you advise me what to do about maggots and their eggs throughout
my large potted plants? I discovered them while adding slow release
fertiliser and the smell was so bad it almost made me ill. Only
the plants I have added compost to seem to be affected so they must
be in the compost, contained in a large plastic commercial bin.
Will I have to repot all those plants, including dwarf citrus trees?
Is my compost no good now?
is an ideal additive to mix with garden soil but it's no good as
an alternative to potting mix as the decomposition process that
starts in the compost heap continues to work in the pot, resulting
in all sorts of problems such as you have experienced. Most good
potting mixes are made from materials that are very slow to decompose
such as granulated pine bark, peat and sand. This provides a good
environment for root growth but at the same time a relatively unattractive
one for insects and other nasties.
My advice is to repot
your plants into a commercial potting mix. There are plenty to choose
from and most garden chains have their own range. For dwarf citrus
trees choose a mix with slow release fertiliser that lasts at least
8-9 months, rather than the 3-4 month types.
Gardener, Issue 139, 2004, Page 27
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.