I’ve been putting raised beds in for the past cople of months, trying to get them in for the growing season. The first batch was filled with Miracle Gro Nature’s Care organic raised bed soil with approximately 1/4 of sand mixed in. My top soil is really poor quality, and whatever I excavated before hitting the clay went back in the bottom of the raised bed, with the rest being Miracle Gro.
Then Home Depot started carrying Kellogg’s:
It seemed like a better deal at the time ($8.64 for 2 cubic ft vs. $7.97 for 1.5 cu ft of Miracle Gro) so I went for it, without doing any research.
The soil itself definitely looks different. It’s dryer and looser that Miracle Gro. The bag instructions say to water it extensively, which I did, plus it has been raining a lot.
My peppers, leeks and spring onions went into the Miracle-Gro bed, and look happy. They haven’t grown much in the two weeks, which I am blaming on the cold weather, but they look healthy. The tomatoes and zucchini that went into Kellogg’s look yellow and anemic. They havent grown either, and the zucchini are withering away.
I also planted some cucumbers in both raised beds, and all except one got sunburned and died (I am starting another batch). I am not sure if I can blame their demise on the soil.
I am now reading the reviews for Kellogg’s and they are mixed. Mostly good, but a lot of people are having experiences similar to mine. I have also found out that the soil is mostly wood chips mixed with perlite and a small dose of organic fertilizer.
The company seems to be good about responding to the negative reviews. They stress that the fertilizer added to the dirt is only enough for several weeks, and more should be added. I haven’t fertilized yet, but it’s only been 2-3 weeks since the plants went in.
I also planted two raspberry beds this past weekend. One went into Kellogg’s at which point Home Depot ran out of it, and I reverted to Miracle-Gro for the second raspberry bed.
The question’s I have:
Has anyone used this soil, and what was your experience?
Can the stunted growth be attributed to the cold weather, or is the soil also to blame?
What can I do to make things better, short of excavating the beds ans replacing the soil entirely?
I am leaning towards fertilizing with some 4-4-4 organic fertilizer, adding some Miracle-Gro soil around the plants and mixing it into the top layer of the soil between ths plants. I’d be grateful for any suggestions though. Thanks in advance.