Compost Technology Limited is a family run company initially founded by Dr T.D. Owen, an expert in
the field of plant nutrition and the chemistry of growing media. Now run by son Derek alongside his
wife Meirion, Compost Technology aims to deliver quality products to your doorstep.
As a gardening family with over 60 years of experience in the horticultural industry, we believe that
the soil beneath one’s feet is the most precious resource in the garden: look after it and the plants
and vegetables will thrive. To that end we have spent many years developing our unique range of
products, manufactured from the best quality ingredients and designed to be used in their own right
or alongside one another to produce optimum results in every corner of the garden.
Our Promise To You
To never compromise on compost quality
To provide a friendly and efficient service
To satisfy each and every customer
To help create beautiful gardens
Our history began in the 1960’s when Dr T.D. Owen was working for his Ph.D. at Bristol University
and his funding was provided by the Agricultural Research Council to study humus. His wife Monica
was also a chemist at Bristol and their first date was when he took her to Ashcott in Somerset to
collect peat samples for his work! On leaving university they formed Humus Products Limited. At first
their products were high specification, very technical products for the commercial grower market,
and one early development was the growing bag – first marketed in 1970.
1972 saw the next major development - the first ever compost designed for containers. Until then
shrubs had only been sold bare rooted in the Winter months and so Dr T.D. Owen saw the need for a
compost with a long life slow release feed to maintain plants until sale. Satisfying a need Derek
Owen’s All Purpose Compost (as it is known) was a huge commercial success.
By the early 1980’s Humus Products was well established with a large factory in Shropshire. There
had been some diversification with retail products being sold by garden centres – but this was small
compared to the huge commercial market where orders could run to many thousands of sacks.
Then in 1982 a very old and long established (what is believed to be the original – first ever) mail
order company was bought and taken over on the retirement of the owner. This was James Stamford
of Water Street, Lincolnshire who since 1932 had manufactured one unique product – Cutting’s Compost.
Now marketed as Traditional Compost, it is still made in the same painstaking manner, using the same
complex mixture of fertilisers, soil improvers and organic matter, rich in nitrogen, phosphate and potash
that has been a standby for generations of gardeners to improve soil structure and all-round fertility.
‘Making Fine Garden Products for Fine Gardeners – since 1932’
With the purchase of a mail order company with a mailing list of some 68,000 customers, Dr T.D.
Owen & Monica took Humus Products out of garden centres and put them into a second company -
Cutting Composts Limited. The upside of this for them was direct contact with the end user rather
than working through a third party, and for the customer home delivery of quite unique products not
available in garden centres.
1991 saw two other products arrive on the scene under the Cutting Composts banner – Spring Green
& Autumn Gold. Based on Victorian recipes but using modern technological advances, both were
designed to extend the gardening year and with multiple uses in mind.
Things did not stop there and in 1994, Dr T.D. Owen developed and patented our process for
producing a balanced organic fertilizer from poultry manure. Initially sold under the name of Cluck!
by another of their companies – Compost Technology Limited, it addressed and corrected the
centuries old problem of the inherent fertilizer imbalance in such manures – lots of nitrogen but too
little potash and phosphate.
History repeats itself and in 2004 another very old organic fertiliser company closed on the
retirement of the owners. This was the Super Dug business, originally started in the 1950’s by Mr
Peter Ellis and then later taken over by Mr and Mrs Charles Alexander.
In early 2005 Super Dug and its handsome chap logo were bought and became part of Compost
Technology Limited bringing another 55,000 customers to the party!
Due to the similarities between Cluck! and Super Dug, the decision was taken to merge both brands
under the older Super Dug banner and in recent years Super Dug became Super Dug Extra by
incorporating the technology from the Compost Technology patent, making it identical to Cluck!
Around the same time Humus Product Limited & Cuttings Composts Limited were closed and their
related products were all brought over to Compost Technology Limited and this is how it continues