Pots, planters and hanging baskets are an easy and effective way to add colour to any size of outdoor space. And if you're looking to create these stunning bursts full of gorgeous, thriving plants, don’t just use the soil from your garden. Give your flowers, fruit and vegetables the best start by choosing a growing medium, such as compost, to help them become established.
Compost has a superior structure to normal garden soil – both nutritionally and physically. Compost tends to have fertiliser added, offering the specific nutrients your plants need, whatever stage of development they’re at, for several weeks. And some will have organic matter added to them to help change the physical structure of the soil, making it richer or denser so that it's better at holding water. This is especially well suited for container plants as they can dry out really quickly. It also ensures that the nutrients are locked in for as long as possible.
So, if you're keen to give your plants a helping hand, let's find the right compost.
Are you starting from scratch and planting seeds or cuttings? Or are you just replanting established plants into raised beds or larger pots? Do you want to grow fruit and vegetables? Or are you looking to grow something more exotic?
All these questions and their answers, help shape and determine what compost is best suited for your growing needs as we offer an extensive range of different types. These varieties have specific nutrients and formulas to help you with particular growing tasks. So think about what you’re going to be using your compost for and choose accordingly – though we also recommend having a multi-purpose compost on hand as well.
If you’re trying to stay green there are a couple of things to think about before you buy compost. Firstly, try and pick a peat free option if you can. If you can’t find a peat free version of what you’re looking for, go for the option with the lowest amount of peat that you can find.
A lot of our range is organic – meaning that all the nutrients come from composted bark or plant residues, and not from chemicals. So if you’re looking to maintain a chemical free garden, we’ve got options for you.
Suitable for most parts of the garden – including beds, borders, pots, containers and hanging baskets – multi-purpose compost is also suitable for most plants.
Certain plants require different things from the soil they’re growing in, so if you’re growing an exotic plant, you may need a specialist compost to help them prosper. Choose the right one based on the plant(s) you’re cultivating.
Also known as hanging basket or tub compost, potting compost is specially formulated to have enhanced water retention, making it ideal for pots that can dry out quickly. It also contains feed and is aerated to encourage plant growth.
Fine- textured and free-draining, seed and cutting compost is ideal for more fragile roots to grow without restriction and with a lower risk of rot.
Seed and cutting compost:
Named after the horticultural institute that created it, this is the only range of composts that contain loam - a fertile soil of clay and sand. It’s heavier than other composts, making it ideal for pots or containers in windy areas.
John Innes compost:
If you want to grow fruit and vegetables in a greenhouse, or if you have limited outdoor space such as a balcony, a grow bag is ideal – you don’t need pots or containers and can grow your crops in the bag.
The open texture of this compost allows plenty of room for roots to spread and grow and is best suited for bulbs. It has a very low nutrient content as bulbs don't require this to develop, and contains either charcoal or oyster shells to keep it fresh.
Come in-store to check availability of bulk fibre.
Now you know the right growing media you need for the tasks you’re undertaking, make sure you have everything else you need.
Available in all shapes and sizes, our range of pots and planters cater to all needs – whether you’re looking for cost-effective plastic pots to keep in the greenhouse or prettier options to sit on your patio. And if you’re growing from seed, we also have seed trays (as well as a wide range of seeds) to get you started.
Have you got all the garden hand tools you need? Explore our selection of digging and planting tools - including forks and spades - to make sure you're fully set to get growing.
And even composts designed to retain moisture need a little help, so pick up a watering can or sprayer for regular watering.
Most composts recommend that you wear gloves when potting, so keep your green fingers protected with gardening gloves.
And if kneeling for a sustained period, use knee pads or kneelers to stay comfortable.
Once your compost has used up all its nutrients, it will need plant food and fertiliser to continue helping your plants to thrive. We offer an extensive range, so be sure to pick one that will suit the particular plants you’re growing.