Latest News

Our composts provide Headspace for youngsters

We were delighted to donate the finishing touches to a very special allotment in the Cotswolds recently – which helps young people boost their mental health. We dished up a pallet each of our Sylvagrow Multipurpose Compost with Added John Innes and Melcourt Hardwood Playchips to the Headspace Cotswolds’ allotment in Bourton-on-the-Water, in May. Growing therapy The allotments, which were established in February, provide youngsters who are struggling with their emotions...(more)

Look out for the responsible sourcing scheme

A new Responsible Sourcing of Growing Media Scheme could help you make more informed choices about the eco-friendliness of the compost you buy   No keen gardener can be unaware of the call to stop using peat. It is an issue that has been raging within professional horticulture for more than three decades. But although companies such as Melcourt have been blazing a trail with very effective peat-free products since the...(more)

SylvaGrow® Farmyard wins Garden Press Event New Product Award

We are delighted to report that for the second year in a row, Melcourt has won the Best New Product Award at the Garden Press Event. Voted by the delegates at this year’s event which was successfully held online, SylvaGrow Farmyard carried the day. Melcourt’s Managing Director Andy Chalmers said, ‘We are delighted to have won this prestigious award for the second year in a row. The SylvaGrow Farmyard is an...(more)

Why Fresh Compost is Always Best

This month, we explore what can happen if compost is stored incorrectly – and what to do with leftovers…   Anyone who has read the small print on the back of our SylvaGrow bags will see that we recommend using the product within the season of purchase. This may seem a rather vague statement – how long is a season after all? But it’s there to convey that fresh compost is...(more)

What does ‘John Innes’ mean?

We know there can be confusion about what John Innes composts actually are and who he was. In this month’s blog, we aim to answer all the questions you may have about this great heritage range of composts… Our new SylvaGrow John Innes composts went into production in February and will start appearing on garden centre shelves very soon. SylvaGrow John Innes Seed Compost, No.1, No.2 and No.3 offer gardeners an...(more)

Why our composts are suitable for vegans

We delve deeper into our vegan composts this month and explain just what makes them perfect for vegan gardeners. Interest in vegan gardening has sky rocketed in the last year – and with it the curiosity about our vegan range. Many of our peat-free SylvaGrow composts are suitable for use by vegans, but exactly what allows a compost to be described in this way? Growing medium or compost is made up...(more)

January Jobs in the Garden

Grab the New Year by both gardening gloves! Melcourt’s technical director Catherine Dawson shows you how to plant a tree, take root cuttings and get mulching January. A new year with all the hope and promise that it brings – this year more than ever. Many of us were thankful for the sanctuary of our gardens throughout 2020. Our vegetables patches and patio gardens were a place where the world hadn’t...(more)

Four Frosty Gardening Projects

Gardening year at an end? Melcourt technical director Catherine Dawson shows you there’s still plenty of garden jobs to dig into this December Winter approaches. A season of calm in the garden. A time to put the flower beds to bed and batten down the hatches. But when the weather is mild and you have time on your hands, you might not be ready to hang up your gardening gloves! The...(more)

Product Lead Times

We usually aim to get deliveries to our stockists within 5-10 working days of order but the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current extremely busy state of the gardening market, mean we are experiencing extended lead-times beyond that. Everyone at Melcourt is doing their utmost to meet customer requirements promptly so we would sincerely appreciate your patience for any delays. As usual, and to help with your planning, we will give you...(more)

Melcourt is open for business

Due to the unfolding situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) we are adapting our working practices in order to keep in line with Public Health England and government guidelines. The health and well-being of our staff, customers and suppliers is our first priority. At present we are open for business. For customers, we believe that we will be able to deliver orders within our usual timescale of 5 – 10 working days in...(more)

Our Technical Director Catherine Dawson ‘Unpruned’

  The April podcast from Garden Organic is now live and features an extensive interview between Sarah Brown who edits their Growing Advice web pages and our Technical Director Catherine Dawson. It had 1700 downloads on the first day and by the end of the month it's expected that over 5000 will have listened to it. Given the interest in peat-free gardening at the moment we wouldn't be at all surprised...(more)

Melcourt is open for business

Due to the unfolding situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) we are adapting our working practices in order to keep in line with Public Health England and government guidelines. The health and well-being of our staff, customers and suppliers is our first priority. At present we are open for business. For customers, we believe that we will be able to deliver orders within our usual timescale of 5 – 10 working days in...(more)

Melcourt Bag for Life recognised with award

Melcourt’s Techncial Director Catherine Dawson receiving the Best New Product Award from Vicky Nuttall, Director of GIMA and representatives of the Greenfingers charity to whom the proceeds of the awards were given. Picture ©Steve Burden Photography We were delighted that the Melcourt Bag for Life won the Best New Product at the recent Garden Press Event. Judged by the many garden journalists who visited the event, the Bag for Life was...(more)

A busy week at Melcourt

One of the most enjoyable aspects of our business is the varied nature of the audiences we serve and the people we meet. This was true on Wednesday 4th March when, at our rain-soaked manufacturing base near Tetbury, we were delighted to welcome members of the South West regional group of members of the British Association of Landscape Industries who combined a tour of our facility with holding their AGM. As...(more)

Information for gardeners about the harms of using peat and the reasons for being #peatfree

We’ve produced this information board to set out the facts about the environmental damage which extracting peat does and the case for being #peatfree. In preparing it we’ve been greatly assisted by Richard Lindsay who is Head of Environmental and Conservation Research at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of East London. (https://www.uel.ac.uk/SRI)  Richard is an internationally respected specialist in the ecology and conservation of peatland ecosystems. We’ve also been helped by...(more)

Conservation Action at Squires Down in Dorset report a good year for Barn Owls

As always it was good to hear from the volunteers at Conservation Action at Squires Down in Dorset who we help with a little bit of sponsorship. The land called Squire’s Down was purchased in 2007 and was originally a stubble field. Planning permission was given to change the use of the land to encourage wildlife. Ground work was carried out during October and was completed by the end of the...(more)

Trade show and other dates for 2020: come and see us if you can.

It's important to us that we attend as many trade gatherings as we can. It's the ideal opportunity to see customers face-to-face and to learn more about their businesses. So, this is the list for 2020: do come and see us if you're attending. One word of warning though: the list is likely to grow as the year goes on! Event Location Date Garden Press Event London 4th March BALI SW...(more)

The year of peat-free gardening starts with us increasing capacity to meet demand

This year is the first of the target dates for the elimination of peat use from horticulture and demand for Melcourt products which has been increasing year-on-year for the past 5 years or so has never been higher. We're expecting it to go on that way as the nation's gardeners turn to peat-free material. With that in mind..... • we're investing yet again in increased production capacity with the installation of...(more)

There’s gold in them there blooms

It was lovely to hear from Liz Steele of Nailsworth in Bloom to whom we donated some bags of our award-winning peat-free compost compost earlier in the year - and to receive these pictures of their stunning showcase waterwheel display which celebrated their local heritage theme of 'Wool and Water'. It's just the thing to brighten up a dark December day. It probably won't surprise you to learn that they achieved...(more)

#peatfree and #plasticfree are gaining ground

Gardening's green credentials are increasingly in focus these days so it's great to see that the gardening press is offering practical advice to gardeners on how to eliminate single use plastic and on how to garden peat free. The latest is a piece by our friend David Ware of edible culture in the much respected Gardens Illustrated which flags up Melcourt peat free products and our Bag for Life. You can...(more)

If you want to reduce single-use plastic in your business here’s how Melcourt can help you.

We've all seen the issue of plastic use in UK horticulture take a far higher profile over the last 12 months. At Melcourt we take this seriously and are looking to play our part in reducing the amount of single-use plastic. For those customers who want to do the same, we have developed a unique system to suit some of those retailers which builds on the experience of  edibleculture The big...(more)

How do you turn a tree into a tent?

On the face of it this just the kind of challenge that members of the 5th Kettering Scouts might face during some kind of survival training but these tents came from a tree in a more indirect way. We gave the 5th Kettering some bags of award winning SylvaGrow peat-free compost (main ingredient tree bark!) they grew and sold some plants and put the proceeds towards these new tents - as...(more)

Two great new peat-free ideas to look out for at GLEE

  SylvaGrow® Tub and Basket launches at GLEE and, for next spring, garden centres can sell RHS Endorsed Melcourt products in a re-usable Melcourt Bag for Life Like all of the products in the award-winning Melcourt SylvaGrow® range, new SylvaGrow Tub and Basket is a peat-free blend of fine bark and wood fibre. To meet the particular demands of plants grown in tubs and baskets, it contains a water-retaining aid to...(more)

Cutting back on single use plastic, peat-free deadlines, people and plants: it’s all in grower solutions

Growers purchasing Sylvamix® in 50 litre bags may be interested to know that an equivalent amount of product bought as a maxi-bale would use a massive 5 times less plastic. No special machinery is required to handle our maxi-bales as Sylvamix® is free-flowing and doesn’t become compacted in the bale. There's more information on this, on the Melcourt Bag for Life scheme, and on peat-free deadlines in the new issue of...(more)

Taking tea at Nailsworth

We've been giving Nailsworth Rotary some free bags of SylvaGrow in which to plant their floral displays for a few years now so it was an absolute delight to meet up with some of them in the town the other day and see the results of their efforts first hand. As you can see, the displays transform the town and give enormous pleasure to residents and visitors alike. Nailsworth has a...(more)

Reassurance for vegan gardeners

We receive a growing number of enquiries from vegan gardeners about the suitability of our products for them. In fact, all but three of our products are suitable for use by vegans. Suitable products for vegans are; SylvaGrow® Sustainable Growing Medium SylvaGrow® Multi-purpose Compost with added John Innes SylvaGrow® Ericaceous Compost Topsoil™ SylvaBark® Pine Bark Flakes Spruce Ornamental™ Ornamental Bark Mulch™ Pine Mini Chips™ Bark Nuggets® SylvaBark® Pine Mini Mulch All-Purpose...(more)

Nailsworth set to bloom again

It was good to hear from our friend Thorald Cox of Nailsworth Rotary Club about this year’s floral display. “We planted out on 5th June into SylvaGrow® which you so generously provided,” he writes. “I was assisted by Jonathan Bowen-Davies and Christine Prest both fellow club members who are shown in the photo.” Thorald notes that it is now much easier for local people to buy SylvaGrow since Blue Diamond have recently...(more)

Peat-free sales just keep growing!

Sales of our SylvaGrow® Peat-Free Planter for Organic Growing have exceeded all expectations since its launch this spring: little wonder when it's this simple to use. It's hugely gratifying to think of the thousands of salads, herbs, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes being served in homes across the land having been grown in these, the UK's only RHS Endorsed, Soil Association approved, peat-free planters. It has been another, remarkable and record breaking...(more)

A breath of youthful fresh air

All too often these days it seems that when young people are featured on the news it’s to do with knife crime or cyber bullying. How refreshing to hear once again from the 5th Kettering Scout Group who held their 2019 fundraising plant sale on Saturday 25 May.  “We had a fabulous turnout and gorgeous weather,” writes Assistant Beaver Leader Vicky Geary. “We made a profit of around £1800, which will...(more)

Vertical veg man spreads the gardening word

In a week when the eyes of the world are on RHS Chelsea Flower show here’s a reminder of less rarified but no less vital gardening: Mark Ridsdill Smith (aka the Vertical Veg man) passing on basic skills to residents in Newcastle, with a little help from Melcourt SylvaGrow. Mark's passionate belief is that communities can be brought together by helping them learn and share the joys of growing. Looking at the...(more)