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Can I use multi purpose compost for seed sowing in pots or would seed compost be better?


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,135
    I use multi purpose then add vermiculite. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
    What does vermiculite do?
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,822
    Vermiculilte keeps the compost more open and allows better root formation, it also "dilutes" the compost a bit as some seeds will not germinate if there is too much nutrient in the compost. I often add a handful or two of silver sand to MPC for seeds, serves the same purpose but not as open as vermiculite.
    AB Still learning

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,528
    No idea if there is any advantage/logic to this but I use fine seed compost for teeny weeny seeds but happily use Lyn’s method for big seeds like sunflowers, courgettes etc.
  • lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
    That's very helpful, thanks everyone 😊
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267
    Using vermiculite also prevents damping off. 

    Nollie you could be being a little decadent. I do something similar. If I'm sowing seeds for the window sill propagator or sowing with the intention of keeping plants indoors before hardening off, a small 10 ltr bag of seed compost sits nicely in a kitchen cupboard along with a tub of vermiculite.  

    However if I'm sowing seeds in pots on the allotment to germinate in the GH, it's multi compost, you get more for your money and I've found the germination rate is similar.          
  • lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
    I'll just be placing mine on south facing windowsill above radiator. Yesterday I bought a bag of vermiculite to mix in with multipurpose compost. Never sown any seeds before, wish me luck😬
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,528
    Good luck  ;)

    Nothing wrong with a bit of decadence zoomer! Last year I found a French ‘fortified’ seed compost and was amazed by the difference - much faster, higher germination of my teeny weenies and really healthy plantlets resulted - far better than using a local brand, so have gone french again this year. Without doing a comparative trial with this and MPC I wouldnt know if its really miracle stuff or last years performance was just a blip...
  • floraliesfloralies Haute-Garonne SW FrancePosts: 2,162
    Ooh would love to know the French "fortified" seed compost Nollie, maybe i could try it and see what the results are.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,528
    Hi @floralies, it was Jardiland’s own brand seed compost - of course it could have been the case that the spanish brand I used the year before was just rubbish, hence noticing a difference!
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