Compost for sowing seeds

Hi All on this cold and frosty morning!  I have read several discussions on these forums on good and bad composts to buy.  My question is, does anyone out there use homemade composts using sifted garden compost  (and additives?) to sow their seeds and pot up in the greenhouse?



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,473

    I don't make my own, I use John Innes seed compost, or occasionally I'll use multi-purpose for large seeds like squash and courgettes.  


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

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    I don't exactly make it but as I find JI seed a bit 'solid' I add some multipurpose and some fine grit. That makes it just as I like it

  • DaintinessDaintiness EssexPosts: 959

     I think very few people make their own seed compost for several reasons - you need to sterilise the soil you need by heating it    e.g.  in a microwave to kill off harmful viruses ..;  normal compost will be full of weed seeds which will germinate when used in a seed growing situation; you can't be sure of the nutrient levels in your soil - seedlings need a soil of low nutrient level.

    I usually use a brand from Aldi with good results.

  • I'd go with nutcutlet..............using the JI seed compost but mix with fine grit or Vermiculite - makes a more manageable mixture for average seed sowing 

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I sieve my compost, mix with sharp sand and use it for sowing seeds. Any weeds that come up are usually after ( or easily distinguished from) the seed I have planted. If pulling up the weed will disturb your seedling, just cut the weed off at ground level with scissors. When you plant your seedling on, the root of the weed can be pulled away.

    I have never used 'seed compost'.

  • Same as artjak, I use my own for easily recogniseable seeds, so that I can identify and pull out the weeds. I have a rotary sieve I use to break down my compost to a suitable size, like this one:

  • Thank you everyone for that.  Yes I have got some of last year';s seed potting compost which has been left out side so it sounds as if I might be best digging it in somewhere and starting again. I am tempted to try using my own sifted garden compost as an experiment and see how things go, bearing in mind I must keep an eye on the weeds that sprout too. I do hate disappointment though!

  • Hi everyone, has anybody tried their local council's compost, if so was it any good.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    The problem with that is that someone may have used weed and feed products on their lawn, then put the cuttings in the council green waste bin.image

  • Thanks artjak, never thought about feed and weed,will have to have another think about compost, maybe better to buy from garden centre.

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