It’s probably about time to put together a few words about our compost, and as anyone who has ever grown anything has come to learn this is a highly variable and contentious area, primarily because there is no such thing as ‘the perfect blend’. In our experience it has been necessary to produce our own blends, tending towards a John Innes inspired, if not exactly replicated, formula.
Whilst the grit/sand has been easy to find, we are aware of the fact that it has an origin and that it isn’t sourced without causing damage somewhere to something. It has been a challenge to source really good loam, and then there’s the fibre – coir or peat? Either way it will involve and element of compromise. So how do we sleep at night? Well i suppose there is a degree of pragmatism involved and if we grow the trees on well then they may go on to bring benefit to the environment, so the initial use of anywhere from three to ten litres of blended compost to establish a tree and get it planted in the ground may not be such a bad investment in the longer term.
Certainly it would be a costly exercise to use a John Innes type compost for planting out; thankfully at this stage we’ll look to change blends again and vastly increase the quantity of locally produced compost and we’re lucky to have an excellent source close at hand.