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advice on seed compost


I've always used Wilkinson's own brand and have had great success but this last batch was pretty rubbish. It was very heavy with lits of be bris and loads of sand not at all fine and got water logged quicker. Consequently I've had to chuck a few trays worth as the seeds just rotted away.

I don't know what everyone else likes/prefers? Or do you use your own make?? If so what do you use? 

Thanks for all your help and hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous weather as much as me! 




  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    . I've been using B and Q's Verve compost and have been impressed with it  - for seedlings. Which is amazing as the stuff is awful to handle, full of bits of wood and lumps, you wouldn't think it was going to be any good but I seem to have got 100 percent germination with no damping off... however I've not tried it yet with anything notoriously difficult...

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Gillybean, you said it heavy and full of debris not really seed compost.
    My personal use is John Innes Number two, that is a recipe made up by several compost makers. A small bag of washed sand and small bag of small agricultural grit from any Garden Centre.
    I have a mixing tray but a bucket or old dish will do, mix one scoop of JI compost one scoop washed sand and one scoop of grit and mix it well. This will be damp but not wet, if you dip a finger in it will come out with strands of soil on and not muddy.
    Fill your trays or pots loosely, just give the tray or pot a tap on the bench, do not compress the compost. Scatter the seed and cover lightly with sieved compost or light grit, water with a Rose on the watering can, I water from the bottom in a tray of water for a few minutes, not soaking just damp on the top of the tray.
    All seeds do need different conditions for germination, some very warm, some medium warm and some no need for artificial heat, read the packet for a guide.
    Never over water, as soon as the seedlings have true leaves then pot on.
    Two scoops of compost one scoop of grit one scoop of washed sand is the mix I use for that, your final pot on is just compost or into the ground.

    Hope this helps Frank.

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    If I were you I would take the rubbish compost back to where I bought it and complain. Perhaps they will replace it with something decent!image

  • gillybeangillybean Posts: 8

    Hi I spoke to someone at wilko's and they said that it had been changed a while ago and I just got a dodgy bag. They gave me a free bag to try. My other seeds are however germinating in the knarly stuff so it must be ok? However things seem to be slow and would benefit from being on a window sill instead of outsid but I don't have that luxury at the moment.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Gilly, seeds will germinate in wet sand and all take a different time to germinate and differing heat. A green house or windowsill in full sun can be too much for some that need it cooler and some shade. The main need is good light and moist not wet compost, some will need cover and others not.
    Good seed packets will give directions and if not a good book, scour the charity shops you will find masses of them a lot never used, the Royal Horticultural Encyclopedea's being ideal.
    I never give up as you can put a pot aside thinking they have failed only to find them pushing up shoots six months later. That is gardening for you, nothing guaranteed and full of surprises, probably why we do it.


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