Evidence for the value of good compost!

by Mark Ridsdill Smith on

in Challenges

Just when I thought I’d got the knack of growing tomatoes from seed it all goes badly wrong:

Ill tomatoes

The main cause I’ve been advised by the experienced team up at Hawkwood (see Ru’s excellent blog) is lack of nitrogen. As I planted them in fresh, commercially made, organic, peat free compost, I can only guess that I got  a bad batch. I wonder if lack of nutrients is a common problem with commercial peat free composts?

I guess the moral is buy the best compost you can or make your own!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Morris May March 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hi Mark
One of the problems with peat-free is the nitrogen drawdown. As these are invariably made from a product that is decomposing, there is a high requirement for nitrogen. The longer the bag has been on ‘the shelf’ of a garden centre, the worse the situation will be, as nature does not stop, just because it has been bagged up.
Commercially, we either use a high N controlled release or liquid feed. In the lattter case, you start liquid feed after 2 weeks, as signs of N deficiency is evident then, with vigourous crops
Whatever that compost is, it looks poor to me and with poor airation. There is a tendency for people to use peat-free in the same way as they have been used to with peat. However, they do not need to be firmed to the same extent as peat products and when they are, results are often unsatisfactory.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: