Only ‘old’ compost available

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Petunia
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Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Petunia » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:55 am

Newbie poster here, please excuse if this isn’t quite the correct thread. I did do a quick search but was told that the words I used were too common :lol:

I have some small/young herb plants that are now becoming desperate to be planted out, I’m planting into pots. The only compost that I have available just now is two bags that have been here about 18 months, I’m not even sure anymore exactly what they are, but I’ll go check if it makes a difference. I have compost ordered which was supposed to arrive before the plants but things as they are right now, that hasn’t happened and I’ve now received an update that the compost may not be here until the 28th :(

Could I use this old compost or should I just wait and hope for the best with the herbs?
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Stephen
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Stephen » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:16 pm

Welcome to the forum.

For me: if things need planting out then do it, old compost or new. Do you have some liquid feed to add to it?
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Geoff
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Geoff » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:57 pm

If you have some fertiliser like fish, blood and bone and a riddle; sieve together some soil and your old compost and add some fertiliser.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:41 pm

As long as the bags of compost haven't got soaked and the compost inside has that horrible stale smell, it should be fine, Petunia.
And a warm welcome to the forum... :)
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Primrose
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Primrose » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:52 pm

Welcome to the forum. I recently found myself in the same dilemma and i suspect you're in good company given the current circumstances. I mixed old compost with finely crushed soil from my borders to make a substitute compost. If you're worried about mould pour some boiling water on the mixture in a self draining container before potting, leave to cool & add a few chicken manure pellets before planting up or water in your plants with a liquid fertiliser.
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Monika » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:57 pm

Welcome, Petunia. I had to use last year's compost for my early sowing and and plantings and all have survived and are growing well. Good luck, I am sure your plants will be ok.
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Petunia
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Petunia » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:19 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice. I have some seaweed feed and fish, blood and bone. I’ll use the latter with the compost, I’ve not opened it yet but will take the advice of the boiling water if it seems mouldy. Fingers crossed and I’ll let you know how I get on in a week or so.

Will spend some time wandering ‘round the threads, probably finding some good advice before I need it! Thank you again everyone :)
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Westi
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Westi » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:18 pm

Welcome to the forum! Browse around the old posts as well is a great idea as we've had some very experienced growers on here over the years! I admit I do, on & off for specific advice!
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Colin2016
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Colin2016 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:07 am

Welcome Petunia.

I would use it "waste not want not" then when you get the new lot add some to the plant.
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JohnN
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby JohnN » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:46 am

Welcome Petunia. My wife and I love the Norfolk coast and have friends in Fakenham. Just one comment on responses to your posts: If you use chicken manure pellets, I find they take aeons to break down so I always soak them for several days and then just use the liquid. But our experts may have other ideas!
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judyk
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby judyk » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:34 pm

Hi Petunia,

Lots of good advice here, but I'd add that if they are Mediterranean herbs (rosemary, thyme, sages, oregano, etc.) check that your compost isn't peat-based, as most won't do well in an acid environment. If it is peat compost and you really want to use it I would add a bit of garden soil at about 1/3 soil to 2/3 of the compost, plus a small amount of lime (or if you don't have that, a bit of horticultural sand). Don't overdo the feeding, make sure the drainage is good, and if you get a lot of rain there sprinkle some gravel over the top of the pots to keep the bases of the stems out of the wet.
Vigorous herbs that are happy in cooler climates, like the mints, will grow in just about anything, anywhere. We have some growing in a concrete path.

Good luck! :)
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Petunia
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Re: Only ‘old’ compost available

Postby Petunia » Sat May 02, 2020 6:30 pm

Well... :D

The bags I had did smell, something horrible, when I opened them. Plus there were slugs roaming about too so I decided against using them :lol: Many phone calls and 4 days later I had 4 bags delivered from a small farm/nursery near us, so happy days! That said, I now have another small issue which I’ll post up but I did want to let you know how I got on and thank everyone for their advice, it was much appreciated.
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