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I know there have been a few threads about mpc but I have noticed this year that many of them have deteriorated markedly.  Arthur Bowers mpc, for example, has so much unusable material.......perhaps 10%, maybe more.  I recently bought a bag of Levimgton compost boasting its "waterlock system".  It feels better and looks better but whether it's a better composf remains to be seen. Bought in 70 litre size, so slightly heavier.

I am tempted to email Arthur bowers about their compost......why isn't it graded more efficiently?  Prob won't though.  Just won't buy again.  

A friend at the allotment ,who has been gardening for years, has started buying ASDA own -brand compost, ans swears it's the best he's used for ages. I haven't seen it yet, but wonder whether any of you out there have any experience ( good or bad ) with it?

I like the Aldi compost, it's one of the best I have used.


I've used it Pentillie, as I have a lot of areas to fill up and make into new beds. I also used it for a few seeds and for potting on a few small perennials into bigger pots. It's not too bad- or hasn't been so far. I also bought some B&Q stuff which was lousy last year but this year's bags were a lot better. All seeds sown in it have germinated. I left the bags (at B&Q) which were last years - they're 60L size and this year's are 50. 

I also bought some bark from Asda - the first bag I opened and emptied contained a large stone about the size of my hand! Will be used in the garden though 

Fairygirl-Daughter, I do hope you are not sowing seed straight into compost? Riddle it then mix with sand and grit for seed compost.

Modern compost is now all made in those huge build it high turn it often stacks you see steaming away at commercial and council heaps, it goes into named bags often from the same heap probably not sifted and more than likely not had time to rot down properly.

Aldi and Asda could come from abroad where peat is not banned, some of our commercial growers can still get peat for seed sowing as they grow by the million and cannot afford loss, it is up to us peat free people to complain until it all improves.



Mark 499

I used the Levingtons with water lock for a few years but I thought last year it wasn't so good, now using Homebase MPC excellent stuff, 50% peat content 50% wood fibre, no bits at all.

Plants are romping away.


As the councils have to recycle more and more, peat-free compost is likely to get worse, not better.

On the one hand people say use less peat, and insist we recycle more, so this is the result.

Complaining will not get you very far.  Soon all compost will be made of recycled stuff; if you feel guilty every time you pick up a bag of peaty stuff you have to put up with it.

Though I was amused in a wry way to see 'enriched with recycled materials' on a bag of Levingtons.


Frank/Dad - I only use extra grit if it's something a bit delicate or needs really sharp drainage, or when I'm potting on. I don't sow in the autumn either - only at this time of year which is less of a problem -  and can honestly say I've have never had issues with seed germination. I do take a bit of time to make sure the compost is relatively fine, but I also don't grow as much stuff from seed as most people. If I did I might spend a little more time 'footering' with it! 

I think Welshonion's right - we can't have our cake etc...

Fairygirl-Daughter, what did I tell you when you were a pup, seedlings like babies have to be weaned, compost is too rich and even sowing into a bed of garden soil though not as rich as compost can be too much. Seeds cost money some more than others we should not take risks. The grit helps drainage, standing water kills more seeds than anything else.

On another board I suggested that peat for seeds was not wasteful in fact helped both the people who harvested it and ourselves in money saved by not losing seed, a thousand trolls fell on my head, I was once told at school meal time I was losing the war all on my own because I refused to eat grey gluey overcooked rice, still will not eat it. Well those trolls told me I was responsible all on my own for the world climate change??? I seem to be responsible for all the worlds ills, does that worry me No, do I care No, bring back peat for seed I say and give back the living lost by the people who lived on the proceeds, all change is not for the good. end of lesson.



I'm using Levington Pro  M3.

It is peat based and intended for nurseries.  Its lovely stuff.  For some things that like sharper drainage I mix with fine grit.

I've stopped using compost with recycyled rubbish in. I got fed up with lumps of wood and the odd nail, not to mention shards of pottery and glass. I object to having to sieve it before use, surely they should do that on an industrial basis before it is bagged.?

I agree with you, Frank, I spend too much on seeds to lose them with poor compost.

Looks like I need to make my own.......a mixture of mpc, sieved soil and perlite.  


I swear by Jack's Magic now. Wont use anything else.

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