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Fed Up Buying Rubbish Compost - What Do Professional Growers use?

I found that Levingtons Seed and Modular F2 (+ sand) was recommended to me by a professional grower and am wondering if anyone has used this before? If not, what do you suggest buying? I am fed up with rubbish compost that I've been buying over the years of finding not so fine bits in it, some with insect eggs, plastic. 

How do you go about choosing compost? I would be growing from seed, potting on and bedding. 



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,586
    I use Levington Pro M3, but my supplier is saying he has difficulties at the moment. Jacks Magic seems very similar but a shorter life for the nutrients.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,312
    edited February 2021
    A sizeable local nursery down the road uses Bulrush compost for all their seed and for potting on. They have 20+ greenhouses so use a lot of it and their plants are excellent quality.
    I tried it one year and had terrible results though as it's coir-based and I found it difficult to get the watering right.
    For many years I used Levington's but then bits of plastic and glass started turning up in that a few years ago.
    I now use Bord na Mona - Grow Wise with added John Innes (it does contain peat). It seems widely available around here and I've had really good results with it. It was 3 50L bags for £12 last time I bought it

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995
    I just pick up a bag of whatever is/was mid-priced brand name on sale.  I mix this about 50/50 with my raised bed soil (soil that was once upon a time from my compost pile, with more added yearly).  I use this with seed starting and potting on.  I did an experiment once with radish seeds, using one in quality bagged compost and one in garden soil.. with equal measured watering.  The one in bagged compost had better germination (planted at recommended spacing, so not crowded) but the garden soil one had far healthier plants.. stronger, taller, and happier.  Now I mix the two, to (hopefully) get the best of both.  I don't sterilize my garden soil, as I feel it's probably the micro flora that is the benefit, but I also don't have slug issues here in Utah.  
    Utah, USA.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,690
    edited February 2021
    I use Bord na Mona too or, as it now calls itself, the Greener Gardener Company as it desperately tries to rebrand to fit modern times.

    Expect to pay £5 for a 50 litre bag.
    Rutland, England
  • Indeed nice to see them stop harvesting peat in Ireland. Hoping their products will continue to be as good regardless. Rathe like their orchid potting bark too 😉óna-ends-all-peat-harvesting-1.4459179?mode=amp
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • I don't trust any commercial compost, any more than I trust my own, full of bacteria and fungal spores!
    It depends what you're going to use it for. If it it just as a general mulch, there's not a lot to choose between them. If however, you're going to use it as a base for seed sowing, it's best to sterilize it. You can do small quantities by microwaving them for 3-4 minutes. Make sure it's fairly damp first. Good luck!
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    I use Horizon peat-free, but I'm not a professional grower. 
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    I use cheap and cheerful B&Q multipurpose compost, I've had great success with it (mind I'm newish to proper gardening so I might be even better with expensive posh stuff 🤔). I do sieve it for sowing seeds but it's not a hassle to do that. I buy a lot 18 X 125lt bags so price is a big driver
  • Melcourt Industries composts are used at places like Sissinghurst, though they have a bespoke mix made for them. The standard products are very good and stockists are country wide. I like the composed bark as a mulch as it improves soil structure, though it does not add nutrients. I also rate their Sylvagrow range of composts. All peat free and sustainable.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    Good to know @rachelQrtJHBjb - thanks for that.
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