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4 Best Multi Purpose Compost Products (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best multi-purpose compost for the UK market.
I’ve compared nutrients, promotion of growth, texture and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What Is The Best Compost?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Nourishes plants for up to six weeks
  • Provides all nutrient for healthy growth
  • Coarse texture is ideal for heavier soils
  • Best multi purpose compost
  • Nourishes plants for up to five weeks
  • Helps plants produce strong growth
  • Best compost on a budget
  • Retains water well
  • Loose texture reduces compaction
  • Contains organic fertilizer and seaweed extract
  • Encourages healthy root growth
  • Feeds plants for up to five weeks

More Detailed Multi Purpose Compost Reviews

J. Arthur Bowers Multi-purpose Compost 2 x 50L Bags (100L)

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Nourishes plants for up to six weeks
  • Provides all nutrient for healthy growth
  • Coarse texture is ideal for heavier soils
OUR RATING
100
PRICE
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J. Arthur Bowers Multi-purpose Compost 2 x 50L Bags (100L) Review

The J. Arthur Bowers Multi-purpose Compost offers great value for money and provides all the nutrients your plants need for their first 4-6 weeks.

This is one of the best composts for the UK market that contains nitrogen for leaf growth, phosphate for strong root development and potassium to encourage abundant flowering and fruiting. The compost also contains trace elements to promote plant health and improve your plant’s resistance to disease.

This compost has a fairly coarse texture which prevents waterlogging and compacting. This makes it ideal if you have a heavier soil. It also works well in tubs and hanging baskets, though you may need to water these more often than with some other composts.

This is the best multi purpose compost for you if you have a heavy soil that is prone to water-logging.

Pros

  • Good quality and versatile compost - suitable for a range of uses around the garden
  • A good option for heavier soils thanks to the coarse texture
  • 50L bags easier to lift than standard bags of compost
  • Works very well - most users notice a big improvement in their seedling germination rate

Cons

  • Very compacted so you may need to use a trowel to get it out of the bag
  • Not the best compost for growing vegetables
  • Contains peat which many gardeners prefer to avoid

Westland 50L Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best multi purpose compost
  • Nourishes plants for up to five weeks
  • Helps plants produce strong growth
OUR RATING
99
PRICE
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Westland 50L Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes Review

This Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes is the best compost for all-round garden use as it provides nourishment for your plants for up to five weeks and retains moisture well.

The compost has a lovely crumbly texture with no large twigs or lumpy bits. It has enough nutrients to keep plants going for up to five weeks so is perfect for pots and hanging baskets as well as for adding some extra nutrients before planting out in beds. I add a good couple of handfuls to the hole before planting in my beds and borders and it does seem to promote strong growth and plenty of flowers.

My tubs and hanging baskets also do really well when I use this compost and I have had abundant flowers all summer long. It also seems to retain water better than some other brands.

Overall, this is the best compost for general use for all different UK gardens.

Pros

  • Many users find this compost highly effective with plants starting to thrive within a few days
  • Compost is generally smooth with no lumps
  • Contains enough nutrients to keep plants going for up to 5 weeks so is good value for money
  • Retains water slightly better than other brands

Cons

  • Compost is relatively dry and may need rehydrating before use
  • Quality of this compost seems to vary between batches
  • Contains peat which many gardeners prefer to avoid

Scotts Miracle-Gro Levington Multi Purpose Compost 70 Litres

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best compost on a budget
  • Retains water well
  • Loose texture reduces compaction
OUR RATING
94
PRICE
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Scotts Miracle-Gro Levington Multi Purpose Compost 70 Litres Review

Scotts Miracle-Gro Levington Multi Purpose Compost is a low peat formula that is enriched with recycled material and has a moisture lock formula to help it retain more water. It’s the best compost to buy if you are looking for an affordable compost.

On initial opening, this compost seemed a bit uneven in texture, however, I suspect this will help to stop it from becoming compacted in pots. The waterlock technology does seem to work as pots filled with this stayed damp longer than other pots on my patio. Overall, this compost worked well, and my plants thrived, though I did find I needed to feed them a bit sooner than with other composts. It offers great value for money and it’s the best compost to buy on a budget.

Pros

  • Quality compost with most customers noticing an improvement in the health of their plants
  • Low peat formula (although not peat free) which many gardeners prefer
  • Seems to retain more water than many other brands of compost
  • Although very heavy, the bag is slimline which makes it very easy to store

Cons

  • Contains a lot of materials such as twigs, wood and paper which give this compost a slightly lumpy texture

Westland Jack's Magic All Purpose Compost, 60 litres

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Contains organic fertilizer and seaweed extract
  • Encourages healthy root growth
  • Feeds plants for up to five weeks
OUR RATING
92
PRICE
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Westland Jack's Magic All Purpose Compost, 60 litres Review

Westland Jack’s Magic All Purpose Compost is made from 100% natural ingredients, has a lovely crumbly texture and feeds your plants for up to five weeks.

This compost is enriched with organic fertiliser and seaweed extract which improves the root development of plants and increases fruiting and flowering.

I found this compost worked well in pots and beds and was particularly good for vegetables. The plants in my patio pots flowered really well and the rich formula seemed to suit my root vegetables perfectly. If you are looking for the best multi purpose compost this might be just the ticket!

Pros

  • Fine consistency that’s well utilised as a top dressing or filling in small pots
  • Very versatile - suitable for most plants and both indoor and outdoor
  • Feeds plants for up to 5 weeks at a time

Cons

  • Contains peat which many gardeners prefer to avoid due to the environmental impact
  • Some users have reported that it dries out quickly

Things to Know before Buying Multi-Purpose Compost

Compost is organic material that can be added to plants to improve their health. While making your own compost is a great way to make the most of various waste products, pre-bought bags can help beginners to get started with composting. 

A multi-purpose compost is versatile and suitable for most gardens, providing all the nutrients your plants need for healthy growth. There’s composts available to suit a range of soil types, so this is worth bearing in mind before you make a purchase. 

Not sure what else to look for when it comes to the best multi-purpose compost? Take a look at this buyer’s guide.

Benefits of Composting

Adding compost to your soil is one of the best things you can do for your plants. Compost is usually placed on top of existing soil, adding nutrients that will help your plants develop strong roots and healthy flowers. The microorganisms introduced to the soil will also help your plants to repel a number of plant diseases.

Of course, composting is also good for the planet! It’s a great way to recycle kitchen and garden waste.

Ingredients

Multi-purpose composts will contain a range of healthy nutrients and minerals to help your plants thrive, although you should note how long the compost will nourish your plant for. Most will feed your plant for up to 6 weeks. 

The key ingredients to look out for are nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Nitrogen helps with leaf growth, phosphate is for a strong root development, while potassium will encourage flowering and fruiting. 

Volume

I’ve recommended compost bags ranging from 50L up to 70L. If it’s your first time purchasing a new compost, I recommend opting for a smaller volume so you can check that your plants are happy with it. 

While compost can be stored indefinitely, it begins to lose nutrients after three to four months, so try not to purchase a lot more than you need.

Peat vs Peat-Free

Another consideration is whether to purchase organic peat-free compost, or a compost containing peat. Many manufacturers are attempting to lower the peat content in their compost, due to its negative impact on the environment.  

Those that are peat-free generally contain wood-based materials such as woodfibre, sawdust or bark. There are now a range of peat-free composts on the market, although some gardeners feel they are not as effective as those containing peat. Peat-free organic composts also tend to be more expensive as they require more processing. 

Multi-Purpose Compost FAQs

Why use compost? 

Compost is nutrient-rich, which means it’ll help improve soil structure, boost strength in your plant so it can fight diseases, and encourage your plants to produce vibrant and healthy flowers. It should also help retain moisture in the soil, meaning each water should last for longer!

How long does compost last? 

Providing it is stored correctly, compost should last indefinitely. However, the longer it is stored for the more nutrients it loses, and it’s at its best for the first four months after opening. Once it loses its nutritional value, there’s very little point in using it in the garden. 

Sources

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