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Any opinions on Miracle Grows Mositure Control Potting Soil?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Az Gardener, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Has anyone used this product for any length of time? any reviews? I am considering using it this year for my winter flowers. It is very light and I'm concerned about its ability to hold the moisture. I know it is supposed to have those polymers to keep the plants moist I just hate to do so many pots without some hands on feed back.
  2. Az

    I used it with some Begonia's on a small job I did and they are still doing awesome.....
  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    We use the stuff in large urns to plant ferns in. I mean those giant Kimberly Queen varieties. The miracle fertilizers are prilled and offer 2-3 months of feeding. The other ingredients such as peat moss, ground bark-vermuculite and some sand is finely unique. Those crystals...or gel granules do what they advertise, but considering peat is hydrophobic, the use of water to keep the granules hydrated is a push to pull problem.
    The potting soil will dry out just as any other for that fact. By the time, the gel is hydrated, the soil around them is dry. Other than the cost, it is a good product.
    I have planted pansies, petunias, and most all annuals in this material during the spring time in beds as well as patio or concrete pots around smoking areas. It holds the moisture for me on the average of 4-5 days depending on the heat, sun exposure,etc. If the mixture is used in a green house or lawn hot house setting, then the moisture will hold longer.

    I don't know how many pots you are talking about heeling, but do you have any local growers or nurseries that can sell you some ProMix or Organic #4 mixtures? There are several local nurseries in my area that will sell me any type of mixture needed depending on what I want. Since, I carry a Landscaper's license I don't use a State regulated 5,000 sq.ft. heel yard of my own. So, the use of bulk mixes are not in my needs. I purchase the mix from local growers and add some of my own sand and black cow pasteurized manure.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    I've used it, but never liked how light the mix is.

    So what I've done is mixed the miracle grow 50/50 with a cheaper potting soil. Seems like a get better stability to allow the roots to hold the plants in place better.

    Another trick I've done for pots is to use vermiculite (or perlite, I can't remember as it's been a couple of years since I've done any potted annuals) in the bottom third of large pots to keep the weight down. On top of that I've used 3-4 inch saucers to hold water instead of letting it drain completely through, and this allows my customers a little lee-way in their watering habits so the plants don't die.

    The vermiculite also wicks moisture up out of the saucer when the top portion starts to dry out.

    Some people say the saucers hold water and allow for wet feet on the plants, but the 80 year old + crowd likes it as they don't have to water as often.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have always used a bulk mix from a local blender. But I wanted to get away from bulk and use a bagged product so my maint crews can fill the pots on a regular service day. Most of our pots are on irrigation anyway I just know the clients will perceive value by seeing the bags. I just don't want to have any problems.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Another thing I thought of AZ is that one person mentioned that those polymers that are in the mix absorb moisture. So what happens when when the soil starts to dry? Does the polymers steal moisture away from the roots of the plants in the pots?

    Something to ponder I guess.
  7. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,460

    I've not been real happy with their products since they've added the polymers. Their organics as well as the others have each given me bad fungus gnat infestations lately. I think the water retention contributes to that, but it appears the high peat amounts and probably the leaf litter in the organics are rife with gnat eggs and the fungus they thrive on. I've changed to products using coco coir rather than peat for my houseplants and indoor foodstuffs. Not sure if you are looking for something in large scale for business or for you personal grows. Look into Bio Bizz (for coir, less gnat issues) or Fox Farms Ocean Forest (for great organic ferts and structure). (This is from an avid hobbyists growing experience, rather than business uses, so take it for what it's worth.)

    I've had my best results taking the either of both of the two above and mixing in more of my favorite ingredients like DE, green sand/play sand, worm castings, bat guano, perlite and/or vermiculite, more coir, my garden compost, mushroom compost, etc.
  8. garden.nanny

    garden.nanny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    You can buy those moisture crystals in bulk - just add them to your mix. It's just silica I think - they use it in baby diapers to hold the moisture. Not sure where you buy it but I have a friend that is in the turf business and they add it to their seed mixes for DOT applications- keeps the seed moist so they don't have to water so much.
    go to:
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  9. garden.nanny

    garden.nanny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    I think you can find those crystals at craft stores too, and maybe flower shops.

    I've seen people use them for cut flower arrangements and centerpieces.

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