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Seed compost

Hi everyone This year I will be growing various plants from seed for the first time. I have noticed there are many seed composts, and unsure if they are just a gimmick. Should I just stick to standard multipurpose compost? Help would be appreciated. Thanks


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391

    The main difference is that seed compost doesn't contain much nutrient which can be bad for young seedlings.  Having said that I have used sieved MP compost mixed with sharp sand for donkeys years and have had no problems at all growing from seed. image 

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,280

    I always use seed compost, it is much finer than multipurpose and lets the seeds start off somewhere nice and easy for them.  i then pot on into multipurpose when they have grown a bit.  I don't think its a gimmick.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,790

    I agree, not a gimmick. I usually do a mix of seed compost, very fine grit (aquarium shop) and a bit of multipurpose.

    Then some less fine gravel on top of the seeds

  • FrozzFrozz Posts: 78
    Ok thanks

    Is there a preferred make? I have read some negative reviews of john innes seed compost as too heavy??
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,790

    John Innes isn't a make it's a type of compost. Several people make it, some badly I'm sure.

    I find it a bit stiff and have broken roots when pricking out, which is why I do the mix.

  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,085

    I agree with bobthegardener sieved MP with sharps sand or pearlite is just as good as and cheaper and so far have given great results 

  • Not sure if it's allowed to mention another magazine, but Which? Gardening have just done a review which shows huge differences between brands. Very interesting - some just aren't worth buying.

  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,085

    Doesn't  surprise me

    on a positive note Lincolnshire County a Council have a scheme , that when you take garden waste to the tip , they stamp a card and after 5 stamps you get a free bag of compost and I have found it excellent . wondered if other councils do the same ?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,441

    The problem with council compost is that you can't tell whether it contains clippings from lawns treated with weedkiller or similar. I'm sure a lot of people put them into their brown bins.  

    I've also had reports that some contains weed seeds. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • gab82gab82 Posts: 73
    Gwrs are you sure about that? I know my mum used to get that deal in Boston but they stopped it. I'm in lincoln and not heard anything about it.
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