Monday, 4 April 2011

Gardeners' World Compost

Now I may have my criticisms of Gardeners' World but when you see this kind of pressure on the programme you start to realise why they present things in a certain way.

"Compost manufacturers have suggested a potting compost mix formulated by BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don would not allow plants to survive."

What a load of garden manure.

I want more ideas about how to mix up my own seed and potting compost that does not rely on compost manufacturers. Their use of peat and inorganic fertiliser means that I would like to avoid them if I can.

I want methods of producing seed and potting composts that are very cheap and cheerful. So I might not get the germination that a sterilised compost might achieve but maybe the plants would be healthier due to their immune system experiencing some of the pathogens that they will encounter in the allotment. They might also form mychorrhizal associations in unsterilised compost that enables them to fair much better when they are put out in the soil.

The compost manufacturers' representative said that he could not see where the plants were getting their nutrients from. Well, if Monty is getting the soil from his compost heap maybe there is a source. If he is using fertile loam from the top soil of his garden then maybe there is another source.

I know that leaf mould does not have a great deal of nutrient in it, however it still does contain some nutrients. Oak leaves for instance have an NPK of 0.8:0.35:0.2 and apple having 1.0:0.15:0.4. Even pine needles have an NPK of 0.5:0.12:0.03 – not much but still better than a sharpened stick stuck in your eye.

Why do I know this and the "experts" don't? I think that they do but would rather bend the truth to fit their own "truth". This is not science - which is the careful and reasonable interpretation of data, this is confusion, bamboozlement, spin, and not conducive to clear understanding. This is why science has a very poor name.

No, if the Victorians could garden without manufactured compost so can I.

Now we have to contend with a garden herbicide that has a similar effect to aminopyralid.

There is one for domestic lawns called clopyralid. So if you are using lawn mowings and you don't know where they came from best avoid or compost for at least three years.

It gets to the stage that you think that gardening is just not worth it.

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