• Caption: Pea plants climbing up the peasticks
    Caption: Chooks eating the redcurrants
    Caption: Allium
    Caption: Chick in the shade

    Visitors to our gardens!

    Great news! We’ll soon be allowed to have friends and family visit our gardens! If, like me you’re excited by this prospect, you might also be looking around at the many buckets, compost bags, balls of string and forgotten mugs of tea that are distributed around your plot. My Mum and sister have booked in on the first day of easing this lockdown rule and I’m already counting the number of days I have to get things ‘ship-shape’.

    With their visit pending, I found myself outside this morning straightening bamboo canes and pea-sticks. Next job is putting in more plant supports (Monty’s been telling us to do this for weeks!). So, I’ve wielded the twine and been tying-in Purple Sensation alliums and trying to stop the catmint from flopping. The other job is the bribery of my husband to mow the lawn (real ale has been effective here….), and I’ve been sharpening up the lawn edges. Finally, I must remember to tidy away the make-shift water drinkers which I’ve dotted around for our baby chicks in the hot weather (definite trip hazards!).

    So, lets hope we’re all putting our best foot forward by the time our gardens, patios and veg plots are ready for inspection. What pleasure to be able to share our gardens again!


  • In celebration of the Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show we would like to offer our customers a free bag of Wool Compost for Seeds with every order. We want to inspire the nation to 'Keep the Growing Going' by continuously planting seeds and veggies throughout the year. It may surprise you but there are many vegetables that grow over winter so that you avoid 'hungry gaps'.  The trick is to continue to sow into mid summer. Over winter you could enjoy harvests of Carrots, Cabbage, Beetroot, Spinach and Kale to name a few.

    So let's keep growing going! With every order we will give a free bag of Wool Compost for Seeds to get you started. As you complete your order on our website, all you need to do is quote SEED2020 on the Delivery Options page, under Special Instructions, and your bag of Wool Compost for Seeds will be sent along with your order. Or if you are making an order over the phone, quote SEED2020 to our Sales Team.

    See full terms and conditions below.

    Shop here

    For more advice on extending the growing season, visit Garden Organic or RHS here

    *Terms & Conditions: This offer entitles each customer to 1 x 12l bag of Wool Compost for Seeds worth £7.99 when placing an order online at www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk or via our sales office on 01931 713281. This offer is available between 18:00 Thursday 21st May 2020 and 23.59 Sunday 31st May. Our website has a minimum order of 2 bags of compost with a delivery fee of £10 for up to 11 bags. There is no additional fee for the free bag of seed compost or delivery of the seed compost. The free bag will be sent to the recipient on the same consignment as their order by Dalefoot Composts. Entrants must state code SEED20 either online in the delivery details or to our customer service assistant. Open to all UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding Northern Ireland and Scottish Highlands, relatives, partners and employees of Dalefoot Composts. Only one bag per customer. The promoter is Dalefoot Composts. By participating in this offer, customers confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. For more information please contact us via our website at www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk or call us on 01931 713281.

  • At this time of year, we would normally be meeting customers, press and fellow garden supply companies at the world’s most famous flower show, RHS Chelsea. But this May, for obvious reasons, we’re having to give it a miss.

    Instead we’re proud to be taking part in the Virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show as an exhibitor, showcasing photographs from previous shows on our social media channels and also running exciting competitions on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

    We’ve teamed up with our RHS Chelsea neighbours - their stands have been near ours at previous shows – to offer some amazing grow-your-own veg prizes for three lucky Twitter, Facebook and Instragram followers (one winner on each channel).

    • Wool Compost – you’re going to need the best compost to grow veggies in, so we are giving each lucky winner three bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, and two bags of Wool Composts for Seeds worth £48.95!

    • Franchi Seeds Vegetable Growing Survival Kit – Vegetable seed pack containing 12 easy-to-grow nutritious container seed varieties for sowing or harvesting every month of the year to help feed your family, including varieties for preserving or storing over winter. From Franchi Seeds and worth £21.99!

    • Two pairs of gloves from the Glove Specialists - a pair of Red Back Gloves (textured-latex palm with a breathable back makes this the perfect weeding glove, with excellent fit, grip and great protection) and a pair of Easy Fit Gloves (strong yet soft and light, amazingly tactile gardening glove, in stretchy black nylon with a strong black polyurethane palm. Perfect for handling compost, pricking out, planting and potting, weeding and cleaning up around the garden, even changing the plug or oil on the lawnmower!) Worth £11!

    • Vegebag from Vegepod UK – This amazing product is a finalist in the RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year. Vegepod UK is giving each lucky winner a small Vegebag. Their signature mesh provides amazing growth rates as well as protecting against wildlife, pets, pests, bugs and inclement weather. Simply fill the bottom section with Dalefoot peat-free compost and plant your veg. Worth £19.99

    To enter:

    Twitter competition - For a chance to win, retweet (RT) our post, follow & tell us your favourite garden plant (with a photo from your own garden if possible).

    Facebook competition - Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening. Photos of entrants’ gardens welcomed. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!

    Instagram competition - Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening – again photos welcomed – and tag a friend.

    All three competitions close 25 May 2020 18:00 and winners will be informed by 28 May 18:00. Full terms and conditions below.

    Terms & Conditions

    By entering Dalefoot’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram competitions you agree to be bound by the following:

    Twitter – the prize as described above. Entrants must share the post, follow and name their favourite garden plant. Photos welcomed.

    Facebook – the prize as described above. Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening. Photos of entrants’ gardens welcomed. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!

    Instagram – the prize as described above. Entrants must explain why they enjoy gardening – again photos welcomed – and tag a friend.

    Dalefoot Composts will choose its favourite responses from the entries. A winner will be selected from each channel (three winners in total). The prizes will be sent to the winners by 30 June.

    The prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be refunded for any money. Prizes may take longer to deliver/arrive, due to current delivery delays.

    Open to all UK mainland residents aged 18 and over, excluding relatives, partners and employees of Dalefoot Composts, Heltondale, Cumbria CA10 2QL

    Closing date for entries in all three competitions is 25 May 2020 on 18:00.

    Only one entry per person on each channel.

    The winners will be informed within 72 hours of the closing date and will need to respond by 5 June 2020, or a new winner will be chosen.

    Dalefoot may publish the winners’ details and the winning entries on its social media channels or website. If Dalefoot does not publish the winners’ details on social media, those details may be obtained from Dalefoot privately on request.

    Personal data will be processed and shared with third parties only for the administration of the prize, and for promotional purposes as listed above.

    By participating in these competitions, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    These competitions are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the RHS.

    Dalefoot reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify these competitions or these official rules.

  • Caption: Gladioli packets from the supermarket
    Caption: Gladioli in full bloom at RHS Malvern 2019 taken by Laura
    Caption: Our newly hatched chicks
    Caption: Bulb and Corm thieves

    Glad for Gladioli, a VE day thank you.

    If like me, you watch Gardeners' World each week, you might be feeling tempted to grow some Gladioli after watching Monty Don sing the virtues of summer bulbs and corms in the past few episodes. Having never grown them before I feel a little apprehensive; can such flamboyant flowers be easy to produce? I’ve managed to secure a few packets of left-over bulbs from a local supermarket and now need to swing into action.

    Last week's VE Day anniversary has spurred me on to get those packets open and the corms planted. There’s something about the joyfulness of Gladioli that’s easy to associate with the post-war celebrations of VE day. My own Grandpa liked bulbs of every sort (the brighter, the better) and would certainly approve and it seems like a nice way to hold him in mind throughout this summer.

    So with Dalefoot Bulb Compost to hand and some long-tom terracotta pots empty of their ‘gone-over’ tulips, I’m ready to plant. I just have to keep a watchful eye out for our chickens who like to steal bulbs and seeds when I’m sowing seeds or when my back’s turned.

    As I understand it, Gladioli need to be planted once the danger of frost had finally passed (around about now). They need a decent depth of soil or compost, approximately 30cms, thus long-toms are ideal. Each corm needs to be planted 10 to 15 cms deep, then covered and compost pressed down. Ideally plant each corm about 10 cms apart. Give them a thorough watering and that’s it!

    Finally, Gladioli like growing in full sun, so find that sunny spot and keep your fingers crossed for a burst of exuberance later in the season.



  • Caption: Crabapple blossom
    Caption: More blossom!
    It's a dog's life
    Keen garden helpers!
    Caption: Stella blossom - an eating cherry

    For all the weddings...

    Blossom reminds me of weddings, not just the confetti of the petals, but the timing. May and June are favourite months for weddings although September gives June some healthy competition. With Lockdown set to stay in place, my thoughts turn to the many postponed special days that will have to wait for more sociable times ahead. This train of thought was triggered this morning, when the pink buds of our crab-apple started to open in the sunshine. The cherry blossom is admittedly ahead but the apple blossom is arguably prettier and soon catches up filling the tree branches with garlands of flushed flowers.

    It’s a relief that our apple trees are packed with flowers this spring as last year they had hardly any blossom and consequently, little fruit. In 2018, we had a bumper harvest and although I have heard that apple trees can take a rest year, I’ve never seen it so dramatically. So over winter, 2019, I lavished them with mulch using our Dalefoot Lakeland Gold as well as some ‘home-brew’ from our wormery. All in all, they have bounced back which bodes well for all things appley come Autumn.

    The bees are also happy and clearly think the situation requires ‘go, go, go’! They are buzzing about so quickly, I can’t quite catch them for a photo! All is not lost on the wild-life photography front as our beagles are moving so slowly. I’ve been able to capture their response to the arrival of the blossom for posterity.


    Turns out it's a dogs life. Enjoy the blossom wherever you are and remember there will be confetti again before too long, Juliet. 

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  • Buy our unique peat free compost online
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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2020. 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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