Best and worst seed and potting compost

Does anyone know the best potting/ seeding compost available? I've been let down several times with popular top brands of potting and multipurpose compost being full of large hard woody bits totally unsuitable for seeds and seedlings. The worse I got last year was from lidls and wasn't much different from bark chippings despite being advertised as potting and seeding compost on the bag!

Ideally I want a fine spongy but well drained compost. I find John Inness 2 to lack the sponginess and be a bit too easy to dry out.

I've seen the professional grade composts used by nurseries and market gardens and they are ideal in every aspect. Spongy, well drained, fertile and fine.
Does anyone know any brands available to public that are like this?




  • B3B3 Posts: 10,209

    Verve from b&q is the worst I've tried.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • Mix JI  1 or 2 with a good mpc........sieve the mpc........add grit/sharp sand/perlite as needed depending on what you are sowing.image


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 7,081

    seed compost plus added perlite works fine for me.

    Some annuals just get sown in MPC, as it is cheaper.

    I think that the key is low fertility for seeds.

    You wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand
    The things you think are precious, i don't understand
  • Glad to hear about Wyevale compost - just bought some, not opened it yet though!

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 21,511

    Hazel, we're allowed to give recommendations regarding products, so long as we're not promoting something we're involved with selling.

    I think that's the distinction, but I could be wrong.

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041

    Fot seed sowing I generally use a mix of John Innes seed, MPC and a fine grit I get from the fish shop because I can only get coarse grit from the local GCS.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 21,511

    never heard of it Hazel. image

    I have to be honest, I buy whatever is on special offer and make allowances as things grow/ don't grow as the season moves on. 

    I've never had any disasters  nor found a miracle brand. 

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