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we have found the same probs with B&Q multipurpose, luckily we have found a forgotten heap of grass turf which we removed from a patch of grassland a few years ago and stacked in a pile - it has now turned into fantastic loam.

My husband also got a bit carried away with composting a neighbours horse manure - he filled all three compost bays before I couls stop him!!


Jim on Beechgrove has just complained about multi purpose compost, maybe he could be the "face" of the campaign.

A gardener recommended to us New Horizon, Organic Multi Purpose and we have been pleased with it so far.


I have made a breakthrough!!-this morning got three 75lbags of a peat based compost from Scats for £12-it is labeled Country Garden and it is nice crumbly stuff just like the old days-suitable for all uses- I am told it is made by Westland-happy bunny

I think they are based just down South.


Thanks for the suggestion, sotongeoff. Will make a point of going next time I have an expedition to Salisbury.

Happy Bear :- D


Our Morrsions has an offer of 3 bags for the price of 2 of New Horizon, Organic, multi purpose. £10.00


@burhinus....How much do the bags hold ???


I work for Wickes and have had a lot of complaints about this year's compost.  Last year's stock (the 75 litre bags) was good - in my novice opinion, and from customers feedback.  This year's stuff (70 litre) is rubbish.  We have had to put notices up warning that it is no good for seeding, but we are still seeing a lot of returns.

Take your receipt back, along with any receipts for seeds that you have lost due to the new formulation and ask if they will refund you.  I'm not sure what the company-wide policy is, but we have been doing that at our store.  It might be worth a try.

Why they had to change it, I don't know.  If it ain't broke...


£4 a bag. Take off VAT - £3.20. Take off Wickes profit at (say) 30% - £2.25. Take off delivery cost to Wickes (say 50p a bag - it's heavy stuff) £1.75. Take off manufacturer's profit and manufacturing cost  to get raw material cost of less than £1, or around £40 a tonne. Then there's the cost of delivery to the manufacturer....... 

That's why manufacturers are packing rubbish into their compost. I pay more than that for bulk gravel!

Ive been imformed by my local nusery that by law multipurpose compost now has to carry more green waste from council depots to reduce the massive stock piles of green waste that have built up. Thats why its full of shredded wood and is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Wickes, b and q and even john innes seed compost is all the same so looks from my point of view like we need to blame the goverment Again. Best advise i can give is to sieve the contents and make good of a bad suitiuation add grit or loam. Also PH test it ive had a few bags that were on the acidic side.


I will have to read that later gold1locks, when the kids are in bed.

I'd like to update my original post a little ;-

When I first started this thread my intention, a part from share my dissatisfaction, was to take this product back to the retail shop from which I purchased it from. I changed my mind and kept it. Yesterday, I spent some time in the back yard doing daft jobs like change the pots around and noticed that the pot which holds this RUBBISH , has gone all mouldy. The kind of white stringy mould/fungus you find on wet rotting pieces of timber. The only thing that springs to mind that thrives in conditions like these are mushrooms, not plants. It's only fit for one purpose, a further 6 months composting in my compost holder.

This product is not fit for the job its intended for. I'm sure there is some sort of consumer regulation regarding this matter - anyone complained to Watchdog yet - Anne would love this !!!


sue taylor3

i have had the same problem with all the named brands as well as unbranded names ,

the best one so far was bought from of all places the poundland £1 abag for 40ltrs i only got 1 just as a top up but to my surprise it was real good .

i asked at castle howard as to what the problem was i was informed eu regulations .

i can't repeat my answer to that .!!!!!!!



I bought a bag of seed compost from Pound stretcher and found a 2inch piece of glass in it. Fortunately I noticed it before breaking compost down with my hand.

I have had some good multi-purpose compost from Countrywide but it does have peat in it.


There's a place in the village next to me that sells mushroom compost by the bag. I was wondering if I could use that maybe mixed with some of my home grown stuff this year as all of you say that they are all the same, rubbish!

But I was not sure if this mushroom stuff would only be good for digging in the veg plot. Any ideas folks please?


Soil conditioner only really-not suitable for potting plants.


I thought as much. I remember back about 40 years ago, we put some on the veg patch because it was a new house and the clay soil was unworkable. Each morning we came out to pick some mushrooms to have in a fry up. It helped break down the lumps and I have not used it since. But with all this info on the shop bought stuff I just gave it a thought. I might dig some into the greenhouse soil and maybe get some mushrooms again! Not for a fry-up though as we are at that age where we watch our cholesterol!


Spent mushroom compost will have lost most of its fertilizing capability, but it will still have a lot of trace elements that are important for plant health, so it is a good mulch, and good for working in with the rest of your compost, and is also good as a soil conditioner as Sotongeoff says. Be careful where you apply it though. It is alkaline, so don't apply it round ericacious plants such as rhodies, camellias, calluna, skimmias, and don't add it to your veg patch if it is already alakaline. If it is acidic then mushroom compost will help - most veggies prefer slightly alkaline soil.