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Have to agree with Brumbull, Verve was the worst compost I have ever bought,used it in hanging baskets last year it was the worst display I have ever had . Just full of twigs and rubbish.

Here's a thought. Has anyone ever stopped buying compost from GC and made there own and been 'self sufficient'?? I normally buy what's on offer at B&Q. Not there own brand though. It would be good to be able to make enough compost without buying it

Miracle grow potting compost.

Just got 4 bags and it is good stuff, but at £20.00 for the four and only 40lt bags a bit expensive.

I like miracle grow and asdas compost 

I wouldn't buy B Q Verve multipurpose compost again, especially if it's for sowing seeds, bought a few bags last year and it had a lot of pieces of wood in it, the biggest being a 2x1 8inch piece with 2 big rusty nails in and also bits of plastic and metal, a friend had similar problems with it bought at another time and store, and i trusted the 'Which' reviews!





I MEANT 50 QUID  not 5 whoops

The problem with a lot of mass produced peat free growing media is that it contains a percentage of green compost from large waste management companies.  This material generally conforms to the BSI PAS100 specification but is frequently too "fresh" for use in bagged products.  This reduced stability quickly locks up the fertiliser in the mix vastly decreasing shelf life.  It also has a higher risk of containing physical contaminants such as plastic (+Other contrary material as mentioned above) - unfortunately we aren't the best at properly segregating our waste for recycling in the UK!

Anyone tried Durstons? Never heard of it before but it is offered for delivery by my milkman. 2x 40ltr bags £7 or peat free 2 for £9

Noooo, no peat-based compost! We can't be selfish - got to think of the environment here, folks. I don't care how good peat-based compost is supposed to be, it should not even be sold. Garden centres are very much to blame as well - most of them don't even have a corner with signs directing people to peat-free compost. Not to mention the manufacturers, who are just unscrupulous - they ought to focus all their efforts on producing peat-free stuff but instead they can't even be bothered to indicate on their bag front whether it's peat-free. One has to drill down to the small print on the side or back to find out. It's not exactly rocket science - but maybe it requires brain surgery  ; )

Almost 90% of the peat bogs in the UK and Ireland have been destroyed in the last 50 years. When they're gone, they're gone for ever. The animals and plants that live on them will be extinct.


But only 4% of that peat is used by horticulture. The rest is used as a fuel for rural areas in Ireland and power stations.

Steve 309

I agree, Piper & Amy.

The trouble is, coir and the other substitutes don't work as well.  And there are questions about coir as well, including the transport from the tropics (until global warming allows us to grow coconuts here...)  So what's a conscientious gardener to do?

Ashleigh 2

Verve was awful last year, wood and twigs and roots, I bought some this year because I needed loads and it was cheap, 375 litres for under £18 and was pleased to find it was really good, maybe they had a lot of complaints and improved it?

I am trying Lidl's peat free compost at £1.50 per 25l it is very cheap.

Takes a bit of getting used to, it is packed as a solid 'brick' inside it's bag, so the first job is to break it down thoroughly, by which time it is twice the volume.

It does have quite a lot of large fibrous matter, however unlike the coir based it keeps it's moisture very well (though the top dries out so you need to stick you finger in to check you really do need to water.

So far only my tomato seedlings have spent any time in the compost & I have to say so far they are best I've grown, moving along at quite an astonishing pace.

I have always drifted back to peat based despite my best intentions because the peat frees have always been so disappointing, however I am cautiously optimistic with this one and can definitely recommend giving it at try, and for £1.50 its worth a go. However please do remember it is a different beast to the lovely soft peat compost we all so love, so persevere.



Steve 309
fidgetbones wrote (see)

But only 4% of that peat is used by horticulture. The rest is used as a fuel for rural areas in Ireland and power stations.


Steve 309

Even so, we should preserve what's left

Durstons seed and cutting compost seems very nice. Crumbly and fine. Also appears to stay damp quite well. Time alone will tell how it is for the thing it is actually designed for....seed germination and growth But one or two are popping their heads up.

GW mag this month has a very interesting trial on seed and cutting compost. Very interesting results

Very interesting.


If this is all correct, then the trick is making sure your manufacturer is using the peat from the sustainable sources.

Though I do wonder, if we use our own and then have to import, how sustainable is that!

Also if a ban is coming, we will need to find adequate peat free alternatives anyway.