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Absolutely gutted - feel cheated

After a lovely time growing seeds, getting ready to pot on and feeling thoroughly proud. I decided about a month ago to kick on and pot up. So off I go and potted up everything. 

The compost started to form green crust on the top, despite watering from below with cap-matting. 

It seems that the compost had been sat in flood water flast winter  at the garden centre and was sodden, hence it being so heavy when I bought it. The plants just arent seeming to be kicking on. Not only am I extremely unhappy with the compost as it seems to hold water badly but feel cheated by the garden centre. 


Wgat should I doo, stick with the plants as they look ok but slow. Or get them set out. 

The cap matting hands started to form white mould, even though I haven't watered for an age! Shall I put them out to harden off??

I have gazania, dahlia, marigold and cosmos! 



  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109

    Go back to the garden centre.  You may have an idea if the flood water was contaminated with something, which may have affected its quality.  All of its nutrients may well have been leached out in the process.  Ask for a replacement, politely but be insistent.    Replant with fresh compost and give them some TLC.  You may wish to soak the capillary matting in a solution containing something like Jeyes fluid (can'te remember if you can still use it).  That may get rid of the white mould as well.

  • Thanks. Just very disappointed and gutted I bought 6 large bags at a cost of 34 pounds!!!!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,414

    £34!! That's a hell of a price for 6 bags.


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • They were the big square bales. I could only fit 3 in my estate boot at once. I have emailed! Lets see what they come back with, if no response I will call at least they have a list of loss and problems in writing!!!

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Red Dahlia, The weight of the compost should have told you it was way too wet for the plants, I would have spread it on plastic to dry off a bit before use.
    Also it pays to buy a small bag of grit and one of washed sand then make up a potting mix half compost half grit and sand, that will allow drainage.
    Most of the compost appears to come from the same process now, it is full of bits looks and smells disgusting, for potting on seedlings I riddle the compost before making up a potting mix and up to now it has worked, bring back Peat and to h@#@ with the greens, Germany even burns the stuff to generate electricity so us gardeners are getting done as usual.
    Rescue your plants by using fresh compost damp not wet and mix as above, the mold will be because it has been too cold, some heat is needed in the greenhouse for young plants, mine is south facing and against a brick wall so not so much extra heat needed.
    You will be gutted although us gardeners learn from our own mistakes and all is not totally lost some will be OK if you re pot, depends on where you are of course, down south they could go out in the next couple of weeks, up here we need wait awhile.


  • Even with heat and ventilation in the conservatory I have had problEms. 

    i used this compost last year and all was well, this is definitely not right!!

    the garden centre want a sample and also pictures and a marigold, they are going to refund and replace with a different compost. I'm novice but not that novice this is def not right and the green slimy mould is not normal either. I don't think that it being soaked in flood water had done it any favours!!!!!

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    Ask them to replace it with Erin Excel, its beautiful i have ever does have some peat in it, lovely texture and no nasty bits or smell.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • They are giving me 600 ltrs of petersfield multi purpose compost. Just can't be any worse than what I had. Question is do I shake off as much as I can and put back in the 2.5" modules or try for larger pots. But would mean purchasing more. 


    Will the marigold and gazania suffer from shaking all compost out?

  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109

    It might knock them back a bit, but kill or cure. Do you really have an another option?  ask the GC to take into consideration the cost of your plants if they don't survive the repotting.  It's not wasy to go back to a GC and ask for a refund and probably not many of us do it.  But what you were sold was not fit for purpose.  I suspect they were trying to sell the stock hoping it hadn't been damaged in the flood.  Rain water soaking compost bags is one thing flood water another.  Goodluck

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