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.
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.
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.
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.
I will let you make your own mind up here on the size, but for me, this was very disappointing.
You can see that five bags didn’t go far when filling this bed; remember, this is meant to be 250L of 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.
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.
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!