Interesting read. I enjoyed it, and learned something from it as well. Thanks.

I live in the desert, so we have a variety of cactus growing outdoors - which as you said, don't need compost. They do fine in their natural native soils here.

I have a deciduous tree in our front yard, a red pistache, which releases its leaves in mid-winter, then blooms again in spring. When the red leaves fall, my grandsons rake them within the berm around this tree to act as a mulch. As time goes on the leaves nurture the soil, becoming a built-in compost I think.

Expand full comment
Jul 2Liked by Jack Wallington

Love this article, thank you for these tips.

I’m reducing my compost use by growing perennials in containers instead of annuals: I have hemerocallis underplanted with erigeron, agapanthus, aeoniums, tulbaghias, blueberries, herbs and shrubs in my patio pots instead of cosmos and the like (which go in the ground instead). I’ve drastically reduced the amount of compost I buy since I stopped switching out my pots.

I’m also fascinated by the experiments of Peter Korn and John Little growing in sand and other substrates like concrete waste. John Little recently posted a video from Korn’s nursery showing his plants being grown completely sustainably in reusable sand and biochar! Fascinating stuff

Expand full comment
Jun 12Liked by Jack Wallington

I couldn't agree with you more re annuals sold in garden centres and supermarkets.

Not only are they sold too early in the year, so that many are planted out and then killed by frost, but also they are not watered properly before they are sold and thousands are thrown away by the garden centres etc.

I think this needs to be tackled at source, as the majority of people will go on buying them as long as they continue to be widely sold.

Expand full comment
Jun 11Liked by Jack Wallington

Very interesting article, thank you Jack. Another option might be green manures which are meant to fix nitrogen in the soil. A local farmer I l know grows clover in amongst his main crop which I think is barley.

Expand full comment
Jun 10Liked by Jack Wallington

I always enjoy reading your emails Jack, thanks for keeping us informed. As well as the herbs you mentioned, I find lavender, penstemon, verbena bonariensis, mexican fleabane, red valerian, linaria, alliums, salvias , sweet rocket, verbascum , thalictrum and sedum spectabile ( sorry, I can never remember its new name!) all grow well in my very dry, south facing front garden without any additional feeding or watering. They're also slug and snail proof too!

Expand full comment
Jun 9Liked by Jack Wallington

Encourage people to place their compost making area in a sunny location, 13degrees C is required to make compost.

Expand full comment

I appreciate this, please do more👍🌿

Expand full comment

please do more🌿👍🌷

Expand full comment