Best Multi Purpose Compost: Reviews + Buying Guide

Of all the different types of compost available, general purpose compost has to be safest and easiest to work with. These multi-purpose mixes are also known as universal compost because they cater to a plethora of uses in different seasons. As the name suggest, multipurpose compost attempts to create a mixture with a pH and nutrient levels ideal for growing a broad range of plants.

Since multi-purpose compost can be used to germinate seeds, prick seedlings and even replant potted greenery, it eliminates the need to buy different types of compost as the plant’s growth advances.

On top of this, universal composts are usually cheaper compared to those designed for specific use. Their economic value only increases once you realise that you can use them for all your plants; from seeds to grown shrubs.

Key Features and Considerations When Buying Multi-Purpose Compost

i. Fine Texture

This is the most important feature to watch out for. The finer the texture of the compost, the easier it is for seedlings to break through – and roots to weave under. This also means the compost has high moisture holding capabilities.

Most universal composts contain a traditional blend of green compost, lime, peat, and materials like bark or wood bits. Cheaper brands will usually add in lots of bark and wood which can be a problem for delicate seeds i.e. leek and carrots. However, you can always sieve out the large bits for your seed bed.

ii. Proper Storage

If you’re buying compost that’s been stored outside, always ensure that it hasn’t been affected by rain or humidity. Water can easily make its way into the bags making the compost wet and smelly rather than dry, crumbly, and light. Likewise, make sure you store your universal compost in a dry space, especially since it might be around for a long time.

The Best Multi Purpose Compost Reviews

1. Arthur Bowers Multi-purpose Compost


When looking for the best multi-purpose compost, it doesn’t hurt to get a nice, healthy value pack. J. Arthur Bowers have such a deal with their 100 litre pack of universal compost. This deal comes in two 50L bags of highly versatile compost with a coarse texture and is ideal for use on virtually all types of plants.

The universal compost promises balanced, abundant growth and feeds plants for upto 6 weeks. Not only does the coarse texture help with water retention, but it resists compaction overtime allowing for more air to get to the roots. J. Arthur’s Multi-purpose Compost is suitable for sowing seeds, repotting, planting cuttings, containers, and hanging baskets.

What I like about it:

  • Great value for money
  • Comes in 2 50L packs
  • Nice coarse and airy texture

2. Scotts Miracle Grow All Purpose Compost


The main aim of using compost is usually to achieve faster and healthier plant growth. Scotts Miracle Grow All Purpose Compost excels in this respect. Compared to ordinary compost, this one is enriched with 40% more nutrients. The nutrients are released slowly for upto 6 months making plants grow twice the size of those in ordinary garden soil.

In addition to being enriched with miracle gro plant food, Scott’s all purpose compost uses a patented Fibre Smart technology with 100 percent natural and hollow wood fibre. This allows it to provide the optimum balance of both water and air so you can get healthier plants with strong roots. The all purpose compost from Scott is ideal for growing plants, fruits and veggies in either beds or containers.

What I like about it:

  • Made with patented fibre smart technology
  • Contains 100% natural hollow wood fibres
  • Enriched with 40% more nutrients

3. Westland Jacks Magic Compost


Worried about not using a specific purpose compost for your garden? Truth be told, the best compost for staring out a nursery is seed compost. However, it might not be so economical to use, especially as your plant’s life cycle advances. In the later stages, your crops will need a stronger medium.

Westland Jacks Magic Compost is an all purpose blend composing of the finest all natural ingredients that combine to create a pure, balanced growing medium. The compost is specially formulated with peat and enriched with organic fertiliser to feed plants for the first 5 weeks. The compost comes in a 60L bag that weighs 20Kg.

What I like about it:

  • Specially formulated peat based compost
  • Made with 100% natural ingredients
  • Ideal for sowing small seeds

4. Crowders Multi Purpose Compost with John Innes


It’s always nice to find a product whose expectations meet reality. And if you’ve used Crowders Multi Purpose Compost with John Innes, then you know it works exactly as advertised. The compost is formulated with high peat concentration for better moisture retention. However, Crowders added in John Innes formula to give your plants vital nutrition.

So in addition to ensuring your plants are nourished, this all purpose compost also reduces the watering frequency. A great feature no matter where your plants are located. The manufacturer also included innovative West technology so that plants can get a steady feed of nutrients for upto 5 weeks. Compost is ideal for use on all stages of a plant’s life.

What I like about it:

  • Formulated with high peat content
  • Optimum moisture retention
  • Features West technology for slow nutrient release

5. Ambassador Multi Purpose Compost


Planning to bring life into your home with a few potted plants? Or maybe you have a small kitchen garden and want your vegetables to thrive. If you have just a few plants to work with, then you don’t need massive bags of compost lying around unused.

The Ambassador Multi Purpose Compost is a small, 10L bag of compost that is easy to carry and store. But don’t be fooled by the small size, this plant mix can do great things. Ambassador ensured that they put in all the essential trace elements and nutrients that plants require for strong, healthy growth. The compost feeds your plants consistently for 4 to 6 weeks and retains optimum water levels even in potted plants.

What I like about it:

  • Contains all essential trace elements
  • Small bag for a few plants
  • Ideal for seeds, cuttings, and pottings

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the pH of multi purpose compost?

This varies from compost to compost; there are different types of multi purpose compost – those which contain more or less peat, or loam, or that which is designed specially for seedlings. If you know that you have a plant that likes acidic soil, or one that grow best in alkaline conditions, your best bet is to buy a pH testing kit and test your soil that way.

That being said, multi purpose compost is generally suitable for all plants – it may not be their favourite, but it will not kill them off.

Q: How long does multi purpose compost last?

Does multi purpose compost go off? As long as your compost is kept dry and sealed, or at least covered over, it will last indefinitely. As soon as it gets wet however, nutrients start to leach out of it and it will be no good after about 6 months.

Q: What is multi purpose compost used for?

A good multi purpose compost can be used for various different parts of your garden, from hanging baskets to borders and beds, as well as pots. It’s a great medium for planting things that you are not sure about, or that you have not grown before, until you figure out what they like growing in the best.

Multi purpose compost is very forgiving! It can be used for seeding and potting on too, though you might wish to add some fertiliser to plants which are going to be living in it for the rest of their lives.

Q: Can multi purpose compost be used for indoor plants?

Although there is specialist compost designed for house plants, you can just use multi purpose if you have run out, or if you have a plant that desperately needs a new home. Drainage can sometimes be an issue for multi purpose compost, but you can get around this problem by adding some sharp sand which should help any drainage issues.


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