Thread: Wonder Soil
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Old November 25, 2014   #11
aclum
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Merced, CA
Posts: 751
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Hi,

It's been a couple of weeks since I first started working with the Wonder Soil and, at this point, I only have good things to say about it.

I've used it to fill my 3 elevated salad tables that I had previously filled with various potting mixes over the past 6 or so years with the most recent additions being with Pro-Mix HP. I cleaned out most, but not quite all, of the old mix before refilling things with the Wonder Soil. The beds are basically just pine board sides with 1/4" hardware cloth bottoms that are lined with weedblock so they drain very well without losing any of the soil mix.

I've removed the solid covering from the greenhouse where I have 2 of the beds and just have the shade cloth in place so any rain can come through. The third bed is under the patio roof but right at the edge so that it gets wet when it rains. The weather's been pretty mild be we've had a few good days of rain in the past couple of weeks.

Compared to Pro-Mix and other mixes with a high peat content, the Wonder Soil is a dream to hydrate. I've nearly always had problems keeping the peat mixes properly hydrated. I tend to let them get too dry on the surface so they so that when I water, a good deal of the water drains straight through the mix without really wetting the soil all over like it should.

The Wonder Soil cube was easy to hydrate to begin with and once wet, retained the moisture without being at all soggy. I thought the moisture crystals were really helpful in this regard. They're small enough so they don't all come bubbling up to the soil surface in blobs like I've seen some types of moisture retaining crystals do. Tthe Wonder Soil drains really well in my application so it never really felt overly wet or soggy - even after some pretty steady rain.

The Wonder Soil is also very clean to work with. No larger bits and chunks of things like I've found in other potting mixes (including Pro-Mix) and the least "dusty" of any of the mixes I've worked with. When done mixing the soil, you can just sort of brush off your hands against each other to clean off the WS - it doesn't really get what I'd call "dirty" or muddy when wet. It seems to stay light and fluffy even when it's pretty much fully saturated with water.

So far, all my little transplants of various greens and radishes are thriving in the elevated beds filled with Wonder Soil. I've started some Picolino cucumber seeds in the WS (100% germination in 3 days and currently growing rapidly under lights) and have been using the WS in my seed sprouting trays. This is my first time with sprouting (wheatgrass, broccoli, and sunflower) and everything's growing really fast. The fine texture of the soil seems to work really well for sprouting purposes - all the seeds stay on the soil surface as they should and don't drop down nooks and crannies on the soil surface like they might with a coarser mix. And, as I mentioned before, the WS holds the moisture but still drains well.

I'm planning to grow my Picolino Cucumbers indoors under lights in a tote filled with WS and fertilized as needed with Texas Tomato Food. (Don't have the link handy but there's a good Youtube video you can look up by BoilingFrog Productions on growing cucumbers hydroponically under LED lights using the Picolino cucumbers). Supposedly the various additives to the Wonder Soil provide fertilization up to 4 months, but I'm not sure if it'll last that long - esp. outdoors where the beds might be subjected to heavy rain (one can always hope ).

So far, the Wonder Soil has worked great for sprouting, seed starting, and potting up. I've never done any long term container gardening though, so it remains to be seen how it will all work out as the season progresses and we go through various weather conditions. (I'll probably put a clear plastic sheet over the top of my shadecloth greenhouse if we get too much rain and the plants start to have problems due to that).

I haven't paid too much attention to the finer points of soil building and management, fertilizing, potting mixes, etc. in the past - so take that into account. I like to hear what some of the more knowledgeable or experienced people might have to say about Wonder Soil. Kurt, have you been able to try yours out yet?

I've ordered Wonder Soil from HD 3x so far and will probably be ordering some more before too long as I expand my container growing areas. As I've said, it takes a $45 order for the free home delivery, but it's not hard for me to find other little HD products that also have the free shipping deal to make up an order if I don't want to buy 4 cubes of the soil at a time.

So..... so far so good! (Just hope I haven't jinxed things by raving about the product so much ).

Anne

BTW, I have no association with any company that makes or sells the Wonder Soil!
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