What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?

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John

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2022, 11:36 »
I used Bloom 'n' Grow which I was pleased with. Good texture and good results both for seeds and potting. With seed compost I add vermiculite and for potting often perlite. Seed compost doesn't need much in the way of nutrients but potting does.
This year I've just started with Jack's Magic. I won't be buying that again.
Erin has been pretty good in the past for me but I do think composts vary year on year so last year's compost may be a different formulation this year.
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Growster...

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2022, 11:58 »
We've been using Jack's Magic for a few years now, and the quality has always been pretty good around here!

I wonder if manufacturing varies in different parts of the country!

The big problem during the height of the covids, was getting the stuff to the GCs! Sometimes they waited weeks for deliveries! It's better now!

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Snowboar

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2022, 00:08 »
Not asda compost I seen better compost still growing on my lawn

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Rob the rake

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2022, 02:13 »
Not asda compost I seen better compost still growing on my lawn

It's extremely fibrous, isn't it! Despite being pretty poor for seed growing I've found it useful for digging-in, where a bed needs a quick boost of organic materials to help with texture.
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AnneB

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2022, 09:32 »
I am going peat free again this year.

Trying Melcourt Sylvagrow, a bit more expensive, to supplement the home produced stuff.  A friend recommended it and it seems good so far.

I have used Clover in the past and found that very good but I have decided to ditch peat,


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Goosegirl

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2022, 12:51 »
I used to use Jack's Magic and always found it good but ... maybe I'll have a look at some others. :unsure:
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John

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2022, 19:06 »
We dropped down to the local garden centre who had 2x56ltr Bloom & Grow for 10 or 3x28ltr Bloom & Grow for 12. No brainer really :)

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Ivor Backache

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2022, 20:59 »
Just reading through all the replies shows that there is no standard in making compost. Now that we cannot buy compost with peat,  then presumably all compost will be basically the same. But I don't think the price will be. Twice I have bought compost and infected my allotment with clubroot. This year I have bought 20 bags (60l) of 100% Irish peat for 10 for 2 bags. I use about 5 a year so I have got 4 years worth. This year I have started to riddle my own compost and add it to the peat and sharp sand to make a potting compost.
Commercial compost is made by the windrow method of piles of humus 4-8ft high and 14-16ft wide. Conditions require a moisture of 35-60% a ph of less than 7.5 and a min. temp. of 55*C. I cannot find anything about the making of compost on the bag and I have now read a few. I don't understand how a bag of 100% peat compost is called 'multipurpose compost' and a bag of humus (my word) with no peat is called the same. People like Monty Don go on and on about peat free compost, but you never see him open a bag and having to riddle it first. It says everything that commercial growers are still allowed to have compost with peat. John, as administrator, can you possible do anything to establish an accepted standard. You probably have more clout than us. Does the RHS have standards on compost. Personally I think the word 'compost' should be dropped and humus used instead so that we can tell the difference. But there is always Jeyes fluid, and it may make a comeback.
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geordiekev

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2022, 08:42 »
Compost with peat is still available. I wish I could buy an affordable peat free compost but whilst my conscience is pricked with buying peat, it is even more pricked by having to buy coir transported half way around the world, from countries who have decimated their own environments to do so. As I have said in my previous post I know make my own seed and potting compost. I use Erin MPC as a base finely sieved. I need to make a lot because I raise my own flowers and veg from seed. I do not buy plugs or grown plants from nurseries. No matter which compost a person buys, its quality is not consistent. I refuse point blank to buy any kind of compost from a supermarket. During lockdown 1 out of necessity I bought bags from a well known Northern based chain, and it was absolutely awful. It smelled. Nothing grew in it, and I struggled that year. I a not even sure that any MPC contains any nutrients unless it is displayed as with added John Innes, but how much?. I am now in my second year of using my own made seed and potting mixture, I need a lot so I make a lot. I will continue to use peat, I will continue to make my own.

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Diggerdownsman

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2022, 12:42 »
Someone recommended Melcourt SylvaGrow 'sustainable growing medium' .  I found some in my local garden centre so though I'd give some a go.

I'm using it for tomato, sweet pepper and Chilli seeds and also Geranium and House plant cuttings.
The tomatoes and pepper seeds germinated indoors in 4-5 days.  But the warm sunny weather probably also helped.

I have some basic 'Wilko' seed and cutting compost which is much cheaper and have had great success with.

I'd recommend both the SylvaGrow and the Wilko seed compost.

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John

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2022, 13:22 »
I think we've a problem with terms - Compost being used almost interchangeably with Growing Medium. Applying some sort of quality standards would be difficult and I don't think really necessary as experienced growers tend to know what they want and can judge results for themselves.
It would be great if garden centres could provide a sample to examine - just an open bag would do - prior to purchase.
The use of peat in composts is another topic. I'm not convinced banning it for home growers but not commercial growers makes sense. Neither am I convinced that banning it is justified. Some peat is, I believe, filtered from streams. Peat is still burned for fuel in Ireland and Scotland.
Strikes me that peat should be sourced responsibly and some licencing system to ensure the general protection of the environment in place.

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Subversive_plot

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2022, 14:01 »
I hear the UK has a pretty good timber industry, is there anyone making good compost or potting medium from sawdust as a byproduct from untreated lumber? 

Pasteurized peat growing medium for starting seeds has some advantages, as you get little in the way of damping-off.  I use a bag (maybe a cubic foot or probably less) of Jiffy peat-based seed starting medium each year.  I think you could produce a similar product from sawdust, as an alternative to peat.  Our northern states have sizeable peat resources, and AFAIK nobody burns it here. Adding fertilizer to a sawdust-based product would be necessary.
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John

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2022, 14:48 »
Apparently North America uses less peat than is being created - so no sustainability issues there.
Interesting video from Bunny Guinness who has looked into this in depth
For Peat's Sake - Don't Deprive UK Gardeners!

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Subversive_plot

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2022, 17:11 »
We actually do have peat resources in the southern USA.  To my knowledge they are not utilized to the degree that they are in Canada. 

An interesting fact is that the diverse ecosystems that we have in some of our swamps would not be viable without natural processes that also destroy some of the peat.  Forest fires are an example, the fires often happen due to natural processes such as lightning strikes (fires also happen due to man, let's be honest).  The sphagnum peat bogs that accumulate peat periodically have forest fires which kill trees, but open up areas that can be colonized by better stands of sphagnum moss, pitcher plants, sundews, Venus fly traps, etc.  Without the fires these ecosystems would develop more slowly, or might vanish.  The fires remove a certain amount of peat from the surface when they happen.  I recall a big fire in our Okefenokee swamp 5 or 6 years ago, it burned some areas but not the whole swamp, and the burned areas bounced back very quickly.

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Goosegirl

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Re: What's the current best compost for seed sowing ?
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2022, 11:48 »
I went to my good local garden centre and got peat-free Miracle Grow which I've never had so I'll let you know how it does.



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