compost crossing your mind. Which compost choices should you make? Fortunately, here at garden centre Rushfields in Poynings, we have the answers to all your questions.

Ask yourself these compost questions to make the right choices

When choosing the right compost for your garden, you should ask yourself these three questions:

  • is my plant growing in a border or in a container? Use soil improvers to boost nutrients in the open garden for new shrubs, trees and perennials to grow in. Add some multi-purpose compost to annuals and container plants. Long-lasting displays of shrubs, perennials an grasses like a mix of multi-purpose compost and soil-based compost;
  • is my plant acid-loving? Rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and blueberries are acid-loving and only grow well in soils with a pH of about 5.5. Use special ericaceous compost to offer your plants the right conditions to grow in;
  • 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.

Using compost to get the right pH balance

Not all soils have the right amount of nutrients and minerals that your plants need. Adding compost to the soil will make it more favourable and help you achieve better results when growing crops. Test the pH balance of your soil before using compost. In this way, you know what to expect and what kind of compost to use. When your soil has a low pH (6.0 or lower), it is acidic. Whereas acid-loving plants grow very well in this type of soil, other plants will not be able to absorb its nutrients and will very likely die. A pH of above 7.0 means that your soil is alkaline, the opposite of acidic. Use compost to raise or lower the pH balance of your soil. Wood ash and lime are known to make your soil less acidic. Make your soil more acidic by adding sphagnum peat or elemental sulphur to the top soil.

Compost does not solve everything

To make sure your soil stays in a good condition, you should not only add compost. You should also make sure your soil is attended to in other ways. For example, rotate your crops every once in a while. When you always plant your crops in the same location, the soil nutrients in the soil will decrease quickly. Do you want more tips on how to keep your soil fertilised and healthy? Ask the staff at our garden centre in Poynings, they would love to help you out!

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