Caption: Galanthus Trumps grown in Dalefoot Compost
Caption: Trialling Dalefoot composts
Margaret and David MacLennan are Plant Heritage National Collection Holders for Galanthus (snowdrops). Their collection has “scientific” status in recognition of the special contribution that it makes to the conservation of the Galanthus genus. They have more than 1500 different varieties of snowdrop, including species and named varieties, growing in frames in their garden at their home in Carlisle.
We first met them when they came to our stand at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show last summer. They explained that their National Collection was all planted in special pots using a compost based on commercially produced John Innes No 3 with the addition of grit and small quantities of other materials. They had never tried a peat free compost but after we had shown them our products they offered to conduct a comparative trial using conventional and Dalefoot growing mediums.
Last August, Margaret potted up dormant snowdrops bulbs from two dozen different varieties. Half of each variety went in a pot of the usual John Innes based compost. The other half of the bulbs were planted up using a mix of Lakeland Gold and Wool Compost™. The pots were then sunk side by side in a sand frame.
Now we are in the middle of the snowdrop flowering season and it is possible to see how the plants are doing. So far there is no significant difference though just possibly the plants grown in the Dalefoot composts are slightly ahead in size, perhaps reflecting the higher nutritional content of the mixture. However the real test will come next year and beyond when we see how the plants perform in their second and subsequent growing seasons.