For me past couple of years that has been Klasmann Deilmann soil. Every summer I use their seedling substrate and for my flower pots I use their Florabella soil. They both work wonderfuly for me. Seedling substrates give my seedlings everything they need and the substrate is light enough not to suffocate my plants. Florabella soil is also good quality soil that doesn't retain too much water and my plants grow good in it. I mix it with medium quality soil that I buy in local supermarkets because all Klasmann soil is pretty expensive, but still even mixed with less quality soil it works good. Besides flowers I also plant my potted vegetables in it and with a good amount of soil there's no need for any extra fertilisers.
But this spring I started seeing many people carrying small cardboard boxes of soil and I was intrigued. This new brand called HomeOgarden started appearing more and more in our stores.
HomeOgarden, Slovenian company founded in 2012 makes homeopathic and organic solutions for hobby gardeners. Right now they offer homeopathic mixtures for plant health, fertilisers, help against rodents and soil.
I was interested in soil so past May I decided to buy a bag.
I bought a box of organic plus soil. Organic plus soil is coconut fibre soil, price is in range of medium quality potting soils. Box weights only 2kg and with adding water the content rises to full 50 litres of soil. I have to say that I liked the idea of dehydrated soil. It's much easier to carry home and doesn't take much space. With the practical handle on top soil can be brought home without any extra bag.
Preparing the soil for usage is also very easy. Instructions are to lift the bag inside the box, spread bag with fertiliser on top of the soil brick, add some water, wait for the brick to drink the water and then add some more water.
After buying the soil I started reading on coconut fibres and every article said the coco peat couldn't be used alone and had to be used mixed with normal soil. That confused me a bit because here instructions were very clear, pump the soil with water, plant your plant in soil and move the bag where you want it. There was no mention of mixing anything, so I had to test is as soon as possible. Since the seedling season was already over and I've planted most of my plants I decided to test the soil sowing some biannual flowers and lettuce I had to sow. I had at home some medium quality soil in the same price range bought in local supermarket so I decided to sow all my seeds both in supermarket soil and in HomeOgarden soil.
I tried to use same amount of soil in both boxes, same amount of seeds that came from same bags and same amount of water after the sowing.
In the end I've filled over 50 containers with soil planting corn, flowers like hollyhocks, digitalis, hesperis matronalis, 10 varieties of lettuce.
I have also sown 2 plastic cases of onions
and I decided to transplant my rhubarb seedlings
I left my lettuce and onions in shady part of the yard where sun would not kill them and I divided my rhubarb seedlings both to shade and to direct sun to see what they like more. The rest of the containers I left in the sunny place covered with protection fabric.
20 days later I made my first comparison of 2 soils. The results were not what I expected...
Results in part 2 tomorrow :)