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I am recently new veg grower (3rd year). My first two years produced some ok results (all grown in veg trugs) but this year I decided to make sure I looked at the soil mix, so I put together John nines no 3, we'll rotted manure and multi purpose - one third of each. However, things have not done well at all. Is my mix wrong? Should it include grit? I've grown salad leaves, carrots, broad beans, courgettes, radishes - and only the carrots and broad beans have done well. Help please!



I can't possibly diagnose your vegetable garden based on the information you provided. There are too many variables which can go wrong. All I can say is to follow the instruction on the seed packet to the T.

23 Sep, 2017


It's likely the manure component. Composted manure is suitable for open ground, but not suitable for containers, and your vegetable trugs are not open ground. The reason for this is that composted materials, unless produced using a hot, aerobic method, may contain pathogens which, whilst causing no harm in open soil, may well cause trouble in a contained space. Manure can also cause forking of root vegetables, and that mix may well have been much too rich for salad greens and radishes.

John Innes No. 3 is usually used for long term planting in pots for larger shrubs and trees, so John Innes No. 2 would be better, although, because you mixed it with multi purpose, its unlikely to have caused a major problem.

Next year, don't use the manure.

24 Sep, 2017


Thank you, that makes good sense. No manure next year!

8 Oct, 2017

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