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Seed compost

CeresCeres Posts: 2,691
Does anyone know of a reliable seed compost? I swear the stuff has been getting worse year on year but I have just managed to buy what I consider to be the worst one I have ever had the misfortune to waste money on.....Levingtons seed and cutting compost. It's lumpy, compacted, fibrous, and impossible to break up. Dried out it might make good fuel but as a seed bed, it is abyssmal.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,316
    I used Levingtons for 40+ years, but no longer.
    I've been using Grow Wise (Bord na Mona) with added JI for the past 4 years and pleased with the quality and results. It does contain peat. 3 x 50L /£12 around here.
    They do produce a seed compost, but I can't find it locally.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Levingtons professional is awful now, I shalt be buying any more.

    I used seed compost once many years ago when I first started growing, vowed never to use it again, this year, because so many people said they used it and how good it was, I bought some, 2 different makes, never again, totally useless, so I will stick to my usual compost for seeds, cuttings  and potting on. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I've always used coir bricks.  I buy them from the Organic Gardening Catalogue, they sell nutrient granules to use with them as coir contains no nutrients.  I usually add a dash of seaweed extract and two handfuls of seaweed meal per brick to help with water retention.  I like that it's clean and light to handle, takes up little space in storage and contains no weed seeds, so I know that whatever grows is what I sowed.
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,388
    edited May 2019
    I've had great success with Wilko's compost - granted it does need sieving. But I just use the chunky bits in the bottom as filler and the smooth stuff on top for the seeds to germinate in.

    and actually my first few seed trays I didn't bother sieving and the seeds still grew really well. I just changed method because a few of the seedlings had massive lumps of compost stuck to the top of the seed leaves.

    But it was really cheap.
    East Yorkshire
  • SlumSlum Posts: 385
    Another another vote for coir from me. I make it with a little bit of liquid seaweed added to the water. Coir has a fine texture which appears to be good for root growth.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,696
    This year’s review of seed composts in Which? has these as the top 4
    Clover multi purpose 100%
    Thompson & Morgan Incredicompost 98%
    Bathgate Champions Blend All Purpose 93%
    Westland Jack’s Magic 90%

    Levington’s was 5th with 82%, Bord na Mona got 53% (but was excellent for containers), and Wilko got 52%.

    Rutland, England
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,316
    Having used both Levingtons and Bord na Mona I don't agree with their conclusions.

    They also raved about a Panasonic microwave a couple of years ago when I needed to replace mine, but on the same page, all the comments from customers who owned this microwave were dire.
    Which? isn't what is was... a bit like Levington's

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • UpNorthUpNorth Posts: 376
    for those skeptical about a 'seed compost'....

    as i understand it, for some seed types (typically smaller seeds/slower seeds...them you'd do in trays) it's important to use seed compost because its low-nutrient, it allows the roots to prosper whilst not putting on green growth above, thus leaving you with a good start for your seedling.  you don't want tonnes of greenery and very few roots.

    personally i buy any seed compost, sieve it, add about 20 to 30% vermiculite to help retain moisture.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I won’t use seed compost, weak seedlings that need pricking out when they are very tiny, no good for the amounts I sow.  Not good germination, compost stays very damp and claggy.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • GaborGabor Posts: 1
    I've used Wilko's seed compost in the past, and found it very good (after a rough sieve). It contains silver sand as well, for good drainage and some vermiculite, but I always add some more. 
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