What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?

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wbmkk

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What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« on: March 12, 2022, 18:05 »
I need to get my vegetable seeds sown in the next few weeks, so have to buy some compost.

What's the current best compost please ?

In the past, I've just bought from the local supermarket or discount store, but some of the compost has been awful. I always put compost through a riddle for seed sowing, but sometimes it seems more of the compost is left behind rather than passing through.

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perris

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2022, 18:10 »
I had a similar experience, so a month ago I tried Carbon Gold, and I am very impressed with it; nice to handle, and almost all the seeds I've sown in it have germinated and are thriving.

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rowlandwells

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2022, 19:31 »
we have been using clover peat based compost for several years now and we found it quite good for seed sowings when sieved there's very little waste three bags [60ltr] 15.00 we bought 3 ]50ltr] bags Erin the other day for 12.00 but its wasn't as good as the Clover a lot more waist when sieved

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lettice

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2022, 10:44 »
I always use Verve multipurpose compost from B&Q.
Me and my Dad have been using it for well over a decade now for our seed sowing without issues and its done wonders as has this year too with all my sown seeds.

This year all these are up nicely up so far using it.
Broad Beans, Leeks, Peas, Mangetout, Lettuce, Flowers, (antirrhinum, dianthus, gazinia, cosmos, verbena, petunia)
Sage and Parsley from seed.
Brussels Sprouts and Spinach.

Will also sow all my other seeds with it like in previous years without issues like tomatoes, cucumbers, gherkin, french and runner beans, sweetcorn, chard, kale, more lettuce.
Have sown Asparagus seeds in it, that a few years later are producing wonderful plants.
Use for other herbs like Basil seeds.
Use for my strawberry runners.
Use to top dress tubs for my saved marigold seeds and baby carrot tubs, tomato and cucumber greenhouse beds, mix with used soil for my tomato beds, pots and baskets.
Do top dress also other beds with it, like turnip, beetroot.

Also use as a true multicompost to create a mix with my home compost and used soil for my potato bags and raised beds.

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New shoot

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2022, 10:21 »
I've got some Dobbies peat free mp as they were having a 20% off session recently and I stocked up on basics.

It is a bit rough textured, but I have not sieved it and all the seeds I have planted are coming up OK.  I've got peppers and tomatoes inside under a growlight and loads outside in the greenhouse - cabbages, leeks, leafy greens, peas, salad leaves and some flowers.

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mumofstig

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2022, 11:54 »
I've bought Wickes own-brand as usual. It needs sieving for teeny tiny seeds, but ok for everything else, as it is. I've got onions, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage family all started in it so far....

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KalisDad

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2022, 17:30 »
we have been using clover peat based compost for several years now and we found it quite good for seed sowings when sieved there's very little waste three bags [60ltr] 15.00 we bought 3 ]50ltr] bags Erin the other day for 12.00 but its wasn't as good as the Clover a lot more waist when sieved
We used Clover last year and we were not disappointed, just had a delivery from them and their giant grow bags look really good this year, just need the rain to stop and we are off
Dad of a beautiful Cyrpus rescue called Kali (she's in the picture), A dog from my favourite place, what a dream

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AndyRVTR

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2022, 21:13 »
Jacks Magic for me.. no need to sieve it.. I tried some Levington John Innes no.2 for potting on and that stuff is pants.. opened the bag and it had a few germinated weed seeds I'm it! Second bag was exactly the same and potted on plants now have a lot of weed seeds on them... I never realised its made from 30% recycled green waste!!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2022, 15:48 by AndyRVTR »

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comfreykid

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2022, 21:54 »
I always understood the John Innes compost ingredients were loam , peat , sharp sand  and fertiliser . 
Would the 30 %  recycled green waste be in the Levingtons   Peat Free compost with added John Innes or is it a new one on the market ?  :D

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Rob the rake

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2022, 22:48 »
Been using the rather excellent Keith Singleton's peat based compost for the last few years and really can't fault it. It works well as is, but I augment it with a few handfuls of sharp sand, vermiculite and perlite for the "belt and braces" approach. At 6.50 for an 80 litre bag it's not particularly expensive, either.
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JacsH

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2022, 11:27 »
Our standard is Keith Singleton's seed plus New Horizon peat-free and "alpine grit" (4mm ish) in approximately equal KS and peat-free with 80%ish grit. Well mixed of course.

I sow 2 seeds of each variety into tiny 2" cactus plastic pots (these are on at least their 5th year in 2022) although re-use those 2x4 black modules for Brassicas, Fennel and so on. Aubergines, peppers/chillies, tomatoes in heated propagator under grow light, this year celeriac and basils the same and now potting on nicely. Brassicas trying under the growlights but only sown in the last few days. Carrots etc sow in the ground late April although will hae a few in the tunnel soon.

Squashes, melons, cukes and the like are sown straight into 3" pots in the potting mix; ditto Runner, French and Broad beans and sweet corn. For fun, am trying yard long beans in the tunnel this year.

Pot on into 3" pots at 2-leaf stage with a mix as above but KS No 2 instead of seed. Later, aubergines etc will go into 5" pots  with potting mix which includes a handful of blood, fish and bone before then planting out in the tunnel in mid May. Sowed aubergines and peppers in late Jan, tomatoes last few days. A lot of work but it more than paid off last year with heavy RIPE crops of aubergines and peppers. Tomatoes were flowering when they got put into the tunnel last year, although cropped very well and late into November, hence sowing a couple of weeks later this. We'll see.

Over the years I have definitely learnt that most things go better getting a start in pots rather than direct sowing even if the conservatory turns into a greenhouse for a few weeks. Roots, onion sets, garlic are the exceptions (and Jerusalem artichokes if we must note them) as our cold wet peaty soils, slugs and voles will probably destroy most seeds in situ unless sown late May or later. Even the cats say "not vole again".

Whatever I do though, I Confidently expect Nature to throw a wobbly or two.

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geordiekev

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2022, 11:47 »
After years of buying compost that invariably had "bits in" such as glass, sticking plasters, pottery and twigs, even last years Jacks Magic was awful I decided to make my own seed and potting compost. I found an old wartime gardening book at a car boot with recipes for seed and potting compost with the addition of specified fertilizers, so I decided to control my own quality and make my own. It is a bit of a "faff" but since this year I had all of the fertilizers anyway (BFB, Superphosphate, Lime, Potash) and the quantities required to make a bushel of seed and potting are small, I gave it a go. I sieve MPC add Top Soil from a garden centre and horticultural sand and add the weighed fertilizers. Seed Sowing compost is 2 parts top soil, 1 part MPC, 1 part sand made up to a bushel to which is added 42g of superphosphate and 21g lime. Potting is 7 parts top soil, 3 parts MPC and 2 parts sand made up to a bushel which is added 112g of John Innes base and 21g of lime. The John Innes base is 2 parts BFB, 2 parts superphosphate and 1 part potash. There is a lot of weighing and mixing, but the quality is mine and I have no one to blame but my self.

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Rob the rake

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Re: What's the current best compost for see sowing ?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2022, 22:36 »
There are some composts that - from experience - ought to be avoided at all costs. Any Growmoor product, specifically, but also most of the discounted named varieties displayed outside popular supermarkets.

The rubbish marketed by Growmoor resulted in a massive seed sowing failure, with those that germinated failing to make any significant progress. By the time I sussed out what had happened it was too late to re-sow a lot of things and for the first time in 20 or so years I had to rely on plug plants from garden centres to make up the shortfall. I was caught out again a couple of years ago by a supposedly premium product called Bloom and Grow, which seems to be a "posh" sieved version of the cheap "10 bags for a quid" stuff. Threw three bags of the stuff away (and it wasn't cheap, either!) - a sacrilegious act for a bloke raised in Yorkshire!

If the compost that you're using stains your hands black it's almost certain that it's a product made from the rubbish from domestic green bin waste, complete with its attendant diseases, pesticides, herbicides and whatever pests can survive living in such a toxic mixture. That we can be sold such rubbish is a travesty and I wouldn't be surprised if it's caused many a novice to give up due to poor results. For the same reason I gave up taking the free compost that our council used to give away each year.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2022, 00:08 by mumofstig »

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missmoneypenny

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2022, 21:20 »
Im trying peat free out of sheer guilt, although I am not convinced. I got Incredipeatfree form Thompson and Morgan, lost of twigs in in, well see how it does....

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coldandwindy

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2022, 09:29 »
Over the last few years all the outlets local to me had huge promotions on Jack's Magic. I had very poor results with it. The brassicas were growing so slowly that I though I had club root until I realized that the few planted in a different compost were romping away like usual. I'm guessing it must have very low Nitrogen?
 
I'm limited to what's available here so haven't tried all your possibilities but I'm currently using Miracle Grow multipurpose & happy with it.

(Not for seed sowing but I tried Levington's J.I. no3 for pots & hanging baskets but it seemed to be mostly sand! Now using my own mix of soil & home compost with bfb for that.)



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