Hi, im interested in knowing what your thoughts are on buying value branded compost against branded names, I seem to spend an increasing amount each year with seeds and container plants.
i buy lidl seed/ cutting compost 20L for £1.49 which i think excellent and the multipurpose compost 35L £1.99 as well which i think great aswell
Wickes have 70l bags at £3 at the moment. Not as good as it used to be but I grew toms, peppers and general flowers in it last year with no problems. That's my review on their site.
Always use your calculator when buying these products; what looks like a great deal can often be misleading.
Perki, that compost works out at £5.97 for 105 litres. (5.68p per litre) That is not a bad price, but other places are doing offers on 3x70litres for £10, (4.76p per l) which is cheaper.
As to quality, I have seen everyone's comments about growing medium quality over the last 2 years and it really seems to be a game of chance.
Always try to make your own compost and eke it out by adding some sharp sand and these commercial 'growing mediums' (they are not really compost)
I am gonna give having a go at making my own compost this year would you say that composts such as miracle grow were a bit of gimmick and would I be better off just feeding my plants when I water them?
Lis, the worst compost I ever used was the most expensive; Miracle grow.
I now go for a cheap variety from a local nursery that I trust and mix it with my own homemade stuff.
Even really good 'growing medium' will only have plant food in it for a short time. All Veg plants need feeding on a regular basis once they have really got going, so do roses about 3 times in the growing season (I've just given mine a thin covering of horse manure, they will get rose food later) clematis I give tomato feed.
Making your own compost is easy and fun; and I am a fully trained Compost master so you have come to the right place.
Find out if your Council are doing cheap deals on compost bins; get 2 ( 1 to fill and one to 'cook') and then follow the instructions (50%greens and 50% browns; nitrogen and carbon if you are scientifically inclined). Any queries, ask here!
never thought of looking at the council.. good tip thank you, I will do it now
Also your local water supplier for water butts; if they are no good, I think I got mine from Yorkshire water.
I have just ordered two compost bins for the price of one I saw in hombase earlier today, thank artjak
Re: variable quality of 'commercial' composts - I visited the local B&Q outlet today and found the 'Verve' branded 60 litre compost bags TOTALLY SODDEN!! The bags were on pallets, minus any plastic overwrapping, in an open courtyard with no protection whatsoever. I spoke to the normally affable (& knowledgable) gardening section chargehand and let him know that I was not impressed, and furthermore would not be buying from that store until they had fresh DRY composts available.
My immediate requirements can be met from my own self-produced resources, though I will be ekeing it out with sharp sand as Artjak has suggested.
I'm coming to the conclusion it's hit and miss between the brands. I started off getting cheapest and then had a bad year with it so went more up market, but you aren't necessarily getting quality the more you spend.
Then decided to make what I could so now have three composts one for muck, another leaf mould and a third garden stuff. The latter turns into really good black stuff within a year and is saved for pots, so now buy half the MPC I was buying a couple of yrs ago and mix new and home grown 50/50 adding FBB when containers are filled.
...artjaks is coming from the right direction...there's a feel good factor in making your own.