A recent question we posted on Facebook, what is ‘John Innes’? actually wasn’t that hard to answer for most of you; of course it’s a compost! But the question, what makes ‘John Innes compost’ different from ‘bog standard compost’ was a little bit of a trickier one.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that John Innes is a compost manufacturer. In fact it is a compost formulae, made up of four key elements – loam, peat, sand/grit and fertiliser (varying degrees depending on the purpose of the specific compost). It was created by the genius that is the ‘John Innes Centre’. It is a desirable compost for keen gardeners, whether ‘John Innes’ or ‘…with added John Innes’, and is widely known for its results producing strong plant growth, health and vigour, in the field of horticulture.

A Trevena Cross we particularly recommend using John Innes soil based no 3 compost (and a slow release fertiliser) for permanent planting (e.g. shrubs and trees) as it doesn’t dry out like regular peat based composts, and is therefore easier to keep moist.

Who is John Innes? John Innes left money and part of an estate in his will in the early 1900’s, specifically for the establishment of a horticultural institute. The John Innes Centre was it. Today it still continues to make valuable contributions to the world of plant science and microbiology through innovative research.