The importance of product consistency for gardeners – and a promise from Melcourt

We were reminded of this recently by Ronald, Ronald, a keen gardener from Eccleshall in Staffordshire, who, having recently joined the RHS, came across our products due to their recommendation.  About 5 years ago Ronald moved from a three bedroom house where he had a large garden which he enjoyed for many years to a flat where he had no garden. He is now in a new flat and in the process of creating a new garden, mainly of flowers, trees and bushes, and a few roses, but he will also be growing a few vegetables (potatoes and carrots) in bags.

Ronald, whilst pleased to find a product that seems to have none of the drawbacks normally associated with peat-free composts, wrote to us to share his concern about composts in general in that manufacturers change the formulation so often. Having found one that he liked, he discovered that the same product in a subsequent year often changed to such an extent that it was no longer what he expected. Could he, he asked, reliably expect that the formulation of Melcourt products would continue to be essentially the same in the future? Our Technical Director, Catherine Dawson – one of the most respected figures in the world of growing media – was quick to sympathise, and to offer reassurance.

“Some retail growing media are not consistent in their make up from season to season or even batch to batch,” she wrote to Ronald. “Indeed, we raised this very issue at a recent trade association meeting as we feel that it reflects badly on the entire industry and could ultimately discourage consumers from buying any growing media at all.”

Catherine went on: “I am very happy to report that our formulations don’t change apart from any very minor tweaks that may result from the year-round product monitoring that we undertake. They are not however, tweaks that you would see in the physical appearance and they would only ever be done to improve performance. SylvaGrow shares its formulation with our professional growing media range with no alterations whatsoever and as you can imagine, it is not possible to chop and change the recipes where professional growers are concerned – their principal requirements are consistency and reliability. So, you can rest assured that any product you buy this year will be the same the next time you buy it in both formulation and performance.”