Best Compost for seed germination

Would anyone be so kind as to list the top 10 shop bought composts for seed germination in the which magazine trial in 2018 - finished my subscription a year ago - I know top 5 but they don’t sell these in Ireland, many thanks for any help 


  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 166
    One I can say don't buy is Gro-Sure fine grade Seed and Cutting Compost! horrible stuff. I don't know if some of my seed failures were down to that Gro-Sure compost. I suspect so.

    Right now I'm using New Horizon Organic and Peat-free Multi-Purpose. I mix it with perlite and vermiculite. Seems fine.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 6,717
    I think it is possible to over complicate seed sowing.
    The vast majority of seeds will germinate perfectly well in MPC, there is no need to add in all sorts of other stuff.
    Not wishing to be rude, but I can see no point in adding Perlite AND Vermiculite to MPC.
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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,158
    I can see the point, up to a point of using perlite, some of those peat free composts are so solid they need something to loosen them up.
    I would only ever use Erin, as I said before in the other thread.
    I would never use seed compost.     With Erin there are no bits of anything that you wouldn’t expect in there, it’s just so pure, I’ve tried others in the past, hard lumps, bits of plastic, sticks, glass all sorts of rubbish. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Many thanks for the replies - I think I will try and see if I can purchase some Erin’s Malloy given it’s produced about an hour west of Dublin- it’s a mad world if it’s not sold in Ireland - thanks Lyn for that recommendation, most helpful .
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,158
    You could always come to Devon for a holiday and take some back in the car boot😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 327
    Hi I volunteer  at an organic nursery  for learning  disabilities  and they use Melcourt/Sylvan peat free composts as well as making there own. Very good results.  No idea if it's listed in top 10 but can recommend  it.
  • In 40+ years of gardening I've never bought seed compost. I just use Verve mpc and prick things out as soon as possible into a more specialised mix if they need more grit or leafmould or whatever.
  • PicidaePicidae RutlandPosts: 623
    Michael, as requested

     Melcourt SylvaGrow £6.99 for 50L 90%
     Levington Original Multipurpose Compost £6.99 for 50L 87%
     Thompson & Morgan Incredicompost £14.99 for 70L 84%
     Bathgate Champions Blend All Purpose £6.50 for 50L 84%
    Wilco Lightweight Multi-purpose Compost £4 for 15L 83%
     Wyevale Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50L 79%
     Wilko Sowing & Cutting Compost £2 for 20L 79%
    Waitrose Garden Multi Purpose Compost £5 for 50L 79%
     Waitrose Garden Peat Free Multi Purpose Compost £3.50 for 30L 76%
     Erin Excel Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50L 76%
     Lidl Multi-purpose Compost £1.89 for 40L 72%
     Wickes Multi-purpose Compost £5.49 for 70L 70%
     Wyevale John Innes Seed Compost £4.99 for 25L 70%
     Wyevale Peat Free Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50L 67%
     B&Q Verve Multipurpose Compost £3 for 20L 66%
     Westland Jack's Magic £6.99 for 50L 65%
     Melcourt SylvaGrow with added John Innes £7.99 for 50L 62%
     Wyevale Multipurpose Compost with John Innes £5.99 for 50L 60%
     Levington Seed and Cutting Compost £4.29 for 20L 59%
     B&Q Verve Peat Free Multipurpose Compost £4 for 50L 50%
     New Horizon Peat Free and Organic Multi Purpose Compost £6.99 for 50L 48%
     Lidl Peat Free Compost 30%

  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 295
    Re use of MPC vs seed compost
    MPC causes more growth on top, and not enough root growth ( once true leaves are formed).

    I see the benefit of seed compost for small cell growing.  conversely if you prick out a tray of seedlings as soon as true leaves are formed, i can't imagine it makes much difference. 

    re the addition of perlite or vermiculite.
    i'm absolutely adamant that using Vermiculite works brilliant for me contrast seedlings without.  I use a large conservatory and in later spring it gets really warm in there.  I work, so really only tend them every evening, occasionally every other evening.  Having vermiculite massively helps stop drying out of the cells and helps allow a constant moisture level, whilst still allowing me to give them natural heat and not bother with heat mats etc.  The alternative would be drowning them in trays of water for 12 hours until that dries up and it can last another 12hrs before i can water again...bit risky. 
  • Many thanks Picidae - much appreciated
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