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All compost test results

By Adele Dyer

Find the best compost for your gardening task: sowing seeds, raising young plants, growing plants in containers or planting veg in growing bags.

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Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

30 years of compost-testing experience means we know just how much difference there is between a Best Buy and a Don't Buy compost. Here are our top picks for 2018

Composts for sowing seeds and raising young plants for 2018

We tested 25 composts at a well-respected horticultural research establishment. We used each compost to grow cabbage 'Caraflex' and antirrhinum 'Apricot Bicolour' seeds. As each has different needs, a compost that did well in both tests should suit most seeds. 

We also used each compost to grow on Pelargonium 'Palladium Red' plugs (young plants bought by mail order) and tomato 'Red Alert' seedlings, until the largest were ready to be planted outside. 

For more information on the best composts, see our reviews of Best Buy composts for sowing seeds and Best Buy composts for raising young plants

Compost for sowing seeds and raising young plants
Compost for sowing seeds and raising young plants
Brand Price1 Sowing seeds Raising young plants Test score
B&Q Verve Multipurpose Compost £3 for 20L
B&Q Verve Peat Free Multipurpose Compost £4 for 50L
Bathgate Champions Blend All Purpose £6.50 for 50L
Erin Excel Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50L
Levington Original Mulitpurpose Compost £6.99 for 50L
Levington Seed and Cutting Compost £4.29 for 20L
Lidl Multi-purpose Compost £1.89 for 40L
Lidl Peat Free Compost 99p for 20L
Melcourt SylvaGrow £6.99 for 50L
Melcourt SylvaGrow with added John Innes £7.99 for 50L
Miracle-Gro All Purpose Enriched Compost £4.29 for 20L
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Root Boosting Compost £3.79 for 8L
New Horizon Peat Free and Organic Multi Purpose Compost £6.99 for 50L
Scotts Black Magic £11.99 for 20L
Thompson & Morgan Incredicompost £14.99 for 70L
Waitrose Garden Multi Purpose Compost £5 for 50L
Waitrose Garden Peat Free Multi Purpose Compost £3.50 for 30L
Westland Jack's Magic £6.99 for 50L
Wickes Multi-purpose Compost £5.49 for 70L
Wilko Lightweight Multi-purpose Compost £4 for 15L
Wilko Sowing & Cutting Compost £2 for 20L
Wyevale John Innes Seed Compost £4.99 for 25L
Wyevale Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50L
Wyevale Multipurpose Compost with John Innes £5.99 for 50L
Wyevale Peat Free Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50L

Table notes
1 Based on the 2018 selling price

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Compost for containers
Compost for containers
Brand Price Pelargonims Potatoes Test score
B&Q Verve Multipurpose Compost £3.86 for 50 litres
B&Q Verve Multipurpose Compost Peat Free £3.86 for 50 litres
Bathgate Champions Blend All Purpose Compost £6.50 for 50 litres
Erin Excel Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50 litres
Fertile Fibre Organic Multipurpose Compost £18 for 60 litres
Levington Original Multipurpose Compost £6.99 for 50 litres
Lidl Multi-Purpose Compost £1.89 for 40 litres
Lidl Peat Free Compost 99p for 20 litres
Melcourt SylvaGrow £6.99 for 50 litres
Melcourt SylvaGrow with added John Innes £7.99 for 50 litres
Miracle-Gro All Purpose Enriched Compost £6.49 for 50 litres
Miracle-Gro Peat Free All Purpose Enriched Compost £6.49 for 50 litres
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Root Boosting Compost £6.49 for 40 litres
New Horizon Peat Free & Orgaic Multi-Purpose Compost £6.99 for 50 litres
Pro-Grow Multi Purpose Compost £5 for 50 litres
Scotts Black Magic Potting Soil £11.99 for 20 litres
Thompson & Morgan Incredicompost £14.99 for 70 litres
Waitrose Garden Multi Purpose Compost £5 for 50 litres
Waitrose Garden Peat Free Multi Purpose Compost £3.50 for 30 litres
Westland Jack's Magic All-Purpose Compost £6.99 for 50 litres
Wickes Multipurpose Compost £5.49 for 70 litres
Wilko Lightweight Multi-purpose Compost £4 for 15 litres
Wyevale Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50 litres
Wyevale Multipurpose Compost with added John Innes £5.99 for 50 litres
Wyevale Peat Free Multipurpose Compost £4.99 for 50 litres
Table notes

1 Price based on the 2018 selling price. Based on the cost of a 50L bag or the nearest equivalent. Smaller bags of compost are usually more per expensive per litre. 

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