Using WonderSoil for seed starting

I had great results using coconut coir last growing season it was great to work with, retained water great for young seedlings, and was economically priced.  The only challenge was actually finding some to use this year.  No luck in local stores, last year I only could find a single block in one hardware store.  Online there are plenty of locations that sell them, but unless you have a need for a couple metric tons, the cost of shipping can be more than the the product itself.


Finally, I found a solution to my problem WonderSoil  Their main product line consists primarily of the same core component but they sell it in many different convenient sizes for various uses.  One great feature of the product is it expands up to 12 times its original size.  For someone like myself that does not have the space to store bags of peat/potting mix around my already full garage this is a great feature.  You can check out all of their products but the ones that felt matched my growing needs were the following:

  • Shake, Water, and Plant — 1/2 inch mini wafers that can be added to any of your pots.  In my case I underestimated the expansion of these little things and made a little mess and it overflowed on my table (apparently 3 was the magic number not 4)
  • The Tube — There are larger wafers made specifically for 4 inch pots, in my case this would be newspaper pots
  • Reground Wafers — This is basically a loose version available in 2 or 5 lb bags.  This is a more economical option which I will plan on using when doing larger seed trays.

For Christmas I got indoor seed starting kit which came with pots/seeds/peat pellets.  I decided this would be a great opportunity to do a little side by side comparison.  From the start I was WonderSoil seemed like the obvious winner.  After adding a little water, it fully expanded in just a few seconds and was fluffy and ready for me to drop a seed in, the peat was a swampy mess.

start

IMG_1527
Peat pellets Left, WonderSoil Right

After a few minutes and fluffing with a fork the peat was ready to planting.  I put cucumber seeds in both peat and WonderSoil pots and I will provide some updates on how things progress on my little experiment.

After the WonderSoil had some time to settle in my cheap LED grow box I did see some strange formations appear in the soil.

image

I little concerned I went back to their product and I believe this is their “water saving polymers” in action which I would assume is some sort of gel crystal which is supposed to save up to 50% water.  They also boast about use of worm castings which I am definitely a fan of as well as addition of a balance of various micronutrients.

I will have to wait and see if the product produces as well as it claims, but I must say I am definitely impressed at this point and have high hopes for WonderSoil for this years seedlings.

UPDATES:

Christmas light LED grow box – Update #1 (WonderSoil)

8 Responses to “Using WonderSoil for seed starting”

  1. jimmycrackedcorn Says:

    This looks like a fascinating product. Please do post updates when they are available.


  2. Red Icculus Says:

    I have used coir in hydro, but never as a potting soil replacement. The fact that they can do it with 3 ingredients is amazing. I am actually going to be doing a product review of Wonder Soil within the next week.


  3. Red Icculus Says:


  4. Sarah Says:

    I don’t want to be a spoil sport but those polymers are kind of scary. They seem to be toxic and never go away but then I guess we are surrounded by plastic that never goes away. I’ll look for the link to the research.


  5. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Sarah, everything I have read has mentioned “non-toxic and last for 5 years” curious where exactly it goes and agree that this is one of those things we may not know all the possible short/long term effects. I know during Christmas time we got some “Magic Snow” which I assume is the same stuff (add water gets really big) same label with non-toxic. I would definitely like to see any more information you have on this.


  6. cocoagro Says:

    I think you can find good information about gardening from this site.Please have a lookhttp://www.cocoagro.com


  7. Vernon V. Says:

    I am very interested in hearing about your results with Wonder Soil. I have recently gotten into gardening and as a result found myself helping out at Wonder Soil. Am I biased? Not a bit. I know it works and I developed a relationship here. I recently used the reground the I mixed with grass seed and wow! A lawn in 9 days! It happens.
    In answer to the above: Polymers not a problem, biodegradable in four years to a grain of sand. They save water, retain nutrients and build a stronger root system. (The roots ‘seek’ out these hundreds of tiny ‘iv’ packets and tap into them.)
    The soil saves space and shipping (it expands 9 times, no water weight is shipped) and nutrients can be added that you can’t get in a regular dry soil. We also are offering our pure coir blocks with some of the lowest salt levels on the market. The newest ‘cube’ also comes buffered with calcium. Great for hydro or as a soil amendment. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Vernon@wondersoil.com


  8. Computerized grow box update - The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] 18 but gave six away at a recent gardening talk), 2 cucumber plants (had one fatality from Peat/WonderSoil experiment, looks like Peat lost), 6 pepper plants (need transplanting), and a cilantro plant which was the […]


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