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A newly started nursery musings

I have started a small plant nursery in the last 18 months. I have lots of room and now have a 20ft polytunnel, 10+ raised beds, a 20ft net cage, and 5x 20ft runways for pots. I have grown a lot from seed, bought in some stuff from wholesale, and propagated some from cuttings. I have two questions for you, 1 do my runways need to be undercover for the winter? I'm considering moving the pots into the tunnel as obvs some stuff doesn't like the wet but working out what does and doesn't is hard. I think being in pots exasperates the problem. 
2 where can I source John innes no 3 type compost in bulk at a good price. Atm I buy from the local gc in bags 35l 3 for 15 pound. Everywhere I've looked at bulk are asking ridiculous prices ie 5x25l for 100 pound 😳
Obviously I'm getting through loads and need the best for my pots at the lowest prices
I'm in the Midlands uk
Thanks for reading


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,140
    I use CPA Horticulture for manure. They do sell JI in bulk
    5 bags is £100  - £20 a bag - a ridiculous amount
    but if you buy 40 bags, that's £230 or £5.75 a bag
    Still not cheap, but a lot better than £20/bag

    I'd be inclined to make my own at that price.
    A few years ago I bought 25 ton of their topsoil that was £500.
    It's really fine and could be mixed with supplements to make seed or potting compost..

    Welcome to the forum and best of luck with your venture :)

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Pete.8 thank you for the reply my local gc sells 3 x 35l for 15 pound so I'd be better off getting that trouble is it lasts like 5 mins. Tx for wishes fings xd xx
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,120
    Do you need to have your compost in small-ish bags? If not, a bulk supplier might work out cheaper - dumpy bags or even trailer loads, depending how much you use and whether you have somewhere to store it. A quick google search found several suppliers, eg , , Not so easy to compare though, some quote volume and others weight, plus delivery to factor in (but would save you time and fuel).

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,632
    As a nursery owner, I would have thought you would be making your own JI 3, otherwise your costs are going to be huge.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • I don't need small bags and in theory could even have it tipped. I've bought so called green compost from local suppliers but find it inferior to use in several different ways. Now looking at loam soil just need a decent local supplier 
  • Punkdoc nursery hence very small beginnings atm and yes the cost of compost is the biggest restriction to success atm. 
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