• Autumn is upon us and it is time to start planting your Spring-flowering bulbs... Did you know Dalefoot make a fantastic Bulb Compost. This specially formulated compost encourages bigger and brighter blooms each year, feeding your bulbs for 2 years.

    With every order we are giving away 1 free bag of Bulb Compost...read on for how to claim...

    As you complete your order on our website, all you need to do is quote BULB0920 on the Delivery Options page, under Special Instructions, and your bag of Bulb Compost will be sent along with your order. Or if you are making an order over the phone, quote BULB0920 to our Sales Team.

    See full terms and conditions below.

    Shop here

    For more advice on Bulb planting from the RHS, click here

    *Terms & Conditions: This offer entitles each customer to 1 x 20l bag of Dalefoot Bulb Compost worth £8.99 when placing an order online at www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk or via our sales office on 01931 713281. This offer is available between 12:00 Friday 25th September 2020 and 23.59 Sunday 4th October. 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 Bulb Compost or delivery of the Bulb Compost. The free bag will be sent to the recipient on the same consignment as their order by Dalefoot Composts. Entrants must state code BULB0920 either online in the delivery details or to our customer service assistant. Open to all UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands and islands, 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.

  • 16 September 2020

    Autumn Air

    Caption: Bee filling his boots
    Caption: Mallow madness

    The weather has changed and so has the air. It has a certain smell that reminds me of first day back at school. The drop in temperature in the past few weeks means late summer foliage gets a few cool nights which in turn creates that particular scent. Like many of us, the memory of the walk or bus ride to school is filled with the colour and smell of autumn. Sure enough, hips are forming on roses in the hedgerows and I can see crab apples beginning to turn pink.

    In the garden, I keep space for late season colour at the expense of some early flowers, particularly in June. Whilst every inch of my neighbour’s garden is bursting with colour on the longest day, I know that come September I’ll be pleased I held back some interest until the beginning of Autumn. The colour mainly arrives thanks to asters, sedums mallows and eupatorium.

    Their wishy-washy mauves are a gentle reminder that all things must end, and that berries and seed-heads are waiting in the wings to take over.

    To the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…


  • 04 September 2020

    Organic September 2020

    Free wildflower seeds with every order!

    This year has brought more changes to our world than anyone could have foreseen. With more of us seeking solutions to help restore nature, health and a safe climate, becoming part of the organic movement this year can help make a world of difference.


    Dalefoot is supporting The Soil Association's Organic September campaign by giving away a free packet of wildflower seeds with every order from Friday 4th September, until stocks last. We would love to see what you do with them, please use #OrganicSeptember and tag Dalefoot in your posts.


    Why is organic so important? Organic means working with nature. It means more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment, which benefits wildlife. Know what is in your food and that means knowing what it is grown in....and our whole range of peat-free composts is certified by the Soil Association for organic growing!

    Read more about Organic September here & shop our organic composts here

  • 27 August 2020

    Roses - a second flush

    Caption: Maid of Kent - David Austin. A delicate climber.
    Caption: Too blousy?
    Caption: Rosy Cushion - David Austin. A beautiful shrub rose.

    Whilst visiting a local nursery this week (Larch Cottage, Penrith) I saw a little girl, accompanied by her mother, enthusiastically smelling the roses before pronouncing on her favourite. I don’t know which rose came out on top, but I do remember her delight in smelling each one and her exclamations that they were all different. Roses do this to us, there’s something about being drawn into their world and carried off in the perfume. As a little girl, I can remember a similar experience and knew there was something special about roses even then.

    Our home in the Lake District is at a height of 700ft and our roses consequently flower later than in gardens at lower altitudes. Being behind in the season can sometimes have its compensations though, as while other gardens can have a colour burn out in August, our roses are still going strong. If you get that sad feeling when your roses go over, worry not, a second flush is achievable with a good feed.

    The important thing to do first is to deadhead them, otherwise the plant will just set hips and feeding will have limited results. Monty Don talked through how to deadhead roses on Gardeners' World a few weeks ago but if you missed him, there are instructions on the RHS website.

    Having done the deadheading, the next most important thing is to give them a good feed and that’s where Dalefoot Compost can help. Our Lakeland Gold is rich in potash (the nutrient for fruiting and flowering), which comes from the bracken we harvest from the Lakeland Fells. The potash gets released as the bracken breaks down and this in turn feeds the roses. A few generous handfuls placed around the base of each plant is all that’s needed and in a few weeks (with a little bit of rain and a little bit of sunshine) you’ll have buds forming that will produce that second flush of colour and scent.



  • Caption: When you realise there's never enough!
    Caption: Gardener's Delight ripening up nicely
    Caption: The gorgeous yellow of the Early Sungolds
    Caption: A Pomodoro truss needing support!

    Good tomatoes are the defining taste of summer’, says Sarah Raven in her beautiful book Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. I couldn’t agree with her more, the plump, homegrown tomato is hard to beat. Warm from the greenhouse, one or two swallowed on the return to the kitchen and the remainder served with olive oil and salt, what’s not to like?

    There is a moment when growing your own tomatoes that you realise there’s never enough! Warm tomatoes are no longer reaching the kitchen, your children have discovered greenhouse foraging and what was once plenty for summer salads is no longer cutting it. It’s the same with all vices, you start small but then it gets out of hand, even our chickens are ever watchful for a dropped snack.

    I’ve crammed more plants into the greenhouse this year to up production. To ward off blight I’m being really strict with pinching out and not allowing too much foliage. I’ve been following the advice of Sophie Turner, Head Gardener at Babington House writing in The English Garden Magazine, July 2020 and stripping the leaves off up to each truss as it ripens and hopefully avoided blight due too much moisture.

    So far, so good. Early Sungolds have been excellent and my Supersweet bush tomatoes are proving tasty. Where I’m getting impatient is with the plum tomatoes, San Manzano and Pomodoro. I chose these varieties as I read they are better cooked than fresh which would solve my grazing problems. They are looking promising, no difficulties setting the fruit and by god they’re big, but still not quite ready.

    Patience, patience, I know that with a few more days the orange colour will turn to a tempting red and once one ripens, the others will quickly follow. I can’t wait to be tucking into some Italian pasta with home-made tomato sauce, what joy!




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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.

Bulk Buy Scheme

The price of every item in our bulk buy scheme drops as you buy more.

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