• Cobwebs appeared on the box hedge bordering our apple trees this week. The webs were picked out in dew and have, of course, been there for weeks but invisible in the warm weather. The cooler damp air brings on thoughts of making apple crumble from our crop. Back in spring we planted a tree called Keswick Coddling which is a variety local to our area. It's an apple that is pale green, matt rather than shiny and rather oblong in shape. I can see why it might not be the first choice if there was room for just one apple tree in a garden. However, the label, which is still attached, says it cooks to a lovely creamy texture and requires hardly any sugar so I decided to use these apples for a first crumble. It's claims with regard to requiring less sugar I took with some scepticism having taken a bite out of one of the seven or so fruits on the new tree. However, to my delight, the apples do cook to a frothy cream and need less added sugar than Bramleys which I usually reserve for crumbles. Then there's thoughts of toffee apples way ahead in Autumn...it's not so bad the end of summer and the start of a new season after all....

    To ensure next years harvest, I like to give the trees a treat and make sure they have everything they need for over-wintering. To do this, we mulch them with Lakeland Gold having first cleared the long grass from around the base of each trunk and apply about two inches of the good stuff. It's my way of saying 'thank you' as we harvest the apples and enjoy the fruits of our joint labours.

    Juliet, Dalefoot Farm

  • 10 September 2018

    Is your garden 'Autumn ready'?

    With Autumn setting in, now is the time to plant your bulbs for next Spring. Whether its Daffodils, Crocus or Lillies, our carbon neutral Bulb Compost will create the perfect growing medium for your bulbs. It boasts the ideal blend of free draining compost with natural, must-have nutrients and trace elements, to grow dazzling flowers and to feed the bulb to restore its reserves for the following year. The bracken from the Cumbrian fells also gives it the perfect open structure.

    Bulb Compost - How to use

    Pots and containers

    * Place a layer of crocks at the bottom of your pot or container.

    * Add a layer of Dalefoot Bulb Compost to a good depth (10cm if possible), to allow good root growth.

    * Arrange bulbs-up to a bulbs distance apart-then add another 10cm layer of bulb compost.

    * Water after planting & continue to water for six weeks after flowering. The compost should feel moist to the touch but not wet.


    * Prepare the ground- remove weeds and add Dalefoot Bulb Compost to the planting pit- which should be 3-4 times as deep as the bulb itself.

    * Cover generously with bulb compost.

    * Mark the place of planting with a beautiful label to prevent disappointment in the future.

    * If you have squirrels in your garden- plant deeper!

    Top Tip- Try layering your bulbs for a beautiful display.

    Remember that bulbs with indents e.g. Fritillaria, need to be planted on their side- the stem will find its way up to the light.


    Do you have any tips or stories about using our Bulb Compost? Let us know by leaving us a comment below.

  • Caption: Pumpkin Beth's Daffodils

    Pumkin Beth has been busy planting Daffodil bulbs in our compost this year. Her aim...to grow the most fragrant, long-flowering Daffodils and she has had an incredible amount of success using our wool compost as the growing medium and our double strength as mulch preparing the soil prior to planting...

    Container Scented Daffodil Trial

    Main Scented Daffodil Trial

    Last year she executed an extensive compost trial which makes for a great read...

    Compost Trial

    Let us know your thoughts below...

  • Caption: Some of David's beautiful Containers
    Caption: George's giant Cucumber

    At Dalefoot we love getting photos and emails from customers about their plants and gardens and what better week to showcase them than National Allotments Week (13 to 19 August). This event, organised by the National Allotment Society, sees allotment sites across the UK open their gates to the public to share their joy in gardening. For a full list of sites taking part click here.

    Dalefoot customer George sent us this photo of his grand-daughter with a giant cucumber grown using our Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads. “I have never grown anything quite like this in the past. I can only put it down to using your compost,” he said.

    And we were most impressed with the colourful photos sent in by customer David who said: “I am sending you a few pictures of my containers this year, all are planted up with your compost and as you can judge they are absolutely magnificent. I have never before had such a success with manufactured composts. I did try out a few bags last year for the first time having met you at Malvern. It was a success last year but this year the results are outstanding. I ordered enough for a friend and she also is delighted with the results. We will be ordering again next year.”

  • Three show gardens at RHS Tatton Flower Show, including a gold medal winner, have been given a peat free boost thanks to Dalefoot Composts.

    Bee’s Gardens: The Penumbra by Briony Doubleday scooped Best Back to Back Garden, Best Construction Award and a prestigious gold RHS medal at the show. The garden was planted in a mix of Dalefoot’s Wool Compost and Lakeland Gold.

    The shady urban garden shows how lush planting, including large tree ferns, can thrive in a space overshadowed by neighbouring buildings, while raising awareness of the Stroke Association. Penumbra, meaning partial shade, is also the term for the tissue in the brain around the area from which strokes emanate. It has been designed as a space where stroke survivors’ relatives can reflect and build resilience to provide support to their loved ones.

    Briony said the use of Dalefoot Compost had really helped with water retention in the garden. “For the ferns, it holds the moisture amazingly and actually I didn't have to water as much,” she commented.

    Dalefoot has also supported the Born to Bee Wild garden, designed by young designer Jimmy McAdam, sponsored by the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust. It focuses on the concept of the beehive and the ability of this natural creation to promote life and become a hive of activity. Bee-friendly plants, on this silver-winning garden, include wild carrot and betony. Jimmy said: “Dalefoot Compost is great to work with, light, easy to get around the pots and it's a great clay buster, it just does the perfect job really."

    Finding [urban] Nature by Eds Higgins, another young designer, also scooped silver. It celebrates the hidden charm of wasteland sites. A central scaffold pavilion is surrounded by brownfield flowers and domestic garden plants. Raised vegetable beds contain a colourful mix of veg, herbs and flowers – with the compost bags on show! “Dalefoot Wool Compost was a great addition to my garden. It works perfectly in the allotment area. We've used it in practice and were really happy with it. We are always looking for peat free alternatives and it's the best we've found so far," said Eds.

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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2018. All rights reserved.
Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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