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Welcome to the Garden Guru!

You will find lots of useful information on compost, composting and all things grow your own, from hints and tips to step by step how to guides on all sorts of interesting subjects.

Browse through all our garden guru's articles below to find the subject you are interested in.

If the article you  are looking for is not here, just ask The Compost Shop Garden Guru and he will get back to you as quickly as possible with the answers you are looking for!

Ericaceous FAQs: our list of ericaceous plants Q&A’s


If you’re looking for compost for your acid-lovers, remember to check out our shop for great deals on bulk ericaceous compost as well as a range of other specialist compost, topsoils, supplies and more!


We love to see ericaceous plants- nothing stands out like the famously fashionable ericaceous acer or lights up a garden like an azalea. While we here at The Compost Shop have conditioning the soil for your ericaceous plants covered, there’s still a lot to know about these plants. So if you yearn for a striking Japanese maple, a rustic heather or a delicate rhododendron in your garden, read on and discover a whole new dimension to your gardening.

A (non-exhaustive!) list of ericaceous compost questions


  1. Why are they called ericaceous plants?

The name comes from Ericaceae, the name for heathers. These are classic acid-loving plants, and can create striking boundaries in your borders. Among this huge & diverse family are some surprising heathers, including some you definitely don’t picture on the typical rolling ‘heathland’- cranberry, blueberry, rhododendrons and azaleas.

  1. Can I use ericaceous compost for other plants?

It’s possible, if you mix your compost in with other compost or even lime (to neutralise the pH) and avoid using it for very chalk-loving plants. However the effort would be extensive and the results possibly unreliable. Ultimately compost stores well if kept correctly, so it would be advisable to use the correct compost as far as possible, and keep your erinaceous supply for the plants that benefit from it the most.

  1. How can I tell if I have acidic soil?

This is an important question. Using a map such as this one, from Cranfield University, can help, as can surveying the types and health of the plants that grow in your garden already. However the best way to be certain is through a reliable soil pH testing kit bought from a reputable supplier. This should give you a definite picture of your soil condition and if you conduct all three of these steps you’ll be in a good position to judge your soil condition accurately.

  1. Can soil pH change?

This would not happen naturally, however there are ways in which humans can adjust the profile of patches of soil to grow particular plants- at the simplest, most localised end of the scale is using something like ericaceous compost to plant a small shrub in a pot or pocket in the ground. On the other end of the scale is perhaps widespread liming of the soil by farms, or adding minerals or chemicals to adjust pH in favour of certain crops. Indeed, over 50 years the government of the Cerrado region of Brazil transformed their agriculture thanks to up to 25 million tonnes of lime per year being spread on fields, boosting soybean production to feed cattle and export.

  1. What happens if I plant something in the wrong pH soil?

Many plants show symptoms of poor growth when planted in the wrong soil: the minerals in the soil obstruct healthy uptake of nutrients. Unhealthy, yellow-colour leaves, weak growth and poor root development will make it clear your plants aren’t doing as well as they could. Many people misinterpret these as symptoms of disease, which can unfortunately lead to the same mistakes being made over and over again.

If you have any more questions about ericaceous compost, or the ways in which it can benefit your garden, speak to our team or check out our ericaceous compost information page. 




Ericaceous compost: 50L of top quality compost comes in cheapest from The Compost Shop


With 50L ericaceous compost from just £3.48, our bulk compost deliveries are perfect for any big gardening project. Here’s how we can provide you with the top quality compost you need, for less.

Our bulk compost offers provide as much of our rich, friable compost as you need, even if you’re undertaking a particularly large project or stocking up. Since transport is always a concern with any big order, we take care of it! Our drivers deliver to almost anywhere in the UK- one less thing to worry about when planning your big project. We support gardeners & gardens of all shapes and sizes, from backyard borders and allotments to farms, parks and public gardens, by providing real value, closely-screened quality and support every step of the way- from order to delivery. We always try to ensure the logistics of your order are handled as flexibly, efficiently and as closely centred around your needs as possible. Wherever possible we can offer next day delivery for your order.


Why choose between affordability and quality: per 50L, Ericaceous compost from us saves you money for the highest standard soil improvers

If you have a large project underway in your garden, you need both quality and volume to achieve your green-fingered goals. You need to be sure you’re getting consistent quality even when adapting your plans to the needs of specific plants, soil types, and light or drainage levels. After all, big projects equals big expectations, and only ambitious projects achieve great results, so why compromise? That’s why we offer specialist composts, perfect for those tricky soil conditions, such as our ericaceous compost. 50L of this from The Compost Shop, calculated from our 75L bulk bag orders, works out as just £3.48- a phenomenal saving! Because we deliver bulk orders we can offer you great savings per bag, helping keep costs down. So whether you have a large project requiring top quality bulk compost, or plan on stocking up and saving, visit our shop or speak to a member of our team for more information. 


Need to buy bulk ericaceous compost? We stock a wide range of tried & tested soil improvers to boost your acid-loving plants

From small gardens to public spaces, look no further to buy bulk ericaceous compost!

Do you revel in the fiery glow of a Japanese acer? How about the tingle of excitement that comes with plucking the first blueberry of the summer? Does the burst of colour of a healthy azalea light up your garden?

If your spring has only sprung when the delicate beauty of rhododendrons brightens your borders, we salute you! You’re a gardener with high ideals and goals, because these plants aren’t your ordinary run-of-the-mills planting project- at least not in most parts of the country. These are acid lovers- or lime haters- plants that need a lower soil pH- up to about 7.

Buy bags or bulk ericaceous compost here: we cater to gardens of all sizes

Also known as ericaceous plants, these aren’t the only plants that thrive in low-pH soil- lots of plants need the acid soil to prosper. Plants that have evolved growing wild on forest floors especially tend to prefer acid soil- as dead leaf matter tends to increase acidity, this is their normal growing environment. Many types of heather, and some types of berry-bearing shrub such as winterberry, cranberry, and bilberry (as well as the aforementioned blueberry) benefit from slightly acid soil. There are plenty of other plants too: makes sure to check the preferred soil conditions of plants you hope to buy. If they’re acid lovers, don’t panic: this just means you have to take an extra step in your planning: because with the exception of some areas, most of the UK isn’t naturally acidic. You should use a reliable, quality pH testing kit to determine your soil condition before you invest in ericaceous plants. There’s a good chance that your garden won’t be accommodating to these types, and you will need to acidify the soil using ericaceous compost.
At The Compost Shop, we cater to everyone and every size of project, from small back garden borders to parks and public spaces- so whatever your needs, if you’re looking to buy bulk ericaceous compost, we can help! Check out our shop or contact our team on 0871 9710 988 to learn more about the services we offer. 



Ericaceous compost pH secrets- unravelling what’s in your compost

Ericaceous compost pH test facts: how can compost change your garden’s chemistry?

Soil is wonderful, complex and fascinating. The properties of turf and topsoil are phenomenal- however those of the compost we add to improve it are no less amazing. The importance of understanding the exact qualities of what’s under your garden can be lost of many new gardeners- yet this can often be the difference between a successful garden, full of bright blossoms & huge yields, and disappointment.

Ericaceous compost, pH and the secrets of how gardens grow

While all compost contains the millions of micro-organisms that give it such great fertilising qualities, ericaceous compost goes a step further- using a blend of ingredients designed to change the balance of your soil chemistry. This special mix helps release vital nutrients to your plant that, depending on the soil conditions in your part of the country, they might not get otherwise.

What is soil pH?

Soil pH is the acidity, or lime content, of your soil. Lime is highly alkaline and creates soil conditions that contain certain minerals, rather than releasing them to your plants. Manganese, boron and iron are examples of nutrients trapped by alkaline soil- therefore plants that require more will struggle in these. These ‘acid loving’ plants will produce poor growth and off-colour leaves if grown in alkaline soil. Similarly, plants like asparagus, ferns and cauliflowers can struggle with the lack of molybdenum in acid soil. You can test your own soil’s pH yourself- we recommend using a home testing kit for the most accurate results. Knowing your garden’s pH is an important step when planning your planting for the year.

Ericaceous compost: pH- altering

So how does Ericaceous compost alter your soil pH? It all comes down to the blend of ingredients used in its production. Unlike traditional compost which uses a blend of loam, limey topsoil, peat and broken-down organic matter, ericaceous compost is specially prepared to add acidity to the earth. This slowly builds up a more favourable soil profile over months, to establish an environment that supports acid-loving plants like tomatoes, raspberries and acers.

To learn more about ericaceous compost, pH in the soil and the types of plants that love an acidic soil profile- see our page on ericaceous compost

Delivery Information
Next Day Delivery is available if the order is placed before 1pm Monday to Friday. Please view the product description to check availability. If you have any delivery concerns, please Contact Us.

The Compost Shop
Monday - Friday | 9am - 5pm
0871 971 09889
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Delivery Information
Next Day Delivery is available if the order is placed before 1pm Monday to Friday. Please view the product description to check availability. If you have any delivery concerns, please Contact Us.

The Compost Shop
Monday - Friday | 9am - 5pm
01785 850 653
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Quality Garden Supplies Ltd, 12 Stafford Street, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, ST21 6BZ Sales Hotline: 0871 971 0988 (Calls cost from 10p per minute) Customer Services : 03333 216 896 (Local Rate)