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Medwyn Williams

Hello. I'm Medwyn Williams – eleven times Gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Past Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Fruit Vegetable and Herb Committee and President of the National Vegetable Society.

John Innes No2 and No3


Having spoken with our represenattive for Composts this year it has come to light that due to peat shortages, once current stocks have ran out, they are not going to produce Humax John Innes No1 No2 No3 range until futher notice.

Everris (the growing media manufacturer) have also given us the following statement –

Following the wettest summer since 1912 throughout Europe it is estimated that there is an 18,000,000m3 shortfall in peat supply. Recent press reports have shown that all suppliers have been affected with some harvests reduced by over 80%. Baltic and Canadian peat harvests are also affected. Needless to say, peat supplies are low and demand for peat has never been higher. Everris has made a substantial investment into peat moor management meaning that the drainage of all of our sites has improved enabling a higher level of peat harvest than the trade average. The harvest is still below what is needed to meet demand and Everris has purchased substantial quantities of peat for immediate and future deliveries. Despite this, sourcing enough quality peat to meet our customers’ needs cannot be guaranteed and therefore Everris will incorporate a professional quality coir material into all of their mixes. An innovative method of re-constituting compressed coir blocks has been developed by Everris with this material blended with peat at an early stage in the production process. Early incorporation means that the coir is included at the same fraction size as the peat and blends into the mix perfectly. An added benefit of including coir is that the lighter bulk density of coir compensates for the slightly higher density of peat due to increased moisture levels.

Not only is the look and handling of the product similar, the technical performance of the new mixes is excellent and Everris is confident that growers will not notice a difference. By incorporating coir, Everris will be able to meet the volume requirements of its current customers throughout 2013.



Growing Parsnips

25th July 2007 I am often asked what is the best method of growing both long carrots and parsnips for the show

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4 thoughts on “John Innes No2 and No3

  1. What about Levingtons Professional Compost Medwyn. ie F2s, M2 & M3?

    1. There is no problem at all with F1, F2S, M2 and M3 apart from the addition of 10% fine Coir to all of them owing to the weather problems we have experienced this year. This is explained in my earlier Blog today.

  2. Did you ever grow spuds in straw Medwyn? With the proposed price hikes on peat plus potential shortages perhaps it’s time to consider that method again? I was just wondering how it was done as I’ve heard a few growers talk about it recently. I know Charlie Maisey had some success with the method many years ago.

    1. Charlie, as well as Bill Hughes and before them the legendary Brython Stenner all had marvellous results using straw to grow their exhibition potatoes in. It was of course before anyone thought of growing them in Polybags and was merely an extension of growing them in the soil. The aim of course at the time was to get potatoes without any marks at all on the skin, a difficult task when growing in soil. The method was to open a trench wider than you would normally for planting potatoes then line the bottom of the trench and the sides with wads of straw. You then laid down 3 inches or so of well rotted Farm yard manure. However you still ended up using peat because that was the then mixed in a concrete mixer with added fertiliser and some slug pellets and laid out along the bottom of the trench .
      The chitted potatoes were then spaced out along the trench at a foot or so apart and more of the peat mixture laid on top. The top of the rows were then covered with soil raked in from both sides and this would keep the straw intact in the trench and prevent it from being blown all round the garden. Charlie used to get his bales, as many as twenty of them, delivered over the winter months from a farmer whom he knew hadn’t applied any weed killer to the straw. He would then over the winter months water in a normal dilution rate of Maxicrop all over the bales until the Spring time at which point they would be nearly decomposed.
      The main problem were slugs because I well remember after one lovely warm Summer, Charlie had no potatoes at all to show after the very laborious method used and over many rows of potatoes, it really was heart breaking for him. The problem was that he irrigated the straw straw / peat with water and this of course acted like a magnet for the slugs, particularly the black little keel slug, who lived and slept in this lovely warm damp atmosphere. He was unable to show a single spud that year because they were all decimated with slug holes.
      I used this method myself for a few years in a garden I used to borrow from my friend Jim, it used to take me at least a day and a half of solid work to get all the potatoes planted. My best result was on the very first year that Winston came on the scene. I couldn’t believe how good they were from the ten spuds that I had planted. It was like harvesting gold nuggets, every potato came out of the peaty compost like gems, just as if someone had planted exhibition spuds in the ground. I won the Welsh Championships at Pembroke that year for a dish of white as well as winning the best dish in the show.
      Most farmers are now using herbicides and I’m sure it could be a problem to source out bales of straw that hadn’t been sprayed with a systemic weed killer.

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