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Old 04-06-2020, 12:43 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

I was surprised when I opened my first bag this year of HomeBase Multi-
purpose Compost.
It wasn't like the other stuff that I had been using - for example Humax
that I bought (for more) at a farm shop before HomeBase reopened.
It was coarse and fibrous; a bit like the stuffing of an ancient mattress.
I can't see it being fine enough to sow any but the largest seeds, and
overall it looks very strange.

I would expect that most composts would have some soil and/or sand in to
give a finer grained component.
At least some finer ground organic matter instead of just coarse clumps.

I donm't recall last year's compost being like this.

Is it just me?


Cheers


Dave R





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Old 04-06-2020, 02:57 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

In article ,
Chris Hogg wrote:


I'm a great fan of Humax composts, especially their ericaceous
compost.


Trying to find them around here is NOT easy! I will take another look.

But in general garden composts are made down to the lowest cost that
the mfrs can achieve....


God help us, yes! I bought some Westland "John Innes No. 1" and, to
describe it as complete crap, would be unfair on crap. Unfit for
purpose - it was basically pure silt, clogged like buggery, and few
seeds germinated in it. And apparently Westland have bought the
J. Arthus Bowers brand name (the company dissolved in 2015), which
explains why my latest bag isn't really a John Innes compost, either.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:32 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On 4 Jun 2020 11:43:51 GMT, David wrote:

I was surprised when I opened my first bag this year of HomeBase Multi-
purpose Compost.



The law on compost means that we will have to get used to a differnt
type than we were used too, the providers, are having to drop their
peat content and make it up with alternatives, this year I have tried
four differnt brands, none of which I would have been happy with ten
years ago, Wickes, Westlands, Levingtons and Lidles

Thank goodness for some decent homemade compost , mixed with a bought
in bag, add vermiuclite and chicken pelletts and that is then ok to
use
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:16 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On 05/06/20 11:48, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Fri, 05 Jun 2020 11:32:01 +0100, Derek
wrote:

On 4 Jun 2020 11:43:51 GMT, David wrote:

I was surprised when I opened my first bag this year of HomeBase Multi-
purpose Compost.



The law on compost means that we will have to get used to a differnt
type than we were used too, the providers, are having to drop their
peat content and make it up with alternatives


Link? And what about this, from Feb this year?
https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/new...again-peat-ban
https://tinyurl.com/ybnbcm3e


Thanks for the link - I hadn't seen that. My favourite ericaceous
compost has disappeared, to be replaced with a peat-free (or reduced?)
version but including composted garden waste collected by councils.
Sorry, but that's not for me. I'm now using Melcourt Sylvagrow
ericaceous. On first appearance it is more expensive, but it seems
denser and a 50l bag has lasted longer than I expected. I am pleased
with it so far.

--

Jeff
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:23 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

In article ,
Derek wrote:

The law on compost means that we will have to get used to a differnt
type than we were used too, the providers, are having to drop their
peat content and make it up with alternatives, this year I have tried
four differnt brands, none of which I would have been happy with ten
years ago, Wickes, Westlands, Levingtons and Lidles


Please summarise your experiences!

Thank goodness for some decent homemade compost , mixed with a bought
in bag, add vermiuclite and chicken pelletts and that is then ok to
use


My problem is with seed compost, because I can't think of how to
sterilise the soil without acquiring another large device - and I have
no space left for storage.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.


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Old 05-06-2020, 01:38 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On 05/06/20 13:23, Nick Maclaren wrote:

My problem is with seed compost, because I can't think of how to
sterilise the soil without acquiring another large device - and I have
no space left for storage.


Have you got a problem with soil-borne pathogens? I just wonder because
I not only do not sterilise any seed compost I use, but I no longer wash
the used pots I sow seeds in. I have had problems in the past with
damping-off in seed-trays covered with a plastic propagator lid, but not
recently, and I can't remember any recent problems with seeds sown in
small pots.

Although it may not be perfect for sterilising, have you tried spraying
hydrogen peroxide solution on the compost an hour or so before sowing?
It shouldn't affect the seeds (except that it /might/ improve
germination of some recalcitrant seeds), and doesn't leave any residue.

--

Jeff
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Old 05-06-2020, 02:04 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:

My problem is with seed compost, because I can't think of how to
sterilise the soil without acquiring another large device - and I have
no space left for storage.


Have you got a problem with soil-borne pathogens? I just wonder because
I not only do not sterilise any seed compost I use, but I no longer wash
the used pots I sow seeds in. I have had problems in the past with
damping-off in seed-trays covered with a plastic propagator lid, but not
recently, and I can't remember any recent problems with seeds sown in
small pots.


Oh, I gave up washing pots some time ago. It's not for that reason,
but to reduce the weed seed load for seeds that are difficult or slow
to germinate or difficult to identify as seedlings.

I do have a problem with soil-borne pathogens, but they don't seem to
be as active in pots, and I don't know what they are. Except for
white rot, eelworms and spraing, which I have identified but do not
affect seeds.

Although it may not be perfect for sterilising, have you tried spraying
hydrogen peroxide solution on the compost an hour or so before sowing?
It shouldn't affect the seeds (except that it /might/ improve
germination of some recalcitrant seeds), and doesn't leave any residue.


No, but it won't help - I do use household bleach on seeds (including
ones that have already sprouted) to kill surface mould, and it doesn't
seem to affect plants significantly. Chemicals won't do the job; only
steam would.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:01 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On 05/06/20 14:04, Nick Maclaren wrote:
In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:

My problem is with seed compost, because I can't think of how to
sterilise the soil without acquiring another large device - and I have
no space left for storage.


Have you got a problem with soil-borne pathogens? I just wonder because
I not only do not sterilise any seed compost I use, but I no longer wash
the used pots I sow seeds in. I have had problems in the past with
damping-off in seed-trays covered with a plastic propagator lid, but not
recently, and I can't remember any recent problems with seeds sown in
small pots.


Oh, I gave up washing pots some time ago. It's not for that reason,
but to reduce the weed seed load for seeds that are difficult or slow
to germinate or difficult to identify as seedlings.

I do have a problem with soil-borne pathogens, but they don't seem to
be as active in pots, and I don't know what they are. Except for
white rot, eelworms and spraing, which I have identified but do not
affect seeds.

Although it may not be perfect for sterilising, have you tried spraying
hydrogen peroxide solution on the compost an hour or so before sowing?
It shouldn't affect the seeds (except that it /might/ improve
germination of some recalcitrant seeds), and doesn't leave any residue.


No, but it won't help - I do use household bleach on seeds (including
ones that have already sprouted) to kill surface mould, and it doesn't
seem to affect plants significantly. Chemicals won't do the job; only
steam would.


I misunderstood the reason for the sterilisation! How about a different
tack if you have the space and time...

Prepare the compost as you would for sowing, but don't sow anything.
Water well, and cover with something transparent/translucent. Leave to
allow weeds to germinate. When they have, hoe or remove them. Turn the
compost over, water again, cover, and leave for the slower-germinating
or deeper weed seeds to appear. Hoe or remove as before. If you think
there could be more, you could repeat again but I doubt it would be
necessary. Then sow the seeds you want. I admit it's a bit of a
rigmarole, but it's free!

--

Jeff
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:53 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

In article ,
Chris Hogg wrote:

Chemicals won't do the job; only steam would.

By implication, you need to sterilise significant quantities. For
small amounts, say one or two seed trays, I use a microwave, but you
must be aware of that option.


Yes, and it stinks, which does not please SWMBO. Nor me, actually.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:55 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:

I misunderstood the reason for the sterilisation! How about a different
tack if you have the space and time...

Prepare the compost as you would for sowing, but don't sow anything.
Water well, and cover with something transparent/translucent. Leave to
allow weeds to germinate. When they have, hoe or remove them. Turn the
compost over, water again, cover, and leave for the slower-germinating
or deeper weed seeds to appear. Hoe or remove as before. If you think
there could be more, you could repeat again but I doubt it would be
necessary. Then sow the seeds you want. I admit it's a bit of a
rigmarole, but it's free!


I thought of that, but don't really want to spare the space and time.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.


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Old 05-06-2020, 04:04 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On 05/06/2020 14:04, Nick Maclaren wrote:
In article ,
Jeff Layman wrote:

My problem is with seed compost, because I can't think of how to
sterilise the soil without acquiring another large device - and I have
no space left for storage.


Have you got a problem with soil-borne pathogens? I just wonder because
I not only do not sterilise any seed compost I use, but I no longer wash
the used pots I sow seeds in. I have had problems in the past with
damping-off in seed-trays covered with a plastic propagator lid, but not
recently, and I can't remember any recent problems with seeds sown in
small pots.


Oh, I gave up washing pots some time ago. It's not for that reason,
but to reduce the weed seed load for seeds that are difficult or slow
to germinate or difficult to identify as seedlings.

I do have a problem with soil-borne pathogens, but they don't seem to
be as active in pots, and I don't know what they are. Except for
white rot, eelworms and spraing, which I have identified but do not
affect seeds.

Although it may not be perfect for sterilising, have you tried spraying
hydrogen peroxide solution on the compost an hour or so before sowing?
It shouldn't affect the seeds (except that it /might/ improve
germination of some recalcitrant seeds), and doesn't leave any residue.


No, but it won't help - I do use household bleach on seeds (including
ones that have already sprouted) to kill surface mould, and it doesn't
seem to affect plants significantly. Chemicals won't do the job; only
steam would.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.

I have posted here before to say Microwave the soil.
If you seive your soil/compost then fill a 2 litre casserole dish with
it, put the lid on and microwave it for about 8 to do mins, making sure
the soil goes in damp.
I bought a cheap microwave that |I could use in an out building as not
everyone likes the smell off cooking soil.
It's supprising how much you can do in an hour.
You can then mix it with coir or what ever you want as well as pearlite
and or sand, gravel and a compost base mix.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:19 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

In article ,
David Hill wrote:

I have posted here before to say Microwave the soil.


And I have done it in the past.

If you seive your soil/compost then fill a 2 litre casserole dish with
it, put the lid on and microwave it for about 8 to do mins, making sure
the soil goes in damp.
I bought a cheap microwave that |I could use in an out building as not
everyone likes the smell off cooking soil.
It's supprising how much you can do in an hour.


Perhaps 10 litres. Unfortunately, a seed tray is 4 litres.

However, the real issue is as I said. Space. Microwaves are not small,
and I would also have to store the other ingredients. While I have
most of them, I am trying to reduce clutter!


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On 05/06/2020 13:16, Jeff Layman wrote:
On 05/06/20 11:48, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Fri, 05 Jun 2020 11:32:01 +0100, Derek
wrote:

On 4 Jun 2020 11:43:51 GMT, David wrote:

I was surprised when I opened my first bag this year of HomeBase Multi-
purpose Compost.


The law on compost means that we will have to get used to a differnt
type than we were used too, the providers, are having to drop their
peat content and make it up with alternatives


Link? And what about this, from Feb this year?
https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/new...again-peat-ban
https://tinyurl.com/ybnbcm3e


Thanks for the link - I hadn't seen that. My favourite ericaceous
compost has disappeared, to be replaced with a peat-free (or reduced?)
version but including composted garden waste collected by councils.
Sorry, but that's not for me. I'm now using Melcourt Sylvagrow
ericaceous. On first appearance it is more expensive, but it seems
denser and a 50l bag has lasted longer than I expected. I am pleased
with it so far.


We use Melcourt on the Nursery, but we add mix bagged soil with it as we
find that mitigates a lot of the problems.

--
Charlie Pridham
Gardening in Cornwall
www.roselandhouse.co.uk
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Old 14-06-2020, 03:37 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

On Thu, 04 Jun 2020 11:43:51 +0000, David wrote:

I was surprised when I opened my first bag this year of HomeBase Multi-
purpose Compost.
It wasn't like the other stuff that I had been using - for example Humax
that I bought (for more) at a farm shop before HomeBase reopened.
It was coarse and fibrous; a bit like the stuffing of an ancient
mattress.
I can't see it being fine enough to sow any but the largest seeds, and
overall it looks very strange.

I would expect that most composts would have some soil and/or sand in to
give a finer grained component.
At least some finer ground organic matter instead of just coarse clumps.

I donm't recall last year's compost being like this.

Is it just me?


As well as the standard compost I have now opened a peat free from HomeBase
and a small bag of compost from Lidl.
All three look identical - that is fibrous with few small particles and no
sign of sand or soil.

I used to make up a mix of HomeBase compost, HomeBase garden soil, and
HomeBase farmyard manure with chicken manure and Growmore added and this
seemed to suit most things.

This year has been a bit disrupted but I've just bought some garden soil
from HomeBase and will try and give it a go again.

Lock down complicates the simplest things.

Cheers

Dave R


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Old 14-06-2020, 08:28 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Bought compost grumble - HomeBase vs Humax

David wrote:
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It isn't an 'email'.

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