- Dalefoot Composts - Stand CHW258 RHS Chatsworth –
Wool from the rare Whitefaced Woodland sheep breed, native of the Peak District and Pennine Hills, is the secret ingredient in an innovative peat free compost range being exhibited at RHS Chatsworth this week. The Whitefaced Woodland ram even stars on the front of each bag of Dalefoot compost.
Dalefoot Composts mixes Woodland wool with that of another upland hill breed, the Lake District Herdwick, into its compost. The wool is then combined with bracken to form the peat free compost recipe, giving an ideal, nutrient-fuelled mix for growing vegetables, fruit, plants and shrubs.
For gardeners, benefits of wool in the compost include:
• Natural water retention of wool fibres means up to 50% less watering.
• Wool provides a steady, slow sustained supply of nitrogen for plants.
• When mixed with bracken, which has high levels of natural potash so promotes flowering and fruiting, results in healthy growth and hearty crops - NO need for any additional plant food.
• Made from 100% renewable resources with great environmental benefits.
• The compost has a similar soft texture to peat and has a wide range of naturally occurring trace elements for good plant health.
Simon Bland of Dalefoot Composts said: “The provenance of the wool we use in our compost is top notch from two iconic, hill breeds of sheep. Both of them also play an important role in maintaining the landscapes of two of Britain’s iconic national parks. Wool has the most fantastic qualities when used in compost – water retention and nutrients. You can’t beat it.”
With composts for container growing, flowers, vegetables, shrubs, seeds and ericaceous plants, the Wool Compost range has a solution for every gardening need. The range is available online at www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk from £10.99 per bag down to £7.50 each for orders of 50 bags plus delivery, and also from a growing list of stockists.
Wool Compost is made on a 120-acre family farm at Dalefoot in the Lake District fells by farmer Simon Bland and environmental scientist Jane Barker, using Whitefaced Woodlands’ wool from their own flock and the Herdwick ‘wool-clip’ of neighbouring hill farmers. As well as helping the growing number of gardeners who want to switch to peat free, the compost finds a novel use for British wool - good news for struggling sheep farmers.
The use of bracken in Wool Compost is also beneficial. The spread of this aggressive, waist-high plant makes grazing difficult and impacts upon native species. Composted it boasts high levels of natural potash, essential for fruiting and flowering. A win for nature lovers and gardeners alike.