SupaGrow Organic Compost – Is It Any Good?

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There has been a lot of chatter around this compost online recently, thanks to its super low price at homebase. But is it any good? Is the price actually a bargain, or is it too good to be true – Let’s find out.

I have just finished building a new greenhouse on my allotment and need to fill up some raised beds, so this compost seemed just the ticket. Nice and cheap – perfect for filling up large raised beds. So I went and bought 20 bags – here’s what I found.

Foreign Objects
Smaller Bags Than Expected
Decent Looking & Smelling

This is cheap compost, so you expect a few issues, but I have never had compost with so many foreign objects in it before. Here are a few of the things I found.

Glass
Glass
Apple Sticker
Apple Sticker
Christmas tree Lights
Christmas tree Lights

This is just a small selection of what I found. There were also plenty of stones and even bits of pottery. Some bags were perfect, and others had many more objects in them; it was a bit of a lottery.

From the objects I found in the compost, I’m pretty confident that this is municipal waste. Made by the council from the contents of everyone’s green bins, which to me at least explains the Christmas lights, glass and apple sticker!

This brings me to my next issue with this compost, the organic label. How can it possibly be organic with this many foreign objects in it. Last time I checked, Christmas lights, plastics, and glass are not organic materials. How is this allowed on the packaging? If these many random objects are making their way in, the materials going in are not being checked. So how can they have any clue whether it is organic or not? Misleading at best and a complete lie at worst.

Bag Size

So after the foreign objects issue, let’s look at another big complaint many people have about this compost, the bag size.

The bags are advertised as 50L, but they are not what you would expect from a 50L bag. They are much smaller.

Apparently, they are 50L at the time of packaging, according to the manufacturer. But don’t all compost makers measure their bags this way? These are definitely smaller than you would expect for 50L.

To show the differences, I compared it to this 35L bag of John Innes from Growmoor. So the SupaGrow has 15L more in it, according to the packaging.

35 Litres on the left 50 on the right
35 Litres on the left 50 on the right
Small for a 50 litre bag
Small for a 50-litre bag

I will let you make your own mind up here on the size, but for me, this was very disappointing.

5 Bags in this bed
5 Bags in this bed
Poured Out
Poured Out

You can see that five bags didn’t go far when filling this bed; remember, this is meant to be 250L of compost.

The Compost

Now here’s where it starts getting better for this compost, the actual quality of the compost isn’t bad at all. It is really dark, smells lovely and is actually quite fine.

Inside a Bag
Inside a Bag

While there is the odd stick in it, as you can see above, the compost is much better than other cheap composts I have used.

One common feature of really cheap composts is some weird, white fibrous material. These bags don’t have it, and overall I am happy with the quality of the compost, but the proof is in the pudding, and I will need to see how my crops get on before knowing for sure.

Nice and dark compost
Nice and dark compost

My Final Thoughts

So while this compost is not the bargain it appears at first due to the smaller-than-expected bag size, it is still cheap. I got 20 bags for £60, and I believe it has been on sale for even less than this in the past. Compared to other cheap composts, I would actually prefer to use this.

For filling raised beds and for use in bulk, I still think it isn’t a bad deal, but give it a good sieve if you can before using it!

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5 Comments

  1. Ooh….have you, or are you going to, review any other cheap composts? I would be interested to know. I have used Lidl’s with varying degrees of success. I wasn’t sure if it was my fault, or my seeds.

    1. Ive got a huge compost trial coming up, going to hopefully be about 30 different types! I will have lots of cheap ones in there too

  2. Thanks Daniel for the excellent heads up on compost. I have bought 60L bags from Asda which is very fibrous like brown straw and 50L bags from Aldi which is far more rotted down more like soil which seems far better for potting on but like you will have to wait and see!

  3. I have actually measured the contents of a few bags of this after emptying them by hand and fluffing the compost up as much as possible and it is working out to around 20 litres a bag – so somehow it’s lost 60% of its volume since filling , the unopened bags I have are 60 x 48 x 6 cms (17.3kg in volume) so for the 20 bags that I bought thinking I had 1000 litres I ended up with 400 litres – not such a good bargain then , as 1000 litres I wanted would cost £ 150 not £60 – I’m currently waiting for a response from the supplier

  4. As usual people only see the price, and because it is cheap they think they are getting a bargain! The first clue is it does not say multi-purpose, or potting compost and if you look on the bag it says it is:
    “perfect to dig into existing beds and borders”
    “Organic soil improver”
    “Improving soil structure”
    “Mulching”
    “Planting out”
    Nowhere does it say it for starting plants off or growing in pots and containers. I bought this as a soil improver and for that it seems to be very good. Always check what you are buying and not just go by price!

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