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Old May 9, 2013   #1
BarbJ
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Default Recipe 420 potting mix mini trial

I work in a garden center and we're thinking of carrying this brand of potting soil/mix. (around here all mixes for containers are called "Potting Soil" but are 99% all soil-less, so please no griping about it containing "dirt", it doesn't)

My boss gave me two 2 cu ft bags to test out, because he knows I grow veggies. I also was given a small bag of Buffaloam potting soil to test as well.

So the Emerald Triangle Blend Recipe 420 potting soil was used to pot up a San Marzano Pole tomato and an English Telegraph cucumber into a 15 gallon nursery pot each. One bag of 2 cu ft fit nicely into each 15 gal pot with a little left over.

I'm going to take pic about every week or so and see how they do.

I also did a comparison planting with the Recipe 420 and another brand we're thinking of stocking; Buffaloam potting soil, which is made from composted Buffalo manure.

I planted three mimulus flowers from the same 6-pack into each 12" hanging basket. I'll take pics of these too.

So far I like the Recipe 420. It was nice and dark, smelled good too. It drained a little slower than my own mix, which has more bark and sand, but seemed richer. We shall see.

I don't know where these are available nationwide. They may be local to CA. And this is in no way scientific, just a casual comparison. Should be fun!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 420 potting soil trial.jpg (369.4 KB, 183 views)
File Type: jpg 420 ingredients.jpg (355.2 KB, 180 views)
File Type: jpg 420 close up.jpg (668.1 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg home seeded san marzano pole tomatoes 5-7-13.jpg (483.4 KB, 169 views)
File Type: jpg English Telegraph cuke going into 420 5-7-13.jpg (394.8 KB, 168 views)
File Type: jpg san marzano pole root into 420.jpg (617.5 KB, 171 views)
File Type: jpg san m pole in 420 on 4-7-13.jpg (394.0 KB, 164 views)
File Type: jpg 420 and Buffaloam grow off 5-7-13.jpg (532.5 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg Mimulus from same 6 pack kawahara.jpg (372.7 KB, 176 views)
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Old May 9, 2013   #2
Worth1
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420 is the code number for weed.

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Old May 10, 2013   #3
Virtex
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Is this a Big Box store? 420 is the code used by the police when they go on a pot bust. If your a national chain I think corporate will not like you selling that. If your a hydroponics store then you could probably get a way with it. It sounds like some good stuff, probably good for CASH CROPS.
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Old May 10, 2013   #4
BarbJ
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Nope, not a big box store. And yeah, we are aware, the Emerald Triangle is in our state, lol!
It's good for all crops too.
Fast growing annuals that produce a heavy crop...yep perfect for tomatoes.
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Old May 10, 2013   #5
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Barb nice test. i would test this also 420 with home compost,it sure looks nice. Last spring was my second year using nice potting soil from small garden stores. Really nice for flowers and herbs in pots.
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Old May 10, 2013   #6
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I'm always amused at the 420 related responses from around the country. It's become such a huge industry here in CA that such a directly labeled product would likely only sell faster around here. It's just become sort of ordinary, and growers pay ridiculously premium prices for "specialty" nutrients, etc....often when a much cheaper alternative is available but not marketed in the same way.

Out of curiosity, how much is your store selling this mix for?
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Old May 10, 2013   #7
BarbJ
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We haven't priced it yet, but it's similar to Foxfarm's Ocean Forest soil which we sell for 13.99 for the same size. I'm assuming it will be a similar price.
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Old May 31, 2013   #8
BarbJ
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Here we are about 3 weeks later.

First the two hanging baskets with the mimulus in them.

Left side is Buffaloam, a potting mix made from composted buffalo manure.
Right side is 420 potting mix, ingredients are listed further back in this thread.

Same watering, same light, same six pack of flowers, divided, nothing else added.

Next pics are tomatoes with a home mix of bark fines, peat, perlite, dolomite, and light dose of E.B. Stone all purpose 5-5-5.
Next to it is 420 mix tomato. 420 is on the left, home mix on the right.

Then two cukes. Home mix on the left, 420 on the right.

What do you all think?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Buffaloam and 420.jpg (614.6 KB, 171 views)
File Type: jpg home mix & 420.jpg (641.9 KB, 173 views)
File Type: jpg home mix cukes.jpg (456.0 KB, 170 views)
File Type: jpg 420 cukes.jpg (511.2 KB, 171 views)
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Old June 1, 2013   #9
Worth1
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420 looks like a winner if I got the pictures straight.

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Old June 1, 2013   #10
Crandrew
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I start all my seedlings in ocean forest or happy frog.
Let me tell you, all these specialty mixes out Cal were created for one reason maybe 2. Cash crop support and money reinvestment to become honest business people. Regardless of what you support, they are great products and better than any crap at a box store.
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Old June 1, 2013   #11
BarbJ
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They are good mixes, though I wonder how they hold up once the mix of organic fertilizers (feather meal, seabird guano, crab meal, etc.) is used up. Will it still work well with added fertilizer later in the year, or next year? I'm interested to see how that goes. For now it did really great.

I felt a bit bad for the Buffaloam, I really hoped it would do well too. It just doesn't seem to drain well, and I think it packed down somewhat too, seems to not hold enough air when wet.

I'll keep checking in through the summer and see how it goes.

I also see that my home made mix needs some nutrient boost! I just gave them a feeding of organic tomato food and a scoop of manure, hope they perk up.
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Old June 2, 2013   #12
tlintx
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Thank you for doing these trials. I can already tell I'm going to need to waaaay kick up my nutrients in my homemade mix (similar to yours).


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Old June 2, 2013   #13
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that mix sounds awesome. crab shell will help with controlling root aphids and other insects that have chitin in their shells organically.

any compostables that contain chitin will promote the growth of bacteria that produce chitinase.
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Old June 3, 2013   #14
RayR
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Recipe 420 does look like an interesting mix.
Anybody familiar with Sanctuary Soil and Feed potting soils? One of the local hydroponics stores here just started carrying some of their line. They have a new sea blend called Victory Brand Superior Garden Mix. I haven't tried that yet, but I did buy Empire Builder
I love the hydro stores, they get quality stuff that you would never find at big box stores or your average garden center around here.
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Old June 4, 2013   #15
Faced1
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That superior garden mix looks great. I would add a little alfalfa to it for the growth hormones, but other than that it looks to be very complete.
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