Seed compost

I’ve been looking unsuccessfully for a loam based seed compost. Previously in the UK i would have used John Innes No1 for sowing seeds. I’ve struggled in recent years to get a good germination and decided it’s in part due to the compost in French garden centers dominated (expensively) here in Brittany by Magasin/Point Vert.
All I can find is a range of fibrous based peat look-a-like mixtures generally sold for potting on and used for cuttings , not ideal for seed germination.
Has anybody ever seen loam based compost for seed sowing here, my source via a German friend who bought it from there for me has dried up…for obvious reasons.
Any suggestions of suitable products, all I’m trying to get is a loam base seed medium, even the online sellers don’t list anything …and if they did p&p would make it expensive.

Why not buy some - it’s cheap enough… :wink: :laughing:

Sorry - edited to add that I am afraid I have no useful suggestions :disappointed:


That’s you off John’s Christmas card list as well as me then Brian :grinning:


I’ve been making my own with a block of the cocnut fibre stuff some vermiculite and some home made compost. Have very good success.

Yes the commercial stuff is rubbish here. A local place does a composted wood and slurry mixture (I know this sounds horrid, but actually very nice) .12 sacks that we fill ourselves cost is 12€ amd we use it in all sorts of ways. For seeds I mix it with some silver sand and grit in lower layer. I imagine that Tory’s coir would work equally well.

I do also use garden soil based mixture and sterilise in microwave.

Mole hill soil, sieved and heated in Microwave makes good seed compost. You can add a bit of sand or peat if needed. Our moles are at least good for a steady supply of fine soil for seeds & pots.

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Like you humour…never liked predictive spelling

Ashamed to say I declared war on our moles…which I’m winning…because the runs resulted in big furrows in lawn which then made cutting v difficult and part of a bank collapsed!
So haven’t got their spoil.
Seems like loam based compost is not marketed here, which is surprising as it’s much more environmentally friendly than peat and much better than a fibre mix cooked up from decheterie deposits. And what is on offer at our PV is expensive and not really ideal for seed germination.
Opening for an entrepreneur…?

Not me - I am too busy gardening…

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in this season, @Bettina , I can imagine you are :smiley:

Must ask our local nurseryman what he uses - his plants are always good…

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I would just use garden soil with a bit of extra sand… sift it like the old gardeners used to.

I cover my seeds with vermiculite but want to get away from using a fibre base, it dries out too quickly particularly if used in a heated propagator for longer germinating seed like chilli, tomatillo, and some herb seeds.
Just surprised at the narrow choice options on sale.i

Not knowing your land or garden layout ,but can you make your own? When i started work centuries ago working for local council we bought nothing ,everything had to be made ,we had loam stack as many areas were digging up grasslands to build houses after the war.everything back then was hard on the back which i know only to well and now paying the penalty.We had a kiln but as others have mentioned for small amounts a microwave would work, add by hand super phosphates,peat was still allowed back then which we would also add to compost mix, it was usual to mix a ton at a time as we provided the bedding plants for outside displays and public lawn areas.

Sounds like your garden soil is rather better than ours! We have lots of solid clay!

More on peat in one paper today

So do we - mind you the moles are helping to break it up! :astonished:

@norman4uk1 please edit your registration to show your first name and last name as per SF T&C thank you

solid clay is great for plants like roses… You can buy garden soil - or use your clay - it will be a subsoil and there should be pockets of humus (not hummus :smile:) if the garden has been cultivated in the past . Seeds don’t need anything special to germinate - you can do it on tissue paper… they only need goodness when their root system gets going. So mix your clay with sand/grit/vermiculite and go for it.

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Thanks, it was a slightly tongue in cheek comment so perhaps should have added an emoji… as I do know how to garden, and do know my soils. I started work as an apprentice gardener aged 16, got all my horticultural qualifications and have been gardening since. Plus am a qualified landscape architect and botanist, with extra certification in various offshoots such as soil science and pesticides.

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:smile: Ahh… well you should know already… I would be burning the clay x

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