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Also just wanted to add that so far i have been pleased with the verve compost.  it is fibrous and twiggy, but i sieve it if planting seeds in propagation trays so this removes the wood.

I filled my raised bed with 15 bags of the 125L ones and everything ive planted has grown well with the exception of garlic, but that might be more down to planting times.  i started garlic at the same time inside on a warm'ish window sill witht he same compost and they grew fine.

I have started buying compost from local GC;s but for large bulk in my planters and bed where i needed several bags its too expensive to use "the good stuff"

Just found this thread, after searching for B&Q compost problems.  We bought two growbags and the toms just stopped growing and went brown - the same happened to relatives the other end of the country.  It's clearly not fit for purpose under the sale of goods act, as growbags should have at least some nutrients in - that's the point of them.  I'm going to send photos to B&Q and get my money back.

for the very first time my young plants are doing disatrously. Particularly my cucurbits. Every year they grow wonderfully. Last year I used B & Q's verve and was very pleased with it. However this year there were bits of plastic and big pieces of what looked to be fencing panel wood. Is it a coincidence that my plants are performing so badly? I dont think so

It is such a shame that compost can be so variable, even from the same supplier. I had been using B&Q Verve and was pleased with it but the last lot I had was terrible. I tried another brand from the local garden centre and that was even worse, I may as well have bought a bag of bark!

Farouk Alam wrote (see)

I am sorry to say I bought verve multi purpose compost I cant make my mind up

as to look up some beavers or buy a compactor to make briquetts for my log burner

I think it should have been left for at least another year maybe two back to farm shop next year three bags for a tenner much better quality

I am sorry to say I bought verve multi purpose compost I cant make my mind up

as to look up some beavers or buy a compactor to make briquetts for my log burner

I think it should have been left for at least another year maybe two back to farm shop next year three bags for a tenner much better quality



Talking of poor quality compost,I bought some co-operative own brand multi purpose compost recently and its some of the worst I've seen.I always thought compost was supposed to be brown but this is an anaemic grey colour and seems to be full of old roots.Very disappointed.


Just wondering if anyone can recommend a compost they have bought recently.  I bought B&Q Verve this year, even though is was very poor last year.  Thought I could throw it on the borders if it not up to much.  Have been pleasantly surprised that is an improvment on last year.

I opened a b&q gro bag and it smelt 'sour'. I'm not sure how or if to use it. I have so far been mixing it with my own compost to bulk it out, and throwing it over my potatos which are in a container bag.

Bought some peat verve compost from b&q earlier in the year and it was fine. just bought some peat free and it's appalling. It's part rotted bits of fence panel, branches plastic (including one bit with a McDonalds logo on it) - it's trash, literally. it will be going back in the next few days, can't risk growing my veg in this.


can anyone suggest where I buy some better quality stuff?

I was chatting to someone on here earlier about that verve stuff, its not popular! I thought it was ok, but that was a year or two ago.
Ive been using compressed coir this year as its really easy to carry and its cheap

I think i saw some of that cheap compressed stuff in the pound shop. Is that the same stuff. If it is, I'll go try some perhaps.

Mine was from the pound shop, ive found it really good for seed sowing, the texture is very light, so im not sure it will be suitable for veg beds etc, but for a quid its worth a try
For some reason the one made into a disc is nicer stuff than the brick, ive found the stuff from the bricks a little more fibrus, think i read somewhere that its toxic to dogs, so worth being careful

A compost company has been applying for permission to have a site on a farm in my village but, fortunately, residents have managed to fight it off on two occasions but we are very vigilant..  Once you start looking online at various compost sites, and speak to people living near them, it seems that once permission is given by the council the companies fail to comply with the operating rules.  Some sites catch fire and are then left to burn for weeks/months so I'm not surprised our plants often fail to grow.  The varying comments on the same compost company show just how differently sites are run.


For the past two years I've been using Notcutts own reduced peat compost and it's been absolutely fine - absolutely no problems.  I've also had a 50ltre bag of Clover which I've been very pleased with - I bought it while visiting a small nursery - I was looking for something to use for seeds and pricking out - the nursery owner said it was what they use and their plants were really lovely.   I've used a lot of compost this year - 30+ tomato plants in large bucket-sized pots, plus other tubs and pots.

I am concerned about damage caused by peat extraction but both brands state that the peat they use is not from areas of scientific interest.  I may  be being naive about it and if so I'm sure someone will tell me.  However when I've used composts with a high coir content it's set into solid blocks in the pots, no matter what the watering regime has been.  And as I think someone else has said, transporting coir from halfway across the world must have an environmental impact too ..............

The coir stuff is much easier to cart home on the bus!

I am concerned about peat, but often i just have to have whatever is in the shop, dont think ive had any proper compost this year

Would like to try some of the fancy composts in the OGC, maybe next year


I've used the b&q multi compost, and their verve john in is 1 & 2 I have notice that the multI purpose compost has developed mushrooms in it, and my plants are not developing as good as when I've used different brands and the b&q john innis ones is actually killing my plants rather than them thriving! I will never ever use this brand ever again. 


I should clarify what I said above - I've used the multi-purpose composts for planting up summer containers and the pots of tomatoes and cucumbers etc, but I always use the John Innes Loam based  compost for more permanent containers(e.g. the potted fig tree) I don't think there's anything better for longer term planting. 

Some of the multi-purpose brands  use the John Innes name and add fertiliser to conform to that, but they're only as good as the composted material in the bags. 

Linda 21

Having read all the posts on this link over my morning cuppa, I would be interested to know if anything further came of the e-mails sent to Gardener's World?  Have you had any celebrity come forward to put our point of view?   I read an article about 4 or 5 years ago that said Which had found B and Q MPC was by far the best, and have used it ever since.  Up until this year I have always found it Ok, but other products I have used have contained all the addistional stuff mentioned in other posts, glass, branches, plastic etc.,  Perhaps I have just been lucky with my batch from B and Q. before now, but I have to say this year's batch is no where near as good as previous years.  Am just about to get some chooks, so my home made compost source will increase from next year.  Our garden is about an acre, and I grow a huge number of plants from seeds each year, so I need a lot.  Am tempted to go down to the sea and recycle some seeweed too!

Lol Whittingham

As a very experienced and successful gardener,(over 40 yrs experience ), I have to say that this years verve compost has cost me dearly .

I've lost all my basket plugs, and a dozen penstemon plugs where the roots just rotted  away. I also used the compost to fill many containers for summer bedding (perennials ) and these plants have not put on any weight at all.


I must say i haven't noticed any problems with B&Q MPC but this year I have only used it on larger plants . I did get miracle gro and found it full of rubbish so won't buy that again. Got Westland grosure for the baskets and it was clean and fine hopeful that it produces results as the season progresses .