Getting the best out of your Daltons Product!
Daltons have been NZ owned and operated for almost 75 years and we’ve always been committed to manufacturing the highest quality products for you and your garden. Gardening is fun, messy, and very hands-on and at times you may see or smell different things when you use growing media products like compost, seed mix, garden mix or potting mixes to grow your plants in. This is because they are natural, living products. We’ve come up with some tips for you to care for and get the best out of these products at home.
Fresh is Best
Like a good salad, fresh is best when it comes to growing media products. Ideally, use the product as soon as you can, rather than leaving it sitting for months. If you don’t use it all at once, store it in a dry location as airtight as possible and keep it out of the sun.
Bad smells aren’t always a bad thing...
Compost may smell a bit whiffy to you, but for plants it means plenty of organic matter to help them grow. It also adds loads of nutrients back into the soil (worms love it) and helps improve soil drainage and soil structure.
Mould doesn’t just grow on cheese!
Mould can grow on almost anything organic if the conditions are right. Don’t panic if you see it on your growing media or even the packaging. It is actually caused by a group of fungi called Saprophytic fungi. They are the super-heroes of the fungi world and not harmful to you or your plants.
Saprophytic fungi play an important role in a garden’s ecosystem - breaking down dead plant material, releasing plant nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus and helping improve your plants ‘immune system’. Saprophytic fungi aren’t that pretty and can sometimes cause a stink (literally). If you see it in your growing-media, just mix it through to break up the fungal growth. Once you add your growing media to your garden or pot, the mould will disappear.
Change is Good!
We all know things change with age and the same thing happens to growing media. Over time it won’t look the same as it did when you first added it to the soil or pot. This is because living organisms (the good guys) within soil break it down – basically consuming it until you can’t see it anymore. But don’t worry – it is still working.
Daltons Quality Assurance
Our products do not contain weeds – we make sure of it. All of our growing media products are carefully tested and screened from start to finish. Every single raw ingredient (composted bark, coconut fibre, peat, and pumice) is individually tested along with the finished product (compost, growing/potting mixes).
Make it a Weed-Free Zone
Weeds love fresh growing media and if given access, will thrive in it and compete with the plants you actually want to grow. Weeds are brought into the garden in various ways, through bird droppings, the wind, contaminated plants, and can even be lying dormant in your existing soil. One of the golden rules of gardening is to start with a clean slate, so remove any weeds before you add in your new growing media.
To help discourage weeds long term, add a thick layer of mulch on top of your soil and around plants. It helps suppress weeds and means your plants are not competing for root space and nutrients. There is a wise old gardening saying, “One year’s seeding makes seven years’ weeding”, so pull out weeds whenever you see them and don’t let them go to seed!