Don't Buy composts for sowing seeds
By Adele Dyer
It's always thrilling to see newly germinated seedlings growing, but buy the wrong compost and you'll be lucky to see many of them emerge.
Avoid our Don't Buy compost for sowing seeds, which will leave you disappointed as your seeds fail to germinate and grow on.
Worst composts for sowing seeds
A great compost for sowing seeds should have a fine texture that will surround the seed with everything they need: water to kick-start germination and help the plant to grow; air to help the plant to mature, and a small amount of nutrients to fuel growth once the seed has exhausted its own stored nutrients. All our Best Buy composts give seeds all they need for strong, healthy growth, but our Don't Buy compost contained huge doses of fertiliser and was very acidic, meaning the seeds struggled to germinate and grow. The Don't Buy peat-free composts were also very coarse, containing large chunks of wood that make it hard for a seed's fine roots to take up water and nutrients.
Each year, we sow a large seed that is usually easy to grow, and a small, fine seed that will be a little more tricky to germinate. This year we chose sweetcorn 'Lark' as the large seed and petunia 'Express Rose' as the small seed, sowing 25 seeds of each in quarter-size trays. When the majority of seedlings are at the first two true-leaf stage, we count the number of seeds that have germinated and rate the seedlings for size and vigour.
See how all the composts scored by looking at the full results table, and see which were also Best Buy composts for raising young plants and for containers.