seedling compost

hi all

i have got loads of seedlings ready for pricking out,with all the furore about rubbish multi purpose compost could any of you knowledgable gardeners recommend a good compost.I have read reports that westlands jacks magic compost is good ,has anyone tried it if so with what results.looking forword to your replies 

potteries phil


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    This may not answer your question-but it is a recent discussion on the subject


  • thanks sotongeoff i have seen that discussion but would still like to know if anyone has experience of using  jacks magic.

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 499

    I have just bought some Westlands MP compost from my local garden centre and it is as good as ever. For seeds I would just mix in some sharp sand. 

    I think that good garden centres will check the quality of their supplies and return it if it is not good enough, as their reputation depends on it. They may well use it themselves.  I suspect that the average DIY store or supermarket just accepts delivery and dumps it outside the entrance without checking quality. 

  • Hi alI have started to sieve, my compost even the new B&Q, Milty-p compost i have found lost of plastic in my four bag's. I Must say it is a lot better than that rubbish,Arther bower's MP they are chucking out there's more chipboard than M.F.I. Ever made.

                 Good Luck And Happy Gardening .

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  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Have had horrible experiences with compost too - the first few years peat free came on the market it was good, and we used it quite happily.  Then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and most are awful. I have had very bad Westlands, so glad that Gold1locks has found good stuff.   The best I have found so far is B&Q's multi purpose, whih sadly is with some peat, but even that needs watching for sticks and lumps.  I sieved it for seedlings as the small bag of seed compost I bought was so rough that very few seeds could have germinated in it.  Hope the broad beans will manage.

    Last year I bought a tonne of bark chippings to cover the ground in our fruit cage, and some of this years compost looks almost exactly the same!

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 499

    That's interesting, Bookertoo. So Westlands can be very variable too. Maybe I shouldn't be so sure when buying from my garden centre. Or maybe big garden centres are quick to spot and return dodgy stuff to the manufacturers. Touch wood, I have never had a bad bag, well not in terms of consistency, though I did have one that must have had some sort of harmless fungus in it, that didn't appear right away but that formed a white coating on top of my potted on plants. It did them no harm, but I suspect that seedlings wouldn't have liked it. 

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    I think that white coating comes when the compost has ben damp, maybe it is salts of some kind? Like you I have not found it does any harm, and so far it hasn't occured on the seedling mix. 

    I'm not sure that all GC's are quick to return stuff to the manufacturers, but I do think they need telling that the stuff just is not fit for purpose - it just takes longer to rot down properly I think, whereas the peat based stuff did so quite quickly. 

  • hi i'm david i'd used seed and cutting compost arthur bowers mixed with some vermiculate and use the new horzion organic compst peat free mix vermic hope this helps you out

  • ColinAColinA Posts: 162

    I have started making my own compost this year due to poor quality bought stuff

    I mix equal amounts of sieved garden soil, leaf mould and peat and so far having good results with seedlings and potting on plants

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    I've just bought three big bags of New Horizons Organic Peat Free MPC.  It's FULL of wood!  Every handful contains several bits of identifiable unrotted wood, and most of the rest seems to be not a lot better.  There are also some shreds of plastic - both stiff and bag-type - in it.  Too late to take it back as most of it's now in use but I can't help thinking it's going to be very short of nitrogen as the wood rots.

    I also bought some J Arthur Bower's JI No.1, which seems excellent.  But their growbags seem awful - lots of wood and plastic again.  image

    The white stuff is probably a fungus.  It's mentioned on the bag and claimed to be harmless but I wouldn't want it on seedlings.

  • I have used Jacks magic recently and found it to be much better than others that I have tried. Miracle grow multipurpose that I bought earlier this season has no substance and dries out quickly and then is hard to re wet.

  • Joff PrattJoff Pratt Posts: 1

    Hi. We have started using Jack's Magic this year and I must admit that it has given realy good results for seed sowing (no failures even with half hardy annuals on a windowsill). Then for pricking out and also for plants in troughs and containers. I like the fact that sand has been added and the lack of "nuts" as I call the hard lumps and twigs. Might need a little more watering than some other multi composts but that is a good trade off for us. Hope this helps.

  • Ann FisherAnn Fisher Posts: 1

    Jack's Magic compost is really poor compared to Levingtons classic. All the seedlings transplanted into the Westlands have struggled survive but the Levingtons have thrived. I have calendula plants in both types of compost..The Levingtons are four time the size of the Jack's magic under exactly the same conditions. Most of the plants in the Westlands have had to be re-potted into the better compost to get them growing strongly. I will not be buying the Westlands again.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 2,472

    I have used Jack's Magic for everything this year. I really like the feel of it and all the plants in it are doing well. But I noticed at the weekend the GC had gone back to Levingtons. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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