Good seed compost?

I have had mixed results from using various brands of seed compost and find a lot are too dry and woody. Do you recommend a reliable brand for good germination? Or do you recommend mixing your own?

I read a comment elsewhere from a gardener who mentioned mixing multipurpose compost with vermiculite.

Posts

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,690
    I always use John Innis seed compost but the quality can depend on the manufacturer. If you want to have a bash at making your own, this site has a recipe. http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/how-to-make-john-innes-compost.html
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 54,458

    I've been using either Westland or Levington John Innes formulation loam based seed compost for the past few years and have never had a problem with either. 

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







  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    What are the relative merits of loam/soil-based mixes like the John Innes ones as opposed to the peat-substitute-based ones?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 54,458

    I find that particularly with small seeds there's better contact between the seed and the compost - I find that with the MPC-type composts the texture is uneven -  there are lumps and air-pockets and I find that germination is not so good.  Also I find that loam-based composts have better drainage.

    If using MPC composts I will sieve it first. I sometimes use this if I don't have any loam-based to hand or if I'm sowing larger seeds e.g. peas, beans etc, 

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







  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Hmmm...well, it's a bit late now for this year but maybe I'll try JI No.1 again next year, but lightened with some vermiculite or similar - I found it heavy and cold last year.

    It's my ambition to have large tubs of all the ingredients under the bench. like Monty has, and mix my own bespoke for each lot of seeds!

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