London (change)
14 messages
24/04/2012 at 09:30

hi all

i have got loads of seedlings ready for pricking out,with all the furore about rubbish multi purpose compost could any of you knowledgable gardeners recommend a good compost.I have read reports that westlands jacks magic compost is good ,has anyone tried it if so with what results.looking forword to your replies 

potteries phil

24/04/2012 at 11:52

This may not answer your question-but it is a recent discussion on the subject


24/04/2012 at 19:38

thanks sotongeoff i have seen that discussion but would still like to know if anyone has experience of using  jacks magic.

24/04/2012 at 20:18

I have just bought some Westlands MP compost from my local garden centre and it is as good as ever. For seeds I would just mix in some sharp sand. 

I think that good garden centres will check the quality of their supplies and return it if it is not good enough, as their reputation depends on it. They may well use it themselves.  I suspect that the average DIY store or supermarket just accepts delivery and dumps it outside the entrance without checking quality. 

24/04/2012 at 20:36

Hi alI have started to sieve, my compost even the new B&Q, Milty-p compost i have found lost of plastic in my four bag's. I Must say it is a lot better than that rubbish,Arther bower's MP they are chucking out there's more chipboard than M.F.I. Ever made.

             Good Luck And Happy Gardening .


25/04/2012 at 11:29

Have had horrible experiences with compost too - the first few years peat free came on the market it was good, and we used it quite happily.  Then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and most are awful. I have had very bad Westlands, so glad that Gold1locks has found good stuff.   The best I have found so far is B&Q's multi purpose, whih sadly is with some peat, but even that needs watching for sticks and lumps.  I sieved it for seedlings as the small bag of seed compost I bought was so rough that very few seeds could have germinated in it.  Hope the broad beans will manage.

Last year I bought a tonne of bark chippings to cover the ground in our fruit cage, and some of this years compost looks almost exactly the same!

25/04/2012 at 12:17

That's interesting, Bookertoo. So Westlands can be very variable too. Maybe I shouldn't be so sure when buying from my garden centre. Or maybe big garden centres are quick to spot and return dodgy stuff to the manufacturers. Touch wood, I have never had a bad bag, well not in terms of consistency, though I did have one that must have had some sort of harmless fungus in it, that didn't appear right away but that formed a white coating on top of my potted on plants. It did them no harm, but I suspect that seedlings wouldn't have liked it. 

25/04/2012 at 12:28

I think that white coating comes when the compost has ben damp, maybe it is salts of some kind? Like you I have not found it does any harm, and so far it hasn't occured on the seedling mix. 

I'm not sure that all GC's are quick to return stuff to the manufacturers, but I do think they need telling that the stuff just is not fit for purpose - it just takes longer to rot down properly I think, whereas the peat based stuff did so quite quickly. 

25/04/2012 at 19:04

hi i'm david i'd used seed and cutting compost arthur bowers mixed with some vermiculate and use the new horzion organic compst peat free mix vermic hope this helps you out

25/04/2014 at 15:52
25/04/2014 at 15:56

I have started making my own compost this year due to poor quality bought stuff

I mix equal amounts of sieved garden soil, leaf mould and peat and so far having good results with seedlings and potting on plants

25/04/2014 at 16:17

I've just bought three big bags of New Horizons Organic Peat Free MPC.  It's FULL of wood!  Every handful contains several bits of identifiable unrotted wood, and most of the rest seems to be not a lot better.  There are also some shreds of plastic - both stiff and bag-type - in it.  Too late to take it back as most of it's now in use but I can't help thinking it's going to be very short of nitrogen as the wood rots.

I also bought some J Arthur Bower's JI No.1, which seems excellent.  But their growbags seem awful - lots of wood and plastic again. 

The white stuff is probably a fungus.  It's mentioned on the bag and claimed to be harmless but I wouldn't want it on seedlings.

28/07/2014 at 08:06

I have used Jacks magic recently and found it to be much better than others that I have tried. Miracle grow multipurpose that I bought earlier this season has no substance and dries out quickly and then is hard to re wet.

01/05/2015 at 16:07

Hi. We have started using Jack's Magic this year and I must admit that it has given realy good results for seed sowing (no failures even with half hardy annuals on a windowsill). Then for pricking out and also for plants in troughs and containers. I like the fact that sand has been added and the lack of "nuts" as I call the hard lumps and twigs. Might need a little more watering than some other multi composts but that is a good trade off for us. Hope this helps.

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