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There's a clear division between those who think it's OK to use peat and those who think it environmentally unsound.

I tend to buy the compost which works for the plants I grow and produces best results and it has peat in it...admittedly something of a laid back approach.  

JAB's seed and cutting compost is very good and has a reduced peat content. I've tried a soil based one and to let it get a little dry is a mega mistake, it went like concrete in the propagator   

A local Nursery is selling bags of moss peat! Silly Q...I read the link....but is that the same as the peat we are told not to use...what is moss there a difference in peat's... or is the planet in trouble no matter which one we buy! 

Having used Bowers multi purpose compost for many years now, I bought  a couple of 100lt bags recently ,and it does not resemble the previous years product in any way.

I still have some of last years to compare it with.

I am so dissapointed in it that I will be using it as mulch rather than compost.

It is full of wood chippings, bark , twigs, and plastic etc, with a very small trace of compost.

Fortunately I got it cheap from a wholesaler, so it's not a disaster but I will have to look again for some replacement.

That sounds like the morrison stuff i just bought its going in for soil improver. I have now bought Erin Excel, and it realy is excellent.

Thanks Lyn I'll look out for some



Bought B&Q Verve compost,the worst compost I have ever bought, full of twigs course material so just spread it on my flower beds. Just been to Homebase and bought theirs which looks ok.


What's even more puzzling is that 'Which? Gardening' list Verve from B&Q in their top four - **** /88-91% test score.  Just goes to show its always good to know opionions from those who actually use the product.  I have bought Verve again this year and find it to be much the same as it always is, but in the past I haven't really been a 'serious' gardener, but now I'm paying more attention maybe it will realise its short comings.














Well I bought some bags of verve because the other stuff I bought was so bulky and lumpy it would have taken an age to sift it. totally unsuitable for my small seedlings in pots. The verve is lovely...crumbly, fine and my only worry is that it will dry out quickly.

We bought Verve seed and pottiing compost which appeared okay but after growing seedlings in it and nothing happening, looked in the pot to find white mould. We then purchased Miracle grow peat free multi purpose which had white mould growing on the wood particles as it first came out of the bag. We are now using last years Verve peat based compost until we find an alternative that's free of fungus, not so worried about the peat free now. 2 novice gardeners


Last year I used Levingtons and some Lidl.  Lidl Ok but the levingtons multipurpose had lumps of old china in it.I had to pick pieces of wood and stuff out of it. This year levingtons appears to have new manufacturers and I have had Levingtons M3  mixture which is a vast improvement. Lovely in trays and modules.  Plants growing really well. Tomatoes in it in large buckets are 2ft high, really healthy and about to flower.

I too have noticed white fungus in bags of compost...not the verve too dry! I'm afraid I carried on and used it anyway.

In past years I have found Westland very good. It really is a lottery isn't it.

I am very envious of fidgetbones if your tomatoes are 2ft high. Mine have been incredibly slow to get going this year...compost or weather?

Beans: runners & climbing French also soooooo slow. Some still have not sprouted after 3 weeks. Guess they probably won't now. Disheartening but then that's gardening, ups and downs in equal measure


My tommies are still tiny too, I'll put that down to the weather more than anything else though. Last year I used Verve but it was terrible, full of uncomposted lumps and twigs   and really not suitable for anything other than mulch. I was visiting my parents a few weeks ago and doing some gardening for them, the only compost they had was a new bag of Verve, I expected it to be as bad as last year but I must say it was excellent. I've only used the 125lts bags since, and even sown all of my seeds directly in to it without having to sieve and all of my seeds have grown away very well. I wouldn't be surprised if the compost quality is different in other areas of the UK though.


I've had 4 of the largest bags of Verve multi, 2 fine 2 had loads of lumps, dry stick bits etc. We always buy unfaded bags, hoping the stuff is fresh in. No consistency. Seed & cutting bag was ok.

Honestly! what is a gardener to do??? Well at least it gives us all something to conflab about

Crazy Tomato Lady

Jacks Magic traditional blend all purpose compost is really good, it's better than the verve seedlings and cutting compost that is ok, both worked to germinate seedlings, but Jacks Magic feels crumblier and works out cheaper 



Nanny gardener ---My runner beans were planted in 3 inch pots of levington m3 last bank hol monday. They were up within 7 days . I hardened them off last week and planted them in the ground on  Monday this week. they're now beginning to climb.

You still have time to try again, but I'd get fresh compost and beans.

Crazy Tomato Lady

reading through this thread it sounds like the only thing that can rival peat is home garden compost so I better find a way to heat up my slow heap for next year as this year it germinated more seed than I had sown! 


After the comments on here and other forums this must be the worst year ever for rubbish compost. Someone has made a real killing by making this rubbish and conning british gardeners. My worst experience has been with B&Qs Verve, I have lost countless seedlings because nothing will grow in it,I have been gardening for 50 years and have never seen such poor quality compost before.B&Q should be ashamed of themselves for selling this rubbish as multi-purpose compost.

is there anyone who grows fuchsias i have grown fuchsia for meny years the compost today is rubbish can anyone put me on to a good one for fuchsia. is there anyone who mixes there 0wn

Finally checked the runner bean pots today...absolutely no sign of seeds at all. Mystery! One pot alone had the remains of a seed which was soggy. I shall try again - in different compost of course - and if these do not grow it will be buying ready grown plants which will be rather annoying.