HOW TO MAKE JOHN INNES COMPOST




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John Innes Composts are a blend of carefully selected loam or topsoil, sphagnum moss peat, coarse sand or grit and fertilisers. The loam is screened and sterilised and then thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients in proportions designed to achieve the optimum air and water-holding capacity and nutrient content for different types and sizes of plants.

John Innes Base Fertiliser is the name coined at the John Innes Research Institute in the 1930's for a ready mixed blend of hoof and horn, superphosphate and potassium sulphate for mixing with loam, peat and grit to make John Innes Loam-based Potting Composts.

The following lists gives the formulae for the Composts - the proportions of the substrate are measured by volume, with loam and peat passed through a 9mm sieve. For the No. 1,2 and 3 composts the John Innes base fertilizer consists of 2 parts Hoof and Horn for the Nitrogen (N), 2 parts Superphosphate for roots (P)and 1 part Potassium Sulphate (K) for flowers and fruit. This is balanced with one part ground limestone (CaCO3) to provide an optimum pH.

For growing seeds, cuttings and ericaceous or calcifuge plants (plants which require acidic conditions) the proportions vary and for the latter the ground limestone is replaced with an equal quantity of Flowers of Sulphur which lowers the pH.

Compost Substrate Fertilizer rates for the John Innes base are per each cubic metre of mixed compost.

John Innes No. 1

7 parts loam
3 parts peat

2 parts sand 0.6kg ground limestone

1.2kg hoof and horn,1.2kg superphosphate

600g Potassium Sulphate


John Innes No. 2

7 parts loam
3 parts peat

2 parts sand 0.6kg ground limestone

2.4kg hoof and horn

2.4kg superphosphate

1.2kg Potassium Sulphate


John Innes No. 3

7 parts loam
3 parts peat

2 parts sand 0.6kg ground limestone

3.6kg hoof and horn

3.6kg superphosphate

1.8g Potassium Sulphate


John Innes Seed Compost

2 parts loam
1 parts peat

1 part sand 600g ground limestone

1.2kg Superphosphate


John Innes Cutting Compost

1 parts loam
2 part peat

1 part sand no added fertilizer


John Innes Ericaceous Compost

2 parts loam
1 part peat

1 part sand 600g Flowers of Sulphur

1 part superphosphate


Mixing is more easily performed if the ingredients are not too moist so that the particles do not stick together and so become more evenly distributed. Storage should be kept to a minimum as the nutrient balance will change due to the Nitrogen being mineralised by bacteria to unavailable Nitrate (NO3=) ions.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE CLAY SOILS
HOW TO COMPOST
HOW TO MAKE JOHN INNES COMPOST
HOW TO MAKE A LEAF MOULD COMPOST
HOW TO MAKE LIQUID FERTILIZER FROM COMFREY
WHAT ARE PLANT MACRONUTRIENTS AND MICRONUTRIENTS

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