Thread: Wonder Soil
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Old January 17, 2015   #33
aclum
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Merced, CA
Posts: 751
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Hi Father'sDaughter,

I've been meaning to post an update on Wonder Soil, so thanks for providing me with a little "nudge" . And thanks, Kurt, for your observations. I'm pretty clueless in regard to container gardening so your observations are really especially helpful.

I haven't really had any dust issues as Kurt describes as I've been hydrating my Wonder Soil blocks "in place" rather than sawing off chunks. But I can see how it might be easier if you had a lot of like-sized containers to fill to pre-cut the block into smaller chunks "to fit" for each container before adding water.

Rather than sawing, here's what I've been doing to hydrate smaller quantities of soil:

1. Place the entire 11" x 11" x 5" block of Wonder Soil in a slightly larger bin or tote (I happen to be using an old refrigerator vegetable drawer about 15" x 16" x 9-1/2" tall).

2. Slowly pour about a quart of water at a time onto the top of the block so the water sinks in without running off the sides of the block too much. As the block absorbs the water and expands, scrape the loose soil off to the side or into another container. It helps to sort of scrape out a slight depression in the top of the block as you go to help contain the water as it seeps into the block.

3. Repeat the water/let expand/scrape cycle until you have all the loose soil you need. The remainder of the block stays dry and compressed - ready until the next "harvest."

4. Be careful not to hydrate too much of the block at one time or you might have an incredible hulk situation on your hands with the soil overflowing the bin!


I keep the Wonder Soil bin on my family room "potting table" and just hydrate as needed - which has actually been fairly frequently recently since I've started growing wheatgrass as well as starting and potting up my tomatoes, etc. for spring. The bin doesn't take up much room and is generally very clean to work with.

So far, the Wonder Soil has been working out beautifully for my wheatgrass (and other) sprouting projects and my for my vegetable seed germination and potting up. I used DE last year and, while I got great results, the dust factor just became too much to deal with for me. I used DE optisorb for a few recent no-root tomato grafts, but plan to experiment using Wonder Soil for the grafting, too.

I should mention that over time, I found I needed to add a bit of dilute fertilizer (Texas Tomato Food) to the tomato seedlings I started back in December as well as the cucumbers and that seemed to help. Apparently the "no need to add fertilizer" for 4 or however many months Wonder Soil label claims does not apply in my case.

Hope this helps!
Anne
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