ACTIVEARTH soil conditioner – product review

I’m extremely careful with products I bring into my garden. I’m mindful of the creatures that share this patch of earth with me. There’s the obvious: birds, hedgehogs, hares, rabbits, frogs, toads, grass snakes and newts. Then there’s the less noticeable, all the insects and beetles which fascinate me and play their part in the food chain for all the other inhabitants here. So I don’t use chemicals. No fertilisers, weed killers or poisonous pest and disease sprays are used. And yet, the garden thrives and is beautiful and productive. Flowers and food crops do well.

It’s well known I’m an organic gardener, so I’m often asked to try out new products. Recently I had a delivery of Envii Activearth an organic ‘soil fertility activator.’ This contains nutrients and beneficial bacteria which helps to enrich poor soil and encourages worm activity. I care about my earthworms, so the product was ‘sold’ to me when the makers said it would benefit them.

I sprinkled the granules around in my veg plot, especially where I’m growing some beans which need good fertile conditions to do well.

The product smells pleasantly of chocolate. A small sachet goes a long way. I spread it at about 40g per square metre. I saw on the packet the product is also suitable for flower borders and lawns. It contains magnesium, calcium, hydrogen and potassium.

I was pleased to see the packaging can be composted and doesn’t have to go into landfill. Mine went into my green compost bin.

Here’s a peaceful stroll around my garden. Aren’t the birds loud this spring, I can’t ever remember so much birdsong. Or perhaps I have just always been too busy to stop and properly listen. If you love cow parsley you’ll enjoy my woodland walk at the moment. The paths are lined with gorgeous lacy white flowers. I’m planting white foxgloves amongst them just now for next spring’s display.

There’s a patch of wild garlic and three-cornered leek too. I’ve tried making soup with the garlic. Very useful when there’s little in the cupboards at the moment. I’m still not getting out and about, keeping safe and busy at home. I’m resisting attempts to call me back into the world for work. I’m quite happy mooching here in the potting shed. It’s so peaceful here.

This is the view from the potting shed. A favourite layered viburnum. Possibly Viburnum plicatum Mariesii. There were wild violets all around the base. They are still there, hiding under the stinging nettles. I’m working on reducing some of the nettles and adding wild flowers this summer.

We planted these foxgloves, Pam’s Choice, last summer. They brighten up a shady patch round the back of the pond. They stand up to high winds, which is just as well as we’ve had gales gusting 42 knots (says my husband – who is a sailor).

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s ramble around the garden. What’s looking good in your gardens today, and what plans have you for new plantings this summer?

Disclaimer: I didn’t pay for my sample product, but in common with most other bloggers, I only accept samples for review if there’s no payment given, and I can freely give my honest opinion.

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12 thoughts on “ACTIVEARTH soil conditioner – product review

  1. That sounds an intriguing product, Karen – and the recyclable packaging is a pleasing touch. It’s a pleasure to walk round your garden with you and it’s good that you are coping with lockdown OK – hope your family are too

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. Yes, we are coping. Have to really. Feeling extremely lucky to have a garden to isolate in. I’m starting to feel like I’ll never leave the safety of the potting shed though. If I don’t start going out soon, I could see myself becoming a hermit! Yes, I nearly turned the product down, until it was made clear the packaging is compostable. Another good reason to try it. Must say, everything is thriving. Thankfully. xx


      • I have heard others beginning to feel a little agoraphobic, and fearing if they went out that others would not stay as alert as they should. As you say, those of who have a garden are blessed – and doubly blessed if it is in a rural location

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your peaceful walk was a real delight Karen. I can understand why you are not rushing to get back out into the world! I don‘t think I have ever seen a horsechestnut flower so close up. 😃 The cow parsley is flowering on the edges of our woods too, and the ragged robin, pink campions and the odd wild aquilegia too. I shall be watering for the next few months, so no new plants in the garden from now on! (Famous last words! ) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s terribly dry here as well. I’m resolving only to plant the veg plot and cut flowers, but everything else is wilting badly. I’ve never had to water the established shrubs before. There’s lots of pink campion and aquilegia in the front garden. It can get a bit out of control here. Well, everything does to be honest. That horse chestnut was planted when my eldest daughter was born. It’s grown really well in the shelter of the other trees. But it is a poor shape, tall and spindly because it doesn’t have room to spread. I think we will have to cut back some of the cherry bank to make room. Enjoy your weekend. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Karen no you are not talking g to yourself, I like listening to you and Ben discussing your gardens. Karen I’m very new to this blogging lark, yours is the first I’ve joined not very good on computers as well. I like gardening just playing at it really, I’ve just retired in Feb to spend more time on it, I’m 70 and have never grown a packet of seeds, I recently sowed
    2 pks of foxgloves they were out of date and nothing came of them. So sown some new ones what I’m asking I left the others in my little plastic greenhouse the cover was open all the time so they baked and then I watered them, should I have kept them out of the sun all the time somewhere cool, which is what I’m doing this time. Many thanks Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Christine. And welcome to the blog! How kind of you to search out and find me. I’m very pleased. When I started blogging I thought I would only be talking to one other person. My Mum! But it seems gardening is a passion for so many, we feel like one bug supportive family. I’m just about to sow some foxgloves today. They are biennial which means they make leaves and roots this year, and flower next. Here’s my step by step how to sow seeds which applies to anything really, but particularly for foxgloves, sweet Williams and wallflowers.
      1. Buy some seed compost because it is finely milled and doesn’t have big lumps in it. It’s also low fertility as fertiliser burns little roots.
      2. Use a half seed tray.
      3. Fill the seed tray and use another tray to press down on top, so there’s a level surface.
      4. Water the compost with tap water (not rain barrel water which might contain moulds.)
      5. Tap the packet on the table so all the seeds go to the bottom. Cut off the top of the sachet. The seeds are like dust. Carefully tip them into the palm of your hand. (dry and no hand cream)
      6. As you make a slight fist, your palm will make a crease. Gently tap your palm with your other hand and the seeds will be finely sown over the whole seed tray.
      7. Cover the seeds with a sprinkle of vermiculite which is a light-weight material that stops a hard cap forming on the surface of the compost. It makes it easy to prick out seedlings too.
      8. Place the tray in a shady north facing place, the bottom of a house wall. Or on a north facing window. We want heat, but not direct sun which scorches new little shoots.
      9. Seeds will germinate in about 12 days. If compost gets too dry, spray with a hand sprayer or recycled kitchen cleaner spray well washed. But in the shade, if you soaked it really well, you shouldn’t usually need to water until seedlings emerge.
      10. When two little leaves emerge and the seedlings are about 2.5cm carefully use a pencil or a dibber to lift the seedlings out. Only handle leaves. The stem is too delicate to touch.
      11. Get a 3” pot and fill it with multi purpose compost with a hand full of john Innes no 2 added. Make a hole in the middle with a pencil.
      12. The seedling you’re lifting should have a little plug of compost on its roots. Carefully place it in the middle of your 3” pot and use your fingers to gently settle it in. Don’t press down which compresses the compost.
      Water gently and stand somewhere cool and bright, but again, not in full sun.
      These will grow on and you’ll be able to plant them out in August/ September in their flowering positions. Foxgloves like edge of woodland positions in semi shade, but will grow in full sun, but will need watering.

      Is there anything above you’d like to check with me? Just let me know. Go one step at a time and all will be well. Report back. I’ll soon be back in Ben’s garden doing 10 minute tips again- observing social distancing, somehow! Thanks for listening in. I now know, I have one reader and one listener – at least. Thanks again. Karen

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anne. I’ve kept this going because some people haven’t been able to get out in their gardens. It seems a virtual tour is almost as good as the real thing. Your rhododendron sounds lovely. I’m just about to plant some in my daughters house as they are low maintenance and spectacular. Enjoy your weekend. Karen x


      • I know you are a REAL gardener, and if I didn’t know it before, I’d know it now. You are going to plant things in your daughters garden! My children don’t have gardens, but if they did, I would not be digging in their dirt. I can’t keep ahead of the weeds in my own little garden. You are both a real gardener and a loving mother. Well done!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, thank you Anne. I’m enjoying the process to be honest. I planted two pots for each side of their front door today, in sunny yellow and white. It made such a lovely cheerful welcome. Thanks again for your kind words and encouragement. It means a lot. x

        Liked by 1 person

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