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Using own compost for baskets

Has anyone used there own home made compost for planting annuals in pots and baskets?

I have just potted up a trailing fuchsia basket, which I will keep in my greenhouse until it's ready to go out. I used my own home made compost mixed with perlite, some blood fish and bone, some long lasting feeding pellets and some water retaining gel granules. Do you think it will work or do they really need shop bought compost?

I have bought some compost from B&Q but to be honest, my own compost smells sweeter that the B&Q compost, which smells a bit sour. I have about 12 baskets around the house each year and I have only ever used grobag compost but I am anxious to use my own compost as much as possible.

I would value other gardeners experiences on the matter.


  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Lancashire Lass, sounds like a good mix and you can only try, we all experiment more so in todays financial climate. Bought compost will have reached a higher temperature in its making to kill off bugs and weed seeds, most of our compost bins do not get that hot so you can end up growing things you did not intend.

    I have heard complaints about B&Q compost, spreading it on a plastic sheet and adding a little lime would probably take away the sour smell, give it a couple of days or so to weather then I use a bin with a lid to store it.

    The way I do it is put my own compost in the base then add bought compost mixed with grit and gel, it works for me although you will still find yourself watering twice a day in summer, putting the whole basket in a dish of water will get it back if the compost dries out.

    Hope this helps good luck. Frank.

  • Thanks for your advise Frank.

    Yes I have certainly done that with planting large pots previously - my own compost for the bottom half and bought compost in the top.

    I also in Spring replace 2" of the top of containers with my own compost and some fertilizer. You are right, some tiny grass seeds do grow but if you are vigilant you can easily pick them out. The thing with baskets is that they are so crowded once they are growing, that any weeds go unnoticed or are crowded out anyway.

    I grow my Charlotte spuds in bags with just my own compost and they are fine, hardly needing watering (other than the rain that they get).

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the basket of fuchsias. Perhaps I should do an experiment, playing about with different mixtures!

  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    you can as long as it is sieved and fine and has good drainage.

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