Anyone Use Gardner & Bloome Potting Soil?

blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)March 5, 2010

Not being a fan of so-called "cutesy" names (except for the monikers I fashion myself which are, invariably, utterly adorable), I hesitated to buy the unfamiliar Gardner & Bloome brand of potting soil while shopping at our neighborhood McLendon's. A McL staffer highly recommended it, however, and I AM a fan of this local chain, so I bravely bought a bag. Getting home and opening it up, my doubts returned. While the list of ingredients included worm castings, the mix looked mostly like woodchuck food. Still, McLendon's had recommended it, so I swallowed my doubts and transplanted my sweet baby toms from their seed-starting trays to individual pots filled with G & B. The plants are doing okay so far (after 5 days), but the mix dries out so quickly, I'm thinking it lacks sufficient quantities of nutrients for good sustained growth.

Whew. What an incredibly long-winded build-up for a simple question: Do you use this potting soil? How good of a growing medium have you found it to be? (Okay, two questions.)

Rain

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gardengal48

Have used it for years. Actually prefer the Blue Ribbon Blend but both are excellent products with a good consistancy and great durability. I wouldn't consider using any other commercial potting soil with the exception of the Master Nursery label, which is exactly the same stuff made by the same vendor but just sold under a separate label to associated Master Nursery members.

As to nutrient levels, they are container mixes and so anything grown in a container will need supplemental fertilization as the season progresses but you are starting out with a full compliment thanks to the worm castings and kelp meal (plus the bat guano and alfalfa meal in the BRB)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 4:22PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Rain, at least it doesn't have the word miracle in the name for those of us too lofty to think we need miracles :)

The Gardner and Bloome products are great - I go back and forth between that one and the Cornell Lite 'recipe' that a local nursery has bagged for us here.

You should try their soil building compost in a compressed bale if you have a need for additional compost. I'll sometimes use it as a top dressing/mulch and buy some every year, one of my garden staples.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:22PM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)

Well, thank you kindly! You have verily restored my faith in God, country, apple pie and our local hardware chain.

Will keep an eye out for the Blue Ribbon Blend, Gardengal. Morz8, I hope not to have to use G & B's compressed bale, as am the proud (lofty?) owner of my very first pile of finished compost and have fallen in love with its chocolate brown appearance, fluffy texture and rich, earthy aroma -- now THAT'S what I call a miracle!

It's a sunny Saturday in early March. Doesn't get any better than this, oui?

Rain

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 12:46PM
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gloria_gawa_roadrunner_com

I just planted veg. in raised beds with Gardner and Bloom potting soil. Never again. The soil is more like mulch and it has no substance. The veg. are doing ok but not great. The garden is on a drip system and I still have to water with hose. The hot weather hasn't hit yet and this soil requires a lot more watering than some of the other potting soils I have used. I would strongly advise anyone thinking of using this potting soil to check it out before buying a large amount. I also forgot to mention the over abundance of mushroom growing on top and down in the soil. Don't know if this is good or bad.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 2:27AM
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anuparaj(Zone 7 - PNW)

I absolutely adore..(Yes. I will use the word 'ADORE' in a gardening blog) G&B products. My raised beds for my veggies are mostly a mix of G&B potting soil with a mix of either G&B Farmyard Blend or G&B Harvest Supreme. Both these are soil conditioner. I do fertilize my plants with the usual suspect like fish emulsion, seaweed extract, Dr. earth products but G&B for me is FANTASTIC. LOVE IT. :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 3:28PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I would not fill raised beds with pure potting soil. Potting soil is made more porous than is normal for actual soil (dirt) because the walls of pots interfere with aeration.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:22PM
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loubell(7)

I have also seen advice against using potting soil in raised beds. If I were importing soil for raised beds I would use maybe topsoil and blend in some gardener and bloome soil building compost, 3 cubic ft. bag.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:27PM
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sjerin

Anyone know how I would find out whether sludge is included in the mix? Apparently this is common in "organic" mixes.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:55PM
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quillfred

sjerin, there was an article in Mother Jones that touched on this issue as Kelloggs had been noted using sludge. When I questioned Kelloggs re: G and B, they vehemently denied using it that that line of products. I crossed them off my list for that reason.

I am wondering if some composted wood is also adding lead (from old paint). I have seen building refuse in local topsoil yards.

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/04/your-organic-compost-really-sewage-sludge-rosario-dawson-kellogg-amend

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 6:08PM
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gardengal48

Let's be clear about what we are discussing - potting soils contain no sludge and only minimal compost.

Kellogg makes a lot of different soil products and markets them under a number of different labels. The Gardner & Bloome products are their premum line and all the soil products are fully organic. Sludge, aka biosolids, are contained in only a couple of Kellogg's non-G&B label soil amendments but NOT in any potting soils.

FWIW, biosolids are routine components in a variety of common soil products - MiracleGro's Organic Choice Garden Soil for one; Tagro, GroCo, SoundGro for some local products. And they ARE considered organic components/amendments. You just cannot use them in a certified organic garden, which tends to be beyond the scope of most residential gardens.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 4:25PM
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quillfred

Call me old-fashioned by I am troubled to hear how prevalent adding sludge is to soils or amendments.

I would think that others, if they knew these contained sludge (which includes industrial waste with heavy metals, medications as well as treated human sewage) it would also give them pause to purchase these soil products especially in the food garden areas.

I know sludge must go somewhere. I had thought it was only used in forested areas prior to learning of the incident with Rosario Dawson.

Thanks gardengal for the heads up re: other products. I will avoid them. I will screen through OMRI as well.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

It depends on whether or not you buy into the assurances that come with these products.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 1:22PM
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