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Has anyone bought any good multi purpose compost this year? Mine seems to be filled with rubbish. All your comments have been very useful. It's my first time on this site and I am very impressed. Thanks to you all.




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You're right there - even the old standby, Wickes in the green bags, has gone down this year, full of wood fibres. I'm reliably informed that New Horizon Peat Free Multi purpose is good - I don't know myself, not bought any. The one that gets the Which award for best multi purpose this year is J. Arthur Bowyers multipurpose with Added John Innes, which I couldn't get hold of here, they only had the ordinary JAB multi purpose.
In the end, I compromised - I bought the Wickes one and John Innes No. 2, and I intend to mix them for use, changing the ratio of the mix depending on what I'm planting.

28 Mar, 2012

 

I got some also cant remember which one and it had black plastic bag remenents in it. If it happens again I am going to e-mail the supplier and complain as I have never come across this before.

28 Mar, 2012

 

Marion, they're all pretty rubbishy now because of the absence of peat, which they're having to stop or reduce use of.

28 Mar, 2012

 

And a good job too, Bamboo. Peat is not neccessary in compost and never was; it was just easy and cheap to extract. I agree that multi- purpose composts today contain a lot of rubbish in the form of municipal compost; which is the new 'easy and cheap' for the manufacturers. There was a time at the begining of the move away from peat when composts used to be made with composted bark. This was wonderful stuff, much better and nicer to use than peat or the current stuff.
New Horizon is the one that we use now, award by Which, as Bamboo says, and recommended by Garden Organic. It is pretty clean stuff and cost us £12 for three bags from our local garden centre.

28 Mar, 2012

 

Gosh, that's cheap for that one, Bulbaholic - our Wyevale was selling the New Horizon one at 6.99 per bag, or 3 bags for £16.

28 Mar, 2012

 

My local garden centre has been doing a special deal on Godwins multi-purpose for some time now. Three bags for £10 . Things seem to have done very well on it. Better than many I have used in the past that seem to dry out so quickly.

28 Mar, 2012

 

Thanks bamboo, I do not know much about it, I usually just buy a few bags every year for a top up, but I will certainly save this post for future purchases.

28 Mar, 2012

 

B and Q do a 125 litre bag for 6.98 (5.58p per litre which is the cheapest I've found this year so far )and it's acceptable quality . I used it last year to pot up 2500 plants on my small plant nursery .

I add a bit of growmore or pelleted chicken manure 4 weeks after potting and 4 weekly thereafter until I sell the plants and they seem to grow well.

28 Mar, 2012

 

Try Excel Premium, with JI No3 added as well as rooting bonemeal. I get 3 x 70L for £12. It also has reduced (?) peat content and, according to the package, voted best multi-pupose compost in trials. It is certainly loamy and rich, with the occasional coconut husk bits!!

28 Mar, 2012

 

Contrary to what some people say, it's not a good job at all. Peat based composts are far superior to any other compost and are still available to buy.
As to where you get them from, depends on how much you get through. I use Keith Singletons pure peat based compost with no added composted rubbish added. You can get any sort of compost from him, from seed to azalea, potato, carrrot, onion and leek, hanging basket, alpine, pansy, cactus. The list is endless, and not a trace of composted rubbish to be found.
For those that won't get through 20 bags of assorted composts/ soil conditioners, etc, in a growing season, just buy yourselves neat peat and mix in chempak compost fertiliser and make your own. As bamboo says, mix in some John Innes no2 to make a more substantial mix.
Don't put up with rubbish composts.

28 Mar, 2012

 

I have been trying to be peatless for 2-3 years but a couple of recent purchases have put me off, as they are rubbishy and dry out far too fast. My next visit to a GC I will buy a bag or bags of a size I can cope with, regardless of whether there is peat present or not. I would like to buy with John Innes added but the sacks are too heavy for me to handle.

30 Mar, 2012

 

Sorry to say but I bought a job lot of Wickes Multipurpose Peat Based Compost in the autumn and found it fine and friable and not full of bits of wood and other extraneaus rubbish that is used to bulk out more expensive composts. I still won't trust growing my expensive seeds in peat free composts.

30 Mar, 2012

 

Ah yes, Jimmytheone, and I really wish I'd bought more last year - I nipped back at the end of October and they'd stopped for the winter. Take my advice and don't buy any more - its nothing like it was in previous years, is now full of wood fibre. Public rating last year was 5 (max) for this one - dropped to 1 this year.

30 Mar, 2012

 

thanks everyone for all your good advice.

30 Mar, 2012

 

QED ... If they want gardeners to use peat-free, or reduced peat compost then the producers of alternatives need to improve their quality! Try Excel Premium (70L) and HUMAX multi-purpose (70L). Well rotted manure, and leaf litter for structure, are also good. There is no such thing as bad compost!!

30 Mar, 2012

 

Ah yes, Humax original. Good stuff but unless you can drive to Crewe to get it then Taylors delivery costs have made it to expensive. From the same place, Jack's magic is also a full well bodied peat and loam compost.

30 Mar, 2012

 

Bamboo, I've done a bit of homework and indeed Wickes compost has been getting a panning from gardeners and some have been e-mailing Wickes and some have been backing their compost. It would seem that they intend to go back to their original mix next time. I also bought some Arthur Bowers Seed and Cutting Compost which I had to seive because it contained so much rubbish, some of the debris was twice the size of a runner bean seed. Needless to say the garden centre took it back, refunded my money and gave me a free bag of something different.

1 Apr, 2012

 

Really! It'd be great if they went back to their old formulation. I do know of someone who ordered a whole pallet of Wickes green, thinking it was like it was previously, and then returned the lot 2 weeks ago. As for seed and cutting, I've switched to John Innes for things like that - also John Innes No. 2 for houseplants, can't find anything decent for them either. But you have to watch the brand, some are terrible. I'm desperately trying to remember the brand of the one I bought this year which was good - I'm told Levington's JI is bad.

1 Apr, 2012

 

I bought two 20 litre bags of compost yesterday. They are 50% peat with added John Innes......all I can easily carry from car to potting table. I shall stick at a similar mix as that, until there is no choice but to use peat free. At a certain age, with no assistance, getting heavy sacks lifted becomes a problem.

2 Apr, 2012

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