How effective is wool in the garden?

How to use wool in your garden (Alamy/PA)

When it comes to sustainability, wool is increasingly being seen as a viable ingredient in compost, twine and matting. , can be cut to make the lining of the hanging basket.

“Wool is as cyclical as a gardening year: it grows and has to be sheared every year. uk) founder Kim Stead said. All manufacturing processes done in the UK.

“Wool is sustainable, long-lasting, strong and biodegradable.It also releases nitrogen as it biodegrades,” Stead adds.

Meanwhile, Lake District sheep farm Dalefoot ( produces peat-free wool-based compost and blends Hardwick sheep wool into all its wool compost to improve water retention. increase and release nitrogen slowly. Bracken, which is rich in potash, forms the basis for compost. Comfrey is also added to the mix.

So how can you use wool in your garden? What else do you need to know?

wool compost

Due to wool’s ability to retain moisture, gardeners do not need to water beds or containers when using wool-based compost.

Environmental benefits

‘Wool is a natural product and a very valuable product, but unfortunately in the UK it is not valued at the moment by the industry,’ says Lewington.

Caroline Williamson, Outer Walled Garden Team Leader at RHS Garden Bridgewater ( said:

“Thousands of sheep’s fleeces were burned in the UK during Covid as carpet and wool mills were closed, but it is an excellent slow-release fertilizer and water-retaining medium, and a peat-free growing medium Best suited for use in

“We bought from Dalefoot which mixed wool and bracken, so we used two local ‘waste’ products to make a nice compost with wool nitrogen, wool potassium and bracken. I was.

“Hill sheep wool is less valuable as a fiber, but it decomposes more slowly, making it a better compost. Have used and all with excellent results, general purpose wool compost is used for breeding, we currently produce our own compost on site but will use less in the future. ”


“This is a muddy sheep tail mixed with wool and dried dung. [sheep are] It’s to keep the wool clean and fly away from the sheep in the summer,” Williamson says.

“It’s free (ask for it at your local farm supply store) and is a perfect mix that you can dig under hungry plants that benefit from water retention around their roots.” I’ve used it under bushes and they all seem to work.”


Williamson adds: I grabbed some to use as breathable insulation around the hive if it gets really cold. “


But Nick Hamilton, son of the late gardening icon Jeff Hamilton, who runs Barnsdale Gardens ( in Rutland after his father’s death, has some reservations.

“Last year we got some wool compost and seeded it with vegetables, herbs and perennials. has had horrendous results. I have found it to dry out quickly in nurseries of perennial seedlings.

“Cap when dry” [develops a crusty surface] It sits on top very easily and the seedling has a hard time pushing through it. “

People switching to wool-based compost will notice a difference in how they water. You have to be careful not to overwater. The point is to run your fingertip into the compost to see if it is still damp.

suitable for cuttings

“I also used it for Penstemon cuttings a few months ago and had no problems. Yes, and the compost was a little damp,” says Hamilton.


“I used a woolen cord provided by a local woman, and found that the cord seemed to last longer when tying roses and other plants to walls protected by eaves,” says Hamilton. Observe. “If you tether it to a fully open pergola, it will quickly become fuzzy and break easily when wet.”

as a multi

Wool mats are widely used over beds to keep weeds under control and to retain moisture. Wool can also retain more heat during cold winter months, keeping your roots warm. Treated wool garden felt is also thought to act as a protective barrier against slugs and snails.

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