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messageBest / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by emjorealdavies May 13, 12:03PM

Can anyone recommend the best/cheapest place to buy compost?

Iíve heard you can buy ĎPro-Growí from the recycling centre off the Old Kent Road but not sure how good it is?

Would appreciate any recommendations thank you smiling smiley

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Sue May 13, 12:25PM

The compost from the recycling centre is massively expensive.

Even the people who work there recommend you buy it from somewhere else!

Also, I don't think it has added nutrients for growing plants in. It is more of a soil improver.

Shannon's Garden Centre in Forest Hill is good and has a good range of compost for different purposes.

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Dulwich handy May 13, 12:43PM

Best doesn't equal cheapest
So is it best
Or cheapest as there are options

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Sue May 13, 03:03PM

Dulwich handy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Best doesn't equal cheapest


No of course not.

But the stuff the recycling centre sells is not "the best" and is far from the cheapest.

You can always Google reviews of compost, eg Which periodically does tests.

But you may not be able to source their "best buys" locally.

It also depends what kind of compost you need, eg for seed sowing, window boxes, established shrubs in pots, ericaceous plants, house plants such as cacti and succulents etc.

They all have different compost requirements.

A garden centre such as Shannons will probably have more knowledgeable staff than somewhere like B&Q.

ETA: You will also need to consider your views on peat, and whether you want a completely peat-free compost for environmental reasons, even though the results may be less good.

Also whether you want a soil-based (John Innes) compost. Pros and cons.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was may 13, 03:06pm by Sue.

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Dullesville May 13, 04:05PM

Lidl compost is actually insanely cheap. 99p a bag!

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Sue May 14, 07:28AM

Dullesville Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lidl compost is actually insanely cheap. 99p a
> bag!


I'm assuming at that price that they are extremely small bags?

And therefore not much use unless you only need a very small amount of compost?

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by emjorealdavies May 14, 08:11AM

Thanks so much all! Thatís really helpful about the compost at the dump as I was about to rush down there and buy 4 bags haha!

Iím aware of the peat issue thank you! And really I just wanted multi-purpose as Iíve down all my seeds already! Will try Shannonís thank you so much smiling smiley

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Sue May 14, 01:06PM

emjorealdavies Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks so much all! Thatís really helpful about
> the compost at the dump as I was about to rush
> down there and buy 4 bags haha!
>
> Iím aware of the peat issue thank you! And really
> I just wanted multi-purpose as Iíve down all my
> seeds already! Will try Shannonís thank you so
> much smiling smiley

If not too late, Shannons have a small car park at the back, which is nearest to the compost! From the main road (South Circular), you have to pass the road which leads to their front entrance, then take the next left. Then take a left from there. That probably makes no sense at all, sorry. But some of the roads are cul de sacs so you can't get to their back entrance by going up the road which leads to their front entrance ....

Also, you don't need to lug the bags of compost to the till. Just tell them what you want when you get to the till, then you can load it straight into your car from the back.

Unless you have parked at the front .....

Beginning to wish I hadn't started this post now big grin

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by emjorealdavies May 15, 09:38AM

Hi Sue,

Thanks so much for the advice smiling smiley I did stop at Lidl yesterday and bought 6 bags of peat-free stuff (£6 what a bargain!) but will definitely need more as I have a load of raised beds to fill! Can't wait to pop to Shannon's so that's really helpful thank you smiling smiley

Emma x

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Inthepink01 June 25, 07:24AM

I would recommend visiting and talking to a few of the local garden centres. They all have good knowledgeable staff and carry wide ranges of different composts. You need diff types for diff jobs. They can also deliver for a small cost, if you are local. There are centres in North Dulwich by the station, Park Hall Road by the traffic lights before Tesco, Nunhead by the station, and behind the supermarket at the top of Crystal Palace. This aside, I would suggest you look into creating your own compost system for the future. It makes so much sense practically and environmentally. New hot box systems are small and quick. The RHS site has lots of advice.

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Nigello June 26, 11:36AM

Some composts I used go very dry and start to shrink away from the side of the pot. Which kind of compost is best to avoid this?

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Dullesville June 26, 12:28PM

Sorry sue - didn't see your reply.

The 99p lidl bags are actually 20l, so no - not that small. Not huge, either, so a little bit heavy on the single use plastic usage, if you are after huge amounts. Bags can be used as a plastic mulch, though, if carefully cut.

Works out to 50quid per cubic metre, which is much cheaper than the council stuff. Can't speak for nutrient quality, but it looks good and black, with no major fibrous chunks.



As for drying out, I think most composts will do that. It's kind of the point of a mulch, to prevent surface evaporation, by drying out, to keep the soil below moist. You either need to plant below the surface, if using seedlings, or keep well watered for seeds.

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Sue June 26, 09:35PM

Nigello Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Some composts I used go very dry and start to
> shrink away from the side of the pot. Which kind
> of compost is best to avoid this?


John Innes based composts should not shrink away from the side of the pot.

messageRe: Best / cheapest place to buy compost in ED!
Posted by Sue June 26, 09:43PM

Inthepink01 Wrote:
------------------------------------------------------ I would suggest you look into
> creating your own compost system for the future.
> It makes so much sense practically and
> environmentally.


It depends what you want to use the compost for.

If you are using it to grow plants in pots, you will need to add some kind of appropriate fertiliser, and also depending on the type of plant possibly sharp sand or grit for drainage (though that could also apply to bought compost, of course!)

I make my own compost, but I use it to improve the heavy clay soil on my allotment. I buy compost in for window boxes etc..

Also, it can take a very long time to produce a relatively small amount of compost!


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