Homemade garden compost is usually used to enrich and add organic matter to the soil but it can also be used to make seed and potting mixes. I would recommend that all home composters give homemade seed and potting composts a try. Indeed, I have
included a “compost comparison" project as part of our 2016 Compost Awareness activities and hope that you will join in once full details are available. Compost
The requirements of a homemade seed of potting compost are the same as for those provided commercially. It should be:
- free from pests and pathogens (plant and human)
- moisture retentive while allowing
- of a uniform consistency (sieving may be necessary to achiev this)
- of a texture that will allow root development and support for the seedling
- and contain sufficient nutrients.
When making homemade compost mixes only mature i.e. fully decomposed compost should be used and this should be sieved (screened) so that it consists of small particles of a relatively consistent size.
The cheapest shop option for small
quantities is a Seedling Potting Riddle this has a 4mm galvanised mesh sieveto provide a compost for planting seed.
A hand operated Rotary Soil Sievis a more expensive option which will create a compost,
suitable for for Seed and Potting compost. Dry compost from the bin on the seive and the handle is rotated pushing the material through the 2.5cm/1" x 1.5cm/0.5" mesh. Both of the above can be purchased from http://www.harrodhorticultural.com and
While sieves, such as the above, can be purchased it is relatively easy to make a wooden a box frame of a size to fit onto your wheelbarrow. A strong weld mesh base with 6mm holes should be fitted securely to the frame. Remember
it will be used quite roughly so make sure that the frame and base are well secured.