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Peat free compost

I bought 2 large bags of peat free compost from my local DIY chain, the one that offers Diamond Discount on a Wednesday, and it's awful. I potted on pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers last weekend in the greenhouse. I watered each morning before work but by the time I got home in the evening, and it's not been that warm, the stuff has dried out to a solid mass. 

I'm thinking of mixing it 50/50 with a growbag but does anybody have an alternative solution please ?



  • LynLyn Posts: 21,896

    I potted all my seedlings into Levington compost with moisture  retainer (or something like that),  they are growing away nicely and fast. Sowed runners and french beans in it, they were up in no time and havent stopped growing. Strawberry plants now covered in fruit.

    I will definitely buy several more bags of this for my tubs and baskets.

    Compost is something I dont scrimp on, I dont buy plants, only raise my own from seed, cuttings and the ocasional Parkers bare roots when they are at sale price, so I afford myself the luxury of a decent compost. 

    Erin is not too bad, but this year the Levington with extra water ...whatever is the best. That doesnt mean it always will be though, the next batch could be rubbish, seems the way of these composts lately.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    I was glad to hear the grower on GW last night saying the compost had peat in it. 

    For all the those " must use peat free compost" types, the fact remains that peat free compost just isn't as good.

  • Andy19Andy19 Posts: 671

    This year i have 1500 plugs done from seed all looking great used Jack's Magic compost. It's the best compost i have ever used one of my local G/C sells it at 3 bags for £12 other G/C's selling it at £6.99 a bag

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081

    Good to hear Andy. Must look out for that but don't think I've seen it in the local GC....among the vases, children's toys, necklaces, mirrors......image

    Glad you've got plenty of gardening done already image

    Hosta - Jim on Beechgrove unashamedly uses compost with peat. He knows the peat free stuff is dire. Sad but true.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    indeed so fairygirl.

    I have yet to hear a justification why it's so much more expensive ,nor found a commercial grower who thinks it's better.

  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    The local Farm store (used to be called Scats) sells the Jack's Magic stuff, I haven't seen it in any of the GCs though. 

  • Martin JMartin J Posts: 1

    Brought 2 bags of Jack's Magic a month or so back to use for potting on, no bits of plastic or green string it and the plants potted on are thriving, by far the best compost I have come across to date.

    I used multi-purpose compost from a well known garden centre chain last year, have noticed this last few weeks that I have mushrooms growing in a number of the tubs and pots it was used in.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,277

    I've used peat free multi-purpose compost for years but have learned that it isn't all equal. I usually stick to New Horizon but have also tried Durstons this year and both seem to be giving good results. I would never sow seeds in the stuff though.

    I'm sure that a lot of John Innes compost isn't as good as it used to be, with lots of lumps and fibres and stones in the mix.

  • IvyhouseIvyhouse Posts: 105

    Wow, so much information. Thanks everyone. It's clear I'm going to have to do something. I'll have a look for the brands mentioned tomorrow and dump the rest of my batch as a mulch round the gooseberries.

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