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Hi all dose any body know what is the best multi purpose compost this year ? I brought some auther bowers this year as that's all my local garden center had at the time but it has grown mushrooms and mould and the plant poted up in it have died . I used west woods with john inning last year and was really good but can't find anyone who stocks it this year . 

I'm finding my young plants in the homebase plus stuff doing better than those in the b&q stuff, which seems to go mouldy very quickly.

Wickes has a buy 2 get 3rd free on Westland. its got John innes in it. £5.99 A bag for 50 ltrs. I use it every year and its great. I tried the B&Q one a few years ago and I kept getting a black residue coming out of it, like it was covered in soot or something. I also found it to be very woody.

I find Homebase MP possibly the best from a large retailer.BQ seems to have improved but not for seed has it has too much woody bits in it.

Used a composts called Jacks  Magic for my baskets and containers last year and had great results


The Homebase own brand Plus has far too much in the way of large and woody stuff in it.  It looks more like the output from a garden shredder than compost.  I used some last autumn to plant up bulbs in pots and the surface looked like a mountain range as the bulbs started to shoot. Instead of just pushing up through the compost, lumps of compost were pushed up.

Mark 499

I am using the standard Homebase mpc this year it's very good, also tried some Westland mpc & it seems identical to the Homebase stuff.

All our allotment plot-holders swear by Clover multi-purpose. It is 100% peat, and does all the jobs very well.

Ethics aside, when you are doing a lot of plant-raising, chopped tree products are a waste of time.


Cant beat Jacks Magic from homebase,the best compost I have ever bought. A bit dearer than others but well worth it.


Jacks magic without a doubt!! lovely stuff  I got deal 3 for £12 

Have used J Arthur Bowers this year, as have a number of friends, and have found it very poor, with large amounts of wood waste and plastic pieces, presumably from recycling centres! Will not use again.


I agree Bill, it was never as bad as that in the past was it? I wonder if the company is under new management. Or no management

I haven't complained yet but I will and you should as well. The peat free is OK though.

Carbon gold from OGC. Best stuff i have ever used but costs a small fortune! They do a sample pack of three products for ??15, worth a try.
Worst one was lidl, i had the same issues as you have had, everything else has been much of a muchness, have a look on creativegardenideas site, they are really good value and deliver free of charge in most areas if you spend ??30
Ok, never mind the question marks should be a pound sign


Yeah I'm on j Arthur bowers too our local makro had it on offer and although it's a bit woody I just pick out the obvious big bits save it to one side and then when planting a bigger plant chuck it in the bottom of pots, helps with the drainage! 


I  am another disappointed A Bowers user this year.  Our garden club chairman and allotmenteer recommends Erin.  

Both Jacks Magic and Erin use peat - so perhaps we do have to use peat to get a reasonable seed/potting compost?

Disappointed with Miracle grow this year, a bit mouldy.

Try Lidl brand at £1.99 for 35 ltrs.  Its a good basic compost

Hello , over the years I have tried the cheap and cheerful , B & Q and everything in between but keep coming back to Levington's  which seems consistently good 

Busy Bee2

I have been happy with the Erin this year - good texture, very few gremlins and four for a tenner at the GC, including nice young man to lift into the Mum-bus!