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Kipper2 I was at a rose nursery recently & I asked how they get on with compost. They buy in a base mix & add to it depending on what they are planting up + osmocote. He buys it in at £7 a bag & will sell it on at £8. People don't want to pay that for it but as he said it's no skin off his nose if they don't. I really don't know what people are going to do about MPC but I have been really pleased with the Clover. OH opened a new one yesterday & said it was bootiful stuff.

Just read nearly all the posts regarding Verve B&Q compost.  I went out yesterday and bought 3 bags!  Today I opened a bag and yes it does have quite a few largeish pieces of wood, but it is also quite dark and moist and I thought it looked ok.  I have potted up my dahlias, my tomatoes and a few other bedding plants.  Had to pull out a few large bits of wood which got in the way.  I usually use a finer seed compost for setting seeds.

After reading all your comments, am a bit worried about all the plants I have potted up today.  Well, lets see what happens?   I hope they survive!!!   Otherwise I will be another unhappy customer.

I can't say I usually use anything special, just whatevers on offer and I don't usually have any problems. WIll give you my feedback in a few weeks.

I haven't read everyone's posts but following the flow from the one's read, have had experience this year of some rubbish grow bags with plastic, nails, stones and I'm sure the remains of someones garden fence in one, there was so much wood.

Lidl are selling grow bags for £1.29 and it looks like black gold. Very good texture, no bits or nasty smell, nice and moist. Was so impressed I went back and bought 4 more bags. They also do a peat free bag and multi purpose bag.

Please do not be surprised if you find glass in your compost !!
I live in Lincolnshire and as you can see from the label of my garden waste bin, they want glass with the compostable waste. GC


G.C - just been for an eye test this morning, glass !!!!!


Yes Marshmello it does say "GLASS".  I don't quite understand it. I can only guess the world has officially gone mad !


I am stunned! I thought the idea of recycling glass was to make more glass?

Unbelievable what are they thinking. I mean they would rather have glass than branches or grass sods. Compost doesn't stand a chance if councils adopt them rules.

@zoomer44.. let us know how the plants do..that is a very good price.. waht size were they.

Rita 4
We bought B & Q Farmyard manure and that was awful too.....looked like we'd put wood shavings all over our borders!!! Luckily my husband has got a new job in a local garden centre now so no more B & Q rubbish for us!!!!

So after reading ll the above posts, which mp compost should i buy??

I have just purchased 4 x 70L bags of Durstons MP from a local timber yard for £11.50. I used Durstons 2 years ago and had very good results.

As per Excitable Boys comments on 04.05.12. it does look really good, it also smells sweet and has no big lumps of wood, plastic or other debris (so far). However there are no "Peat Free" statements on the bags that I can see, so I guess it contains some peat. Of course I am like the majority of the gardeners concerned at the impact of using peat based composts, but I need to get my remaining 50+  toms potted on.

I spoke with the  yesterday. All they would do is spout my rights and tell me I would have to prove the B&Q compost was the cause of my destroyed crop. I would then have to make my complaint to B&Q customer services with the evidence.

I also tried calling my local trading standards office but got fed up with being N°99 in the que and hung up

I am now heading outside to speak with my tomato plants. I am sure I will get a more sensible response than from the Institute of Trading Standards !

Cheers GC

Sorry all the above should have read:

"I spoke with the Institute of Trading Standards  yesterday. All they would do is spout my rights and tell me I would have to prove the B&Q compost was the cause of my destroyed crop. I would then have to make my complaint to B&Q customer services with the evidence"

Shrinking Violet

GC:  Trading standards departments are much depleted these days, and a lot of consumer protection work is dealt with differently. 

In any event, poor quality compost is more of a civil than criminal problem (which is TS departments' remit), and it could be argued that B & Q have a "duty of care" to the ultimate consumer, which extends to there not being noxious or dangerous substances in the product.  It would also have to be fit for purpose - and arguably, it is not.  But it needs to be taken up with B & Q. 

Actually, I also think that, because this seems to be a regular problem across different brands, the RHS could well take it up.  I'm no longer a member, but anyone who is may care to bring it to their attention.

I have tried B&Q customer services and also dealing direct with the store I purchased from. Please see first page of this discussion.

I am not a scientist, but I do believe someone knows what a multi purpose compost, or any other compost,  should and should not contain to provide plants with the correct nutrients for heathy growth. How on earth can we prove it is the compost rather than our lack of ability ? 


Shrinking Violet

GC I know that you have already tried to sort this out directly with B & Q but all I am suggesting is that Trading Standards is not necessarily the right path to take.  (I am married to a retired TSO).  I have posed the question directly with B & Q and have still to receive an answer.  The weight of the RHS might bring about a response at least.  At the moment, I am deafened by their (B&Q's) silence.

I have no doubt that there is something radically wrong with a lot of multi purpose compost.  The desire to be peat-free has resulted in some pretty dreadful stuff being out there in the market place.  (And given the very small amount of peat that gardeners use, it is ironic that we seem to shoulder most of the blame, irrespective of the vast depletion of the resource for power generation, for example).

I have spoken with said OH who says that he had cause to look into problems some years ago.  Apparently, there was (is?) an industry standard for compost, and laboratories in Hertfordshire were much involved in being able to test etc etc.  (His memory is not what it was, bless, but I'll try to find out a bit more and let you know if there is anything to add).


I suspect this is a typo, and it should read grass, not glass!! As even decent quality books these days have glaring typos I suppose we cannot expect much from labels like this.

Returning to compost, I have got some B&Q multipurpose with peat, a step backwards as I had not used peat for a few years, but the peat free this year was impossible.  It is not quite a bad so far as some of you have found.  I suppose it varies from batch to batch and maybe where it is made. I never use compost straight from the bag, always mix several things together in a huge plastic tub called 'Mum's mixing pot'.   I add JI seed or 1 for weight, vermiculite for drainage and grit as well.   So far so good.  There have been unacceptably large bits of hard bark, the odd stone, twigs etc., in it, but I suspect that unless you are a commercial gardener that's what is going to happen as these rules have been dumped upon us.  As ever the rules are changed without any discussion as to whether the item will be fit for purpose when used - as if a money counter would care!  They will do when in the future we all stop buying the products.   I will not buy council made compost as I do not  believe they get it hot enough to kill pernicious weeds, and I know that is what I put in my garden bin.  Anything useful goes into our own compost heap. 

Doesn't look like a typo to me. "All glass bottles and jars" in middle section. "Glass from greenhouses" in first section. And no to "Grass turves" in third section.

You are entirely correct, I apologise, that will teach me to look properly at the pictures sent - that really makes no sense at all does it?

Glass or no, the compost situation really is very bad this year, it started last year and has gone streadily down hill since - it is hard to get anyone to listen as we don't have much individi=ual pwer, but surely en masse we must be several hundred thousand? Maybe we need a champion, like a decent MP or someone in the public eye, with a petition to get the 'powers that be' to listen?   

Shrinking Violet

OK Bookertoo - start an on-line petition and we'll sign up to see if it will do any good!  (I suspect that, unless the European Commissars have an input, not a lot will happen .  Cynical?  Moi?)