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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 18


P.M. Robinson

pp: 95-97

What is the ideal compost?

A compost is an attempt to simulate an ideal rooting medium for a particular plant.

One of the first recorded studies of plant growth and nutrition was by Woodward in 1699 when; on growing vetch, potatoes and mint in water obtained from various sources, he concluded that water was merely a carrier of terrestrial matter.

Our aim as nurserymen is to produce compost suiting the particular plant in question so as to provide the correct amount of water, nutrients and aeration. As a result of this coupled with a favourable climate and light intensity we should achieve maximum plant growth.

The practical qualities of this ideal compost should be:—

  1. cheap to produce,
  2. standardised quality,
  3. good reserve of nutrients,
  4. wide spectrum of usage.

How can we achieve these qualities

In our container department we use only two different mixes of compost, a general purpose compost for the vast range of trees, shrubs and conifers and a special acid compost for ericaceous and allied

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