The other day I bought a small bag of wilko's multi-purpose to top up my pots.....
What in the gods creation is this ?? Someone's shredded fence panel !?!?
Hello I have been following the BBC garden message boards for years but have never had the courage to post before. So I thought I'd make this a fresh beginning with the rest of you original posters.
I'm afraid that looks exactly like the Wickes multipurpose compost I purchased this year. Very disappointed.
I'm very disappointed, also ! How can the manufacturer expect plants to live in this kind of pollution. I was going to give Wickes a try, to see if theirs was any better. I shall not bother now.
That is the stuff the council take away in green bags sold back to you. The problem for the manufacturers in the legislation on the use of peat. For posh seeds and cuttings use a loam based compost. For general potting and veg seed use your own and steralise it yourself using one of those garden waste burners (dustbins on legs), some scrap wood and a smaller metal container to go inside the bin with the compost when you light the fire. The result is just better.
Dont accept the crap purchased from Wickes etc. Take it back and complain. If you purchase and say nothing they will keep producing.
I think the council are supposed to heat treat their green waste but when I think of all the rubbish I take to the green collection site, I would not want to touch it with a barge pole. All the good stuff I keep for my own compost. In addition to making compost I have also started saving leaves this last Autumn to make a leaf mulch. After 1 year it is supposed to be useable but fantastic after 2 years. Cannot wait to see the reuslts in 2013. I am going to mix it into my own compost.
Morrisons stuff is just as bad
I don't know what has happened to named brands of compost. Levingtons seed compost and some brands of john innes no.1 have all had lumps of wood and balls of clay in them. I bought seed compost to save me sieving. Other composts have certain weed seeds in. Godwins at the min, have fat hen and nettles. Clover had nettles and king henry in. I have got so fed up with writing to complain. I think they are just producing the stuff too quickly. But I got really piddled off with westlands, glass and bits of tin, with the results of plasters all over my hands. was the last straw. they did get a letter.
I will definitely do some more research on sterilising homemade compost. This maybe the only way forward. Its just not possible to use this rubbish with reasonable success. Cheers
What I find alarming is that those new to gardening, may think this bagged rubbish is the norm and perfectly acceptable - and its not !!
The main dealers are getting their compost from one large bagging depot, it is collected from various area's where councils dump their green waste then put through a shredder and heaped up to heat up, being turned often to speed up the rotting down. The problem is much of the council green waste is brush or trees among stuff we gardeners do not put in our own compost bins, we know wood takes much longer to rot down as well as taking the nitrogen out of the compost. My own Council compost locally and we can get two free bags a week, take your own bags and bag your own. I find this more like normal compost but would not plant seed in it.
I mix my own seed compost with a loam base fine gravel and washed sand, a third of each, seeds will grow in sand but need some food as soon as they have two true leaves so then I pot on into half loam quarter fine grit and a quarter washed sand.
Loam in small quantities can be cleaned by steaming it, an old kettles with a bit of pipe into the base of an old bucket with a small quantity of loam in it. Or you can pour boiling water onto the loam. Just do not let H&S see you doing it.
I am confused about compost. I always understood that pure compost (made from general cuttings and kitchen waste, was way too strong for seedlings or even potting, where I have always mixed just a little with garden earth (is this the loam you refer to above?). For seedlings I always buy a special mixture at the gardening center, as it is sterile and of good quality. I've lived in Switzerland all my gardening life, so I may just be out of touch with the terms you are using.
Loam is roughly Sand, Silt and Clay at 40%, 40%, 20%. It is rich in nutrients, and is about right for moisture retention.