How to buy the best compost Getting the best compost
Which? tests composts every year so we know how much price and quality varies. Our TOP 6 TIPS will help you make sure you use the best compost for your seeds, pots and hanging baskets. We'll help you save some money too!
1 Use a Best Buy compost - this can make a huge difference to how well your plants grow and seeds germinate. You can read the results of our latest compost trials here.This will tell you our Best Buy composts for seeds and seedlings as well as our Best Buys for pots and hanging baskets. It will also tell you which composts you should steer clear of!
2 Before setting off to buy a specific brand of compost, give the garden centre a ring to check they have it in stock. We've been told that some compost will be in short supply this spring because the peat harvest was so poor last year.
3 Avoid buying compost with faded packaging as it's likely to be old stock. Ingredients such as bark decompose over time upsetting the nutrient balance and may even produce chemicals such as ammonia that are toxic to plants. For the same reason, it's best not to store bags of compost from one year to the next. If you do have some left over, use it to improve your soil. Either spread it on the soil surface or fork it in .
4 When buying compost for patio pots and hanging baskets, it's often cheaper to use compost from a growing bag rather than a conventional bag of multipurpose. Not all growing bag composts give good results but one is a Best Buy for containers this year. To find out which, read the results of our latest compost trials. This will also tell you our Best Buy composts for seeds and seedlings.
5 Our tests have proved that you can save even more money when planting up patio pots and hanging baskets by re-using container and growing bag compost at least twice provided the plants previously resident were healthy.
6 The easiest way to feed patio pots and hanging baskets is to mix a slow-release fertiliser into the compost when you plant them up as this will feed your plants all summer. So while shopping for compost, think about buying a pack of our Best Buy slow release feed too.