Compost Technology - Purveyors of fine manures

Dug's Seasonal Tips


Apply frost protection to the crowns of tender perennials – Autumn Gold acts a warm blanket keeping heat in the soil and helping to prevent early frost damage.

In the new year add a further sprinkling of Super-Dug Extra to help boost the nutrient content of your soil to prepare for the new spring growth.

And now for the history...

This letter is a reminder of why our products are so successful and to give you an insight into how they have developed and why they are an essential part of a gardener's tool shed from Cornwall to the North of Scotland, from East Anglia to Anglesey and everywhere in between. Let's talk about Super Dug Extra first. For over a thousand years the ancient civilisations of South America used Guano - the dried droppings of sea birds - to improve their crops. In 1802 a Prussian botanist Alexander von Humboldt published a paper on the benefits of Guano, bringing this resource to the attention of Europe. By 1840 its high concentration of nitrates made it ideal for feeding the great kitchen gardens of the Victorian age, marketed under names such as Canary Guano. Fortunes were built and even wars fought over control of this precious resource as the nitrates were also an important ingredient in explosives manufacture. This eventually led to the supply for horticultural purposes drying up and poultry manure then became a popular substitute. There the technology remained unchanged with the manure being sold – as it still is by producers today – simply after a drying or pelleting process and with an analysis that was very high in nitrogen but far too low in phosphate and potash.

The first advance in more than a century came in the 1980s when we developed and patented our process for correcting this fertilizer imbalance. Like many great ideas it proved so simple that one wonders why no one had thought of it before. In it the manure is divided into two streams one of which is burnt producing ash, while the other is dried, using the heat generated by the burning process. The ash residue high in phosphates and potash is then mixed into the original dried material to produce a quite unique product with a balanced analysis. That is how Super Dug became Super Dug Extra the 100% organic fertilizer, and this patented process is the secret of its success. Every 25Kg sack of Super Dug Extra starts life as 100Kg of raw material. The process does not go cheap (unlike the canaries), but the final product and the results it produces are worth it - as customer testimonials prove.

If you are lucky enough to already have good soil structure your beds may only need Super Dug Extra to replace the lost nutrients. If like us you struggle with clay or very sandy soil, you will also require Traditional Compost to improve the soil condition. First prepared over 80 years ago by Mr James Cutting in Stamford, Lincolnshire – it has become a gardening legend and gets regular plaudits in the press and from customers alike. A unique blend of organic matter, soil improvers and organic fertilizers its benefits are now being enjoyed by third and fourth generations of gardeners. Throughout its entire history Traditional Compost has only ever been delivered direct to customers' homes, making it the first mail order compost. We still manufacture it in the same painstaking manner and continue to deliver direct and free of charge to your garden saving you the hassle and mess of collecting lesser quality compost from discount garden centres.

As Spring is the time for cultivating seeds and preparing pots and baskets, one product that gives us particular pride is our Derek Owen's All Purpose Compost. I say this because it is the one product in our range that has direct competition with products in the DIY sheds and yet despite this its outstanding quality continues to see sales grow year after year. Many of our customers write and tell us that they have tried the cheaper alternatives but they return to our commercial grower standard All Purpose Compost as they have found that inferior quality compost produces poor results. When you invest so much time and money on seeds and plants it is a false economy to use anything but the best growing compost. Your plants will thank you for it and give you full rewards.

Introduced in our January 1991 brochure, Spring Green Dressing is based on a Victorian recipe but with modern technical advances. It is a remarkable dual function product. Its complex high technology formulation is designed to both encourage early Spring growth around the whole garden, thanks to a temperature activated slow release nitrogen fertilizer, and also to act as a year round lawn dressing with the added benefit of a very safe yet very efficient weed and moss suppressant.

Finally Autumn Gold Compost is a high potash, slightly acidic top dressing formulated from light coloured young humus, composted manures and sugars. While the potash helps to enhance flowering for up to four weeks longer than usual on all species, its slightly acidic nature also means it is ideal to use on lime hating specimens such as rhododendrons, azaleas, blueberries and heathers. Use in the same way as Traditional Compost for general manuring, digging in, and mulching as well as top dressing fruit and vegetable plots.

Whilst we as a family business have spent many years designing and manufacturing professional grade quality products to look after all your garden's nutritional needs, we also continually research, source and test new and interesting innovations in gardening products and accessories and the best of these we share with you! Fiskars gardening tools, along with Showa gardening gloves, BeeMats and a range of decorative bird feeders and solar garden lights are all available to order. Please see the enclosed leaflet or visit our website for further details.

We hope this letter has kept the right balance of both background and technical information. What we have tried to do is explain all the wonderful – but very different – products we produce, and tell you how they can be used together to bring out the best in your garden, ensuring you are fully prepared with all your gardening essentials. By taking advantage of our Spring Pick 'n' Mix offer, you will also save £1 on every item on all orders containing at least two different products. Offer expires 30th April 2018.

A personalised Order Form and Reply Envelope are enclosed. Please do let us have your telephone number in case we need to contact you – and for directions if you are hard to find!
Happy Gardening

Derek and Meirion Owen


Autumn Tips