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Old 21-05-2019, 10:03 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls and putting
the used copmost on the veggie patch.

SWMBO asked why I did not use it again, rather than buy new.
Tactfully explained that all the nutrients would have been used
up by the bulbs and if she wanted a good displaing plants this
year it needed fresh soil. Her response, well why don't you
just add the nutrients, you've got a big bucket of Growmore in
the garage!

I wonder - is she right?


--
Roger T

700 ft up in Mid-Wales

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Old 21-05-2019, 10:31 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On Tue, 21 May 2019 10:03:59 +0100, Roger Tonkin
wrote:

I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls
I wonder - is she right?


Of course, they are always right !

Spring bulbs defintly don't need really good stuff
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Old 21-05-2019, 10:50 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On Tue, 21 May 2019 10:03:59 +0100, Roger Tonkin wrote:

I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls and putting
the used copmost on the veggie patch.

SWMBO asked why I did not use it again, rather than buy new.
Tactfully explained that all the nutrients would have been used
up by the bulbs and if she wanted a good displaing plants this
year it needed fresh soil. Her response, well why don't you
just add the nutrients, you've got a big bucket of Growmore in
the garage!

I wonder - is she right?


I believe she is. Earth used for growing plants is not much more than a
container for nutrients and water. That's why plants also grow when you
place them only in water with added nutrients (hydroponics inside rooms).

Of course earth, especially outside, also gives the plants stability,
protects them from frost, and provides an environment for microorganisms
that will keep producing nutrients for the plants.
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Old 21-05-2019, 10:56 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 21/05/19 10:03, Roger Tonkin wrote:
I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls and putting
the used copmost on the veggie patch.

SWMBO asked why I did not use it again, rather than buy new.
Tactfully explained that all the nutrients would have been used
up by the bulbs and if she wanted a good displaing plants this
year it needed fresh soil. Her response, well why don't you
just add the nutrients, you've got a big bucket of Growmore in
the garage!

I wonder - is she right?


Yes.

A handful of Growmore, or a slow release fertiliser like Osmocote should
see you ok for next year. I reuse everything - from compost in pots,
seedtrays, plugs, etc. Maybe add a bit of fertiliser if I remember, or
some new compost. And I never wash old pots - I just brush them out with
an old washing-up brush (and no, I don't put it back by the sink after
use!).

--

Jeff
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Old 21-05-2019, 12:26 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:
On 21/05/19 10:03, Roger Tonkin wrote:
I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls and putting
the used copmost on the veggie patch.

SWMBO asked why I did not use it again, rather than buy new.
Tactfully explained that all the nutrients would have been used
up by the bulbs and if she wanted a good displaing plants this
year it needed fresh soil. Her response, well why don't you
just add the nutrients, you've got a big bucket of Growmore in
the garage!

I wonder - is she right?


Yes.

A handful of Growmore, or a slow release fertiliser like Osmocote should
see you ok for next year. I reuse everything - from compost in pots,
seedtrays, plugs, etc. Maybe add a bit of fertiliser if I remember, or
some new compost. And I never wash old pots - I just brush them out with
an old washing-up brush (and no, I don't put it back by the sink after
use!).


No, Growmore alone will NOT work - most especially not on 'soilless'
compost. It is a NPK fertiliser, and the compost will be depleted
of many of the other nutrients. Miraclegrow and other 'complete'
fertilisers will work. I don't know what Osmocote contains.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.


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Old 22-05-2019, 10:23 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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In article ,
says...

In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:
On 21/05/19 10:03, Roger Tonkin wrote:
I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls and putting
the used copmost on the veggie patch.

SWMBO asked why I did not use it again, rather than buy new.
Tactfully explained that all the nutrients would have been used
up by the bulbs and if she wanted a good displaing plants this
year it needed fresh soil. Her response, well why don't you
just add the nutrients, you've got a big bucket of Growmore in
the garage!

I wonder - is she right?


Yes.

A handful of Growmore, or a slow release fertiliser like Osmocote should
see you ok for next year. I reuse everything - from compost in pots,
seedtrays, plugs, etc. Maybe add a bit of fertiliser if I remember, or
some new compost. And I never wash old pots - I just brush them out with
an old washing-up brush (and no, I don't put it back by the sink after
use!).


No, Growmore alone will NOT work - most especially not on 'soilless'
compost. It is a NPK fertiliser, and the compost will be depleted
of many of the other nutrients. Miraclegrow and other 'complete'
fertilisers will work. I don't know what Osmocote contains.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.


Thanks for all the responses, looks as if I may have to admoit
she was right

Bit confused about Nicks comment on "soilless" compost. I used
a standard garden centre product Levington Potting compost with
added John Innes, what ever that may mean,



--
Roger T

700 ft up in Mid-Wales
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Old 22-05-2019, 11:00 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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In article ,
Roger Tonkin wrote:

Bit confused about Nicks comment on "soilless" compost. I used
a standard garden centre product Levington Potting compost with
added John Innes, what ever that may mean,


Er, did it SERIOUSLY say that? If so, God alone knows what it means,
because the marketdroids that wrote that text assuredly didn't.

John Innes compost is a class of composts, made mostly from 'soil'
(including sand and some clay). Soilless composts are made from
(traditionally) peat and (mostly nowadays) coir etc. The difference
I was referring to is that clay holds mineral nutrients far better
than the soilless material does, which is why soils without it need
so much humus (which also holds them).

The executive summary is that plants in pots run out of nutrients
more thoroughly in soilless than John Innes composts, so need them
replacing.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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Old 22-05-2019, 01:12 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 22/05/2019 12:30, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Wed, 22 May 2019 10:00:14 -0000 (UTC), (Nick
Maclaren) wrote:

In article ,
Roger Tonkin wrote:

Bit confused about Nicks comment on "soilless" compost. I used
a standard garden centre product Levington Potting compost with
added John Innes, what ever that may mean,


Er, did it SERIOUSLY say that? If so, God alone knows what it means,
because the marketdroids that wrote that text assuredly didn't.


I see it for sale in our local Wyevale GC. As you say, God alone knows
what it means. I avoid it, regarding it as purely a sales pitch to
attract those who've heard of JI, but don't really understand what it
means.


John Innes compost is a class of composts, made mostly from 'soil'
(including sand and some clay). Soilless composts are made from
(traditionally) peat and (mostly nowadays) coir etc. The difference
I was referring to is that clay holds mineral nutrients far better
than the soilless material does, which is why soils without it need
so much humus (which also holds them).

The executive summary is that plants in pots run out of nutrients
more thoroughly in soilless than John Innes composts, so need them
replacing.


+1 to that explanation

I was brought up with JI compost, we used to make our own, with a small
boiler belting out steam to steralize the soil. we made around 10 tons a
year.

7 parts by loose volume medium sterilized loam
3 parts by loose volume good peat or peat substitute
2 parts by loose volume coarse sand

b) Fertilizer mix (John Innes Base)

2 parts by weight hoof and horn meal
2 parts by weight superphosphate
1 part by weight sulphate of potash

Then in the late 50's U C (University of California) came up with soil
free compost.

For your old compost I'd re use it, possibly with about 20% of new added
and I'd use Vitax Q4 to re feed it as it has trace elements.
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Old 22-05-2019, 01:15 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 22/05/2019 10:23, Roger Tonkin wrote:
In article ,
says...

In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:


A handful of Growmore, or a slow release fertiliser like Osmocote should
see you ok for next year. I reuse everything - from compost in pots,
seedtrays, plugs, etc. Maybe add a bit of fertiliser if I remember, or
some new compost. And I never wash old pots - I just brush them out with
an old washing-up brush (and no, I don't put it back by the sink after
use!).


No, Growmore alone will NOT work - most especially not on 'soilless'
compost. It is a NPK fertiliser, and the compost will be depleted
of many of the other nutrients. Miraclegrow and other 'complete'
fertilisers will work. I don't know what Osmocote contains.


Thanks for all the responses, looks as if I may have to admoit
she was right


Bulbs in flower don't take all much out of their growing media.
Hence you can grow them in bulb fibre or even a hyacinth glass.

Bit confused about Nicks comment on "soilless" compost. I used
a standard garden centre product Levington Potting compost with
added John Innes, what ever that may mean,


Soilless with peat or coir based composts have essentially no reserves
of minerals beyond those that are added to them during manufacture.

John Innes and other loam based compost contain enough clay that
minerals and trace element availability is better. But even so growing
the same sort of plant in it more than once is a bad idea. The other
problem is build up of diseases and pests in reused compost.

I tend to put my spent compost and dead plants in a corner of the
compost heap or if it is clean as a top dressing on the vegetable patch.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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Old 22-05-2019, 03:20 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 22/05/2019 13:54, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Wed, 22 May 2019 13:15:43 +0100, Martin Brown
wrote:


Bulbs in flower don't take all much out of their growing media.
Hence you can grow them in bulb fibre or even a hyacinth glass.


Yebbut if you want them to plump up and flower again next year, surely
you need to feed them?


They are not very greedy. Hyacinth glasses pretty much ruin the bulbs
but in any compost provided that you allow the leaves to die down
naturally most bulbs will regenerate with more than enough to spare.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown


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Old 22-05-2019, 08:06 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 22/05/19 11:00, Nick Maclaren wrote:
In article ,
Roger Tonkin wrote:

Bit confused about Nicks comment on "soilless" compost. I used
a standard garden centre product Levington Potting compost with
added John Innes, what ever that may mean,


Er, did it SERIOUSLY say that? If so, God alone knows what it means,
because the marketdroids that wrote that text assuredly didn't.


This is from https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=952:

"Peat-based or peat-free media with ‘added John Innes’

Adding John Innes potting media to soil-less media is sometimes done to
improve buffering, trace element content and weight of these potting
media. As John Innes potting media contain many fine particles gardeners
should be wary of adding John Innes materials to other media as the
‘fines’ may fill or block the air spaces within the media that are vital
for drainage and aeration of the root zone. This is no doubt taken into
account by manufacturers of media that is labelled as having 'added John
Innes' and formulations adjusted for adequate drainage and aeration."

I don't have an issue with that BUT what "John Innes" are they talking
about? JI1, 2, or 3 (or "Ericaceous")? And how much is being added?

John Innes compost is a class of composts, made mostly from 'soil'
(including sand and some clay). Soilless composts are made from
(traditionally) peat and (mostly nowadays) coir etc. The difference
I was referring to is that clay holds mineral nutrients far better
than the soilless material does, which is why soils without it need
so much humus (which also holds them).


Heh. I'm pleased to see you put 'soil' in quote marks. All the recipes
for JI composts call for a good percentage of "loam" - whatever that is.
And who sells it? I see "topsoil" is available from many sources, but
that is hardly a standard product.

The executive summary is that plants in pots run out of nutrients
more thoroughly in soilless than John Innes composts, so need them
replacing.


Indeed, but the main problem is not nutrients but water - turn your back
on a pot recently soaked and you'll find it dry. Water-retaining gel
helps (any idea if it helps retain nutrients, too?), but once those
soilless composts are dry, they are very difficult to wet again, even
with a drop or two of washing -up liquid added to a watering can.

--

Jeff
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Old 22-05-2019, 08:57 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 21/05/19 12:26, Nick Maclaren wrote:
In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:
On 21/05/19 10:03, Roger Tonkin wrote:
I was clearing the tubs that help the spring bubls and putting
the used copmost on the veggie patch.

SWMBO asked why I did not use it again, rather than buy new.
Tactfully explained that all the nutrients would have been used
up by the bulbs and if she wanted a good displaing plants this
year it needed fresh soil. Her response, well why don't you
just add the nutrients, you've got a big bucket of Growmore in
the garage!

I wonder - is she right?


Yes.

A handful of Growmore, or a slow release fertiliser like Osmocote should
see you ok for next year. I reuse everything - from compost in pots,
seedtrays, plugs, etc. Maybe add a bit of fertiliser if I remember, or
some new compost. And I never wash old pots - I just brush them out with
an old washing-up brush (and no, I don't put it back by the sink after
use!).


No, Growmore alone will NOT work - most especially not on 'soilless'
compost. It is a NPK fertiliser, and the compost will be depleted
of many of the other nutrients. Miraclegrow and other 'complete'
fertilisers will work. I don't know what Osmocote contains.


I hardly use any fertilisers at all, and never bother with trace
elements (other than iron sequestrene for ericaceous plants where
necessary). About 35 years ago I started to grow Western Australian
plants, and got an assortment of chemical fertilisers from Chempak to
make my own composts, especially those necessitating a very low level of
P. I also got a pack of "Trace element frit" - a fairly fine powder with
a mix of TEs to add to any compost. After opening it to see what it
looked like, it remained unused, as did most of the other "specialist"
chemicals. In the end I settled on a mix of peat, sand, and ericaceous
JI - 1:5:1 for seeds, and 1:3:1 for growing.

Maybe something more than Growmore is required for decent cropping of
food plants, but I've never had an issue with not using NPK+TE fertilisers.

For info on Osmocote, see he
https://icl-sf.com/uk-en/explore/nursery-stock-perennials-pot-bedding-plants/osmocote-controlled-release-fertilizers/
Elemental levels in a typical product can be found he
https://icl-sf.com/uk-en/products/ornamental_horticulture/8746-osmocote-pro-high-k/

--

Jeff
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On 22/05/2019 20:06, Jeff Layman wrote:
All the recipes for JI composts call for a good percentage of "loam" -
whatever that is.


Loam is soil with an ideal mixture of sand, silt and clay, which tends
also to be humus rich. It's not nutrient poor like sandy soils, nor does
it waterlog or bake solid like clay soils.

--
SRH
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Old 23-05-2019, 08:31 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 22/05/19 23:43, Stewart Robert Hinsley wrote:
On 22/05/2019 20:06, Jeff Layman wrote:
All the recipes for JI composts call for a good percentage of "loam" -
whatever that is.


Loam is soil with an ideal mixture of sand, silt and clay, which tends
also to be humus rich. It's not nutrient poor like sandy soils, nor does
it waterlog or bake solid like clay soils.


My comment was more than a little sarcastic. I'd previously read the
entry for "Loam" in my "RHS Dictionary of Gardening" (1992 edition):

"A word which originally meant clay or mud, but has come to be used
rather loosely for soils of good quality. 'Loams' are often regarded by
gardeners as the bets possible soil type, with the optimum concentration
of good drainage and moisture retention, and good nutrient-holding capacity.

(there then follows a section on the slightly different interpretation
by soil scientists, and the sub-definitions such as "sandy loam", "clay
loam", "fibrous loam", and even "chalky loam" (marl). It continues:

Loam has been used as a component in potting mediums for centuries ...
the John Innes 'compost' used topsoil that was taken from a grass ley..
This was very rich in fibrous organic matter ... before use it was
stacked to let the living components of the organic matter decompose."

And then comes the the following - remember that this was written 30
years ago:

"Obtaining loam of sufficient quality for use in potting medium, as
recommended for the original John Innes composts, is extremely difficult
in the UK."

More-or-less impossible today I would say, from the rubbish JIs that are
on sale in garden centres these days. I've had one that wouldn't even
make the definition of "dust" it was so fine.

--

Jeff


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