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Seed sowing compost. Which is cheapest?

I might buy some seed sowing compost this weekend as was wondering which garden centre or shop has some on sale or is cheapest?
Can't wait to start sowing, even though I have so many other jobs to do!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,881
    For most seeds I tend to use either ordinary MPC but sieved to remove the larger/coarser bits ... for perennials I’ll sometimes mix the MPC with some gritty loam. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • You can mix a bit (up to 25%) of silver sand in with your MPC to "dilute" it a bit and provide a finer texture for the small roots. But why go for the cheapest? you have spent money on seed give them the best start you can.
    AB Still learning

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I use Erin Malloy for everything then add some perlite or vermiculite. Never bought seed compost, tried some, they are heavy, stay too wet and I didn’t get such good germination. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,011
    I agree.  Give your seeds a good start in the best compost for them.   Special seed sowing compost is designed to be fine enough for the tiny roots and shoots to penetrate when the seeds germinate and also has low nutrients which is what they need up to the pricking out stage.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,463
    I have never had much luck with seed compost, like Lyn l find them too tricky. The minute the seedlings appear they either die or start "damping off". I use MPC mixed with some vermiculite. I suspect  it's a case of you get what you pay for, as with most things !
    Also, l appreciate your enthusiasm, but it may be a bit early to start sowing - the forecast for next week is for colder weather and we have a way to go yet before Spring. Which garden centres do you have nearby?  Might be worth a look on the websites  :)
  • cotty1000cotty1000 Posts: 293
    I listen to the veg growers podcast and he said he got some half price, but didn't specify which garden centre he went to. 
    Which has rated b&q seed sowing compost quite highly in the past but I don't think it is that good quality with big pieces in it. 
    I have so many seeds to sow(I always include vermiculite) that I do want decent enough quality at a good price.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,686
    edited January 2019
    In this month’s Gardening Which there is a review of seed composts. The best with a score of 100% and also one of the cheapest at just 8p per litre is Clover Multi Purpose Compost. Go to their website to find stockists.

    The cheapest compost in the test was Lidl MPC at 5p per litre with a score of 73% and Lidl Peat Free, same price, score 48%. 
    Rutland, England
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,302
    Gardening Which didn't rate the Lidl peat free compost very highly though - they sowed petunia and basil seeds in each compost to see what the germination was like, and how healthy the seedlings were.  The Clover compost achieved 100%, the Lidl peat free only 48%.  Cheap but not worth it, would be my comment...
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,302
    Sorry, just noticed @Picidae gave those percentages.  The Lidl one actually came out worst of all the composts they tested.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    All of the seeds I sow benefit from peat, that’s why I always use the Erin, because it has more nutrients I don’t need to prick out so quickly so the seedlings are more robust when I do. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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