- Loam is the most important ingredient as it provides a natural reservoir of plant foods, trace elements and contains some organic matter which releases nitrogen slowly to the plant. The loam in J. Arthur Bower's John Innes is screened and sterilised to avoid any soil-borne diseases and insects.
- The sphagnum moss peat in John Innes compost improves both the aeration and water-retaining capicity, which enables the compost to make maximum use of the nutrients and trace elements in fertilisers.
- Lime-free grit sand is included to allow excess water to drain from the compost and so prevent waterlogging. It also adds weight and provides stability for pot grown plants.
- The compound fertiliser in John Innes provides the wide spectrum of plant nutrients needed for healthy growth. These include nitrogen for leafy growth, phosphates for root development, potash for flowering and fruiting and trace elements for colour and flavour.
Fill the pot and insert cuttings, spaced so that the leaves do not touch. Gently firm the compost around the cuttings and water in using a fine rose. To maintain humidity fit a plastic bag or dome cover over the pot or place in a propagation unit. Keep in a warm well-lit place, out of direct sunlight and water when the cover looks dry or if cuttings wilt.
Before re-potting, remove any moss or lichen that may have formed on the old compost, water the plant well and allow to drain. Lay fresh compost in the bottom of a new pot and then turn the old plant upside down and tap the pot sharply to release. Place the plant in the middle of the new pot and add more compost, firming lightly around the root ball. Leave a space of at least 1cm below the pot rim to allow adequate space for watering.
Feed with a liquid plant food after 2 or 3 months, or earlier if the container becomes well filled with roots.
Dig a hole large enough for the compost to completely surround the roots. Line the hole with compost, place the plant in position and fill with more compost, then firm gently and water well.
- Ensure you give your plants fresh, moist air, good light and an even, warm temperature.
- Make sure your containers are clean and free-draining.
- Close the bag of compost after use to keep it moist and prevent contamination.Use John Innes No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 for plants that prefer a pH closer to neutral.
- Wear gloves when using this product and wash hands after use and before eating, drinking or smoking.
- Don't expose plants to too much direct sunlight, fumes, draughts, hot air and sudden changes or extremes of temperature.
- Try not to dry out or over-water your compost – keep it just moist.
- Don't store your John Innes compost from one season to another as the nutrient content may become unbalanced.
- Avoid using in an enclosed space to prevent breathing in dust.