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Bracken conditioner

What is Gower Soil Conditioner?
Where can I buy Gower Soil Conditioner?
How is it made?
About Common Sense Garden Products


Gower Soil Conditioner


is a PEAT FREE composted mixture of bracken harvested from Gower commons and local farm manure.

Good for your Garden…
Gower Soil Conditioner is high in potash and other naturally occurring nutrients, highly moisture retentive and facilitates good soil structure. It can be used as a mulch, potting compost or general soil conditioner. The heat generated during the composting process ensures that any bracken spores or weed seeds in this product will not germinate. Laboratory tests confirm this.

Good for the Environment…  
Bracken control is a key part of the management of the commons on Gower in order to conserve wildlife, grazing for livestock and access for recreation. Profits from the sale of Gower Soil Conditioner will be used to support the ongoing management of the commons, which cover nearly half of the Gower Peninsula.

MONTY DON, presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World provides his backing:
“Bracken is the most common plant in Britain and is increasing every year swamping almost all other plant life. Harvesting it for high quality garden compost seems to be the perfect way to turn a problem into an exciting solution in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.”

A 60L bag of Gower Soil Conditioner costs just £4.40 (prices correct as of April 2010)

R Davies and Son, Stoney Forge Dairy, Knelston (delivers to door in local area) tel:391460 or email
Gower Shrub and Tree Nursery, Lower Hardingsdown Farm, Llangennith tel: 01792 391117/ 07974 813362
Williams Pet and Garden Supplies, 30 Brynymor Road, Gowerton tel: 01792 875588
White Knights Nursery, 20 Oldway, Bishopston tel: 01792 232035
Morgan's Country Store, Unit 24 Crofty Industrial Estate, Crofty tel: 01792 850335
Peter Davies (can deliver to door) - tel: 07784 325122


tel: 07530 580990
email: compost@gowercommons.org.uk

address: Common Sense Garden Products, c/o GCI, Little Reynoldston Farm,
Little Reynoldston, Gower SA3 1AQ

Common Sense Garden Products has been set up by the Gower Commons Initiative (GCI) with the Gower Commoners Association. GCI is a partnership project of the Gower Commoners’ Association, The National Trust, Countryside Council for Wales, Llangennith Manors Ltd, Gower Society and the City and County of Swansea.
Supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.


A gardener’s friend

It’s interesting how often a problem can be turned into a solution and that’s exactly what is happening on the Gower Commons.  For generations bracken has been managed on the commons of Gower for a range of uses from livestock bedding to thatching.  Over recent years the amount of bracken has increased considerably, due to warmer winters and the changing mix of grazing animals on the commons.  The Gower Commons Initiative working with the Gower Commoners manages 1000 acres of bracken dominated land each year.  Although this management has improved conditions for wildlife, access and farming we have been looking for ways by which we can make the management of the commons self sustaining.  With guidance from the Mendips AONB and Brackendown Ltd and funding from the Welsh Assembley Government, the Gower Commons Initiative has produced a high quality soil conditioner with bracken from management works on the commons. All income derived will go back into the management of the commons in the following year allowing the process to continue.

Bracken composting – the process

Bracken is collected with a forage harvester.




Bracken being collected from Tankey Lake Moor

Bracken being cut and collected from Tankey Lake Moor common

The bracken is mixed with manure collected from local farms at a ratio of 4:1. The manure helps to activate the bacteria which help to compost the bracken and also provide extra nutrients to make the resulting compost product more effective as a growing medium for plants. The mixture is stored in linear heaps called "windrows".




Windrows of composting bracken and manure

The windrows are turned regularly to facilitate the composting process. As bacteria breakdown the organic matter, a great deal of heat is generated. When the internal temperature of the windrows reach an optimum temperature of 60-65oC the row is turned to ensure that the compost process is consistent throughout. Turning is required every day to start with and reduces as the composting process slows and comes to an end. The heat generated during the composting process ensures that any weed seeds and spores present are rendered inactive.


Compost turner

Tractor turning the bracken during the composting process

The compost is sent to a laboratory to be tested against the industry standard, PAS100, for quality. This includes analysing the compost for nutrient content, potential plant toxins, weed seeds, pathogens, plant performance compared against peat based product, physical contaminents such as stones. We are proud to say that Gower Soil Conditioner passed the PAS100 quality standard on all counts.


The compost is bagged into 60L bags or 1 tonne dumpy bags.


Gower Soil Conditioner is available to buy from local retailers or direct from Common Sense Garden Products.


Feedback (postive and negative) from customers is gratefully received. Please email compost@gowercommons.org.uk to let us know your comments.

Support your commoners. Buy local.



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