Growing Media Case Study – Duchy of Cornwall Nursery

12th December 2016

With more than 4,000 varieties of plants for sale, the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery is a treasure trove for the gardening enthusiast and, thanks to compost from BSI PAS 100 accredited producer Eco-Sci, the plants are stronger than ever.

Key points
Compost adds organic matter giving soil a more workable structure which leads to improved root growth and better plant establishment
Compost contains slow release nitrogen, phosphate and sulphur, plus useful amounts of other minerals all of which help to improve the availability of nutrients for plant growth
Compost includes beneficial micro-organisms that contribute towards plant disease suppression



The nursery is part of the Royal Duchy of Cornwall Estate which is owned and managed by The Prince of Wales, an active supporter of waste reduction and recycling.

The 15-acre site uses recycled compost in three ways - as a component of growing media for its plants, as a soil improver and as a product for sale to customers. As a growing media, a mix has been created containing 10 per cent compost, which is added to bark residue and sylvafibre to create a nutrient rich and lush soil, ideal for plants grown in containers and pots. Supplied by Melcourt Industries, and using compost from BSI PAS100 accredited producer Wyvern Waste, the nursery anticipates using a total of 300 cubic metres of this growing mix each year.

The nursery also sources additional compost from BSI PAS 100 accredited producer Eco-Sci for use as a soil improver over winter months to heal areas of the nursery that have become depleted of nutrients. It is also used as a mulch on display beds and is sold directly to customers. This has proved to be a huge success, with the nursery now actually selling more compost each year than it uses itself.

The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery has recognised a number of benefits to using compost. It has reduced the need for inorganic fertilisers at the nursery with the compost providing a valuable organic source of nutrients to help the plants thrive. Compost also helps to promote plant survival rates, with roots able to penetrate the soil structure more easily to obtain vital nutrients and water. In order to achieve a thriving stock of plants for sale, the nursery uses the growing mix containing compost exclusively across all of the plants it grows.


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