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Old 02-04-2004, 03:34 PM
Cicero_wnb
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

I want to fill my newly built 4'x24' raised bed, over 1 ft deep, with
a good soil to grow vegetables and herbs (and maybe some flowers too,
why not). I purchased 5 40-lb bags of top soil, different brands, from
local stores, and sent samples from each to our Extension Service for
testing. Based on the results I got back, and also from price
considerations, I will choose one named Garden Magic Top Soil,
produced by Michigan Peat. Now that I'm looking more closely at this
product, I noticed that instructions on the bag talk about using the
product to "top your soil". Specific recommendations for using this
product a

-Top dresses lawns and gardens
-Patches bare spots on lawns
-Loosens heavy soils
-Improves moisture retention in existing soils

(this is verbatim from their web site)

Interestingly, there is no mention of using this product as your soil,
period. It's always about doing something to your existing soil in
order to improve it. So I called Michigan Peat and asked whether this
particular product is suitable for use as the only soil (as opposed to
something used to enrich existing soil). The person I spoke with
seemed to be caught by surprise by my question, and after a few
seconds of silence (and apparent hesitation), slowly said "yes, it
should work". So the official answer from the company, technically
speaking, was "yes", but I didn't feel exactly reassured. Perhaps it
would help if I mention that they describe the composition of Magic
Garden Top Soil as a "blend of dark reed sedge peat and sand". Not
knowing anything about soil composition in general, this description
doesn't help me much. I know it's supposed to be a mix of clay, silt,
and sand, but how does "dark reed sedge peat" fit into this scheme? I
know from the test results that the pH and mineral and organic content
are all good, so one question to ask would be, is the structure of
this product adequate?

I'd like to know if anybody happens to have used this product and
knows whether it can be used as "real" soil (whatever that is). Any
other related experiences or insights will be appreciated too!

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Old 02-04-2004, 04:35 PM
theoneflasehaddock
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

Subject: Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?
From: (Cicero_wnb)
Date: 4/2/2004 8:15 AM Eastern Standard Time
Message-id:

I want to fill my newly built 4'x24' raised bed, over 1 ft deep, with
a good soil to grow vegetables and herbs (and maybe some flowers too,
why not). I purchased 5 40-lb bags of top soil, different brands, from
local stores, and sent samples from each to our Extension Service for
testing. Based on the results I got back, and also from price
considerations, I will choose one named Garden Magic Top Soil,
produced by Michigan Peat. Now that I'm looking more closely at this
product, I noticed that instructions on the bag talk about using the
product to "top your soil". Specific recommendations for using this
product a

-Top dresses lawns and gardens
-Patches bare spots on lawns
-Loosens heavy soils
-Improves moisture retention in existing soils

(this is verbatim from their web site)

Interestingly, there is no mention of using this product as your soil,
period. It's always about doing something to your existing soil in
order to improve it. So I called Michigan Peat and asked whether this
particular product is suitable for use as the only soil (as opposed to
something used to enrich existing soil). The person I spoke with
seemed to be caught by surprise by my question, and after a few
seconds of silence (and apparent hesitation), slowly said "yes, it
should work". So the official answer from the company, technically
speaking, was "yes", but I didn't feel exactly reassured. Perhaps it
would help if I mention that they describe the composition of Magic
Garden Top Soil as a "blend of dark reed sedge peat and sand". Not
knowing anything about soil composition in general, this description
doesn't help me much. I know it's supposed to be a mix of clay, silt,
and sand, but how does "dark reed sedge peat" fit into this scheme? I
know from the test results that the pH and mineral and organic content
are all good, so one question to ask would be, is the structure of
this product adequate?

I'd like to know if anybody happens to have used this product and
knows whether it can be used as "real" soil (whatever that is). Any
other related experiences or insights will be appreciated too!



It's ****ing soil, you ****ing dumbshit. Peat and sand, or peat and perlite.
What in hell does brand name matter? Are you really this stupid, and obsessive,
over soil brand? ROTFLMAO.

-

theoneflasehaddock
  #6   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:47 PM
Salty Thumb
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

(Cicero_wnb) wrote in
om:

I want to fill my newly built 4'x24' raised bed, over 1 ft deep, with
a good soil to grow vegetables and herbs (and maybe some flowers too,
why not). I purchased 5 40-lb bags of top soil, different brands, from
local stores, and sent samples from each to our Extension Service for
testing. Based on the results I got back, and also from price
considerations, I will choose one named Garden Magic Top Soil,
produced by Michigan Peat. Now that I'm looking more closely at this
product, I noticed that instructions on the bag talk about using the
product to "top your soil". Specific recommendations for using this
product a

-Top dresses lawns and gardens
-Patches bare spots on lawns
-Loosens heavy soils
-Improves moisture retention in existing soils

(this is verbatim from their web site)

Interestingly, there is no mention of using this product as your soil,
period. It's always about doing something to your existing soil in
order to improve it. So I called Michigan Peat and asked whether this
particular product is suitable for use as the only soil (as opposed to
something used to enrich existing soil). The person I spoke with
seemed to be caught by surprise by my question, and after a few
seconds of silence (and apparent hesitation), slowly said "yes, it
should work". So the official answer from the company, technically
speaking, was "yes", but I didn't feel exactly reassured. Perhaps it
would help if I mention that they describe the composition of Magic
Garden Top Soil as a "blend of dark reed sedge peat and sand". Not
knowing anything about soil composition in general, this description
doesn't help me much. I know it's supposed to be a mix of clay, silt,
and sand, but how does "dark reed sedge peat" fit into this scheme? I
know from the test results that the pH and mineral and organic content
are all good, so one question to ask would be, is the structure of
this product adequate?

I'd like to know if anybody happens to have used this product and
knows whether it can be used as "real" soil (whatever that is). Any
other related experiences or insights will be appreciated too!


If I recall correctly, it is suboptimal to grow stuff purely in "topsoil".
Don't remember why though. Might have to do with drainage (you want a less
permeable layer to slow water from siphoning below the root level but not
so impermeable as to continually waterlog the roots) or nutrient intake
(same idea, you don't want water soluable ions to wash beyond your root
depth).

Topsoil belongs on top, subsoil on the bottom. Yes, topsoil is soil.
According to your product's marketers, dark reed sedge peat is the primary
organic component of their topsoil. I don't know enough about reed sedges
to know if I should be impressed or not.
  #9   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:50 PM
Salty Thumb
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

(Cicero_wnb) wrote in
om:

I want to fill my newly built 4'x24' raised bed, over 1 ft deep, with
a good soil to grow vegetables and herbs (and maybe some flowers too,
why not). I purchased 5 40-lb bags of top soil, different brands, from
local stores, and sent samples from each to our Extension Service for
testing. Based on the results I got back, and also from price
considerations, I will choose one named Garden Magic Top Soil,
produced by Michigan Peat. Now that I'm looking more closely at this
product, I noticed that instructions on the bag talk about using the
product to "top your soil". Specific recommendations for using this
product a

-Top dresses lawns and gardens
-Patches bare spots on lawns
-Loosens heavy soils
-Improves moisture retention in existing soils

(this is verbatim from their web site)

Interestingly, there is no mention of using this product as your soil,
period. It's always about doing something to your existing soil in
order to improve it. So I called Michigan Peat and asked whether this
particular product is suitable for use as the only soil (as opposed to
something used to enrich existing soil). The person I spoke with
seemed to be caught by surprise by my question, and after a few
seconds of silence (and apparent hesitation), slowly said "yes, it
should work". So the official answer from the company, technically
speaking, was "yes", but I didn't feel exactly reassured. Perhaps it
would help if I mention that they describe the composition of Magic
Garden Top Soil as a "blend of dark reed sedge peat and sand". Not
knowing anything about soil composition in general, this description
doesn't help me much. I know it's supposed to be a mix of clay, silt,
and sand, but how does "dark reed sedge peat" fit into this scheme? I
know from the test results that the pH and mineral and organic content
are all good, so one question to ask would be, is the structure of
this product adequate?

I'd like to know if anybody happens to have used this product and
knows whether it can be used as "real" soil (whatever that is). Any
other related experiences or insights will be appreciated too!


If I recall correctly, it is suboptimal to grow stuff purely in "topsoil".
Don't remember why though. Might have to do with drainage (you want a less
permeable layer to slow water from siphoning below the root level but not
so impermeable as to continually waterlog the roots) or nutrient intake
(same idea, you don't want water soluable ions to wash beyond your root
depth).

Topsoil belongs on top, subsoil on the bottom. Yes, topsoil is soil.
According to your product's marketers, dark reed sedge peat is the primary
organic component of their topsoil. I don't know enough about reed sedges
to know if I should be impressed or not.
  #11   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:51 PM
Pen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

You're right to test them. I'm too cheap to do so. When I first
began gardening, I got whatever was on sale. For annuals and
perennials, I dug top soil into the hard clay down to 12". I had a
triple mix that became crusty around mid-summer probably because of
all the salts in the manure portion of the mix.

For shrubs, I simply dug as deep as I could get, usually 24", and
filled it with top soil then planted my shrubs in the top soil. The
shrubs did great for a couple of years then it would sink into the
soil so I had to add more soil each year or take the shrub out and
replant it. I'd don't know if I'm imagining it but the top soil in
these pits seems to shrink.

Plants do beautifully in pure top soil. If your mix is light enough,
you might want to try it as a potting mix for outdoor plants too.
  #12   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:52 PM
gregpresley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

I created a little raised bed over an unused portion of driveway in my back
yard, and basically did the same thing. But I dumped any kind of bag of soil
in there I could get - there's top soil, potting soil, some shovelfuls of
dirt from other parts of my garden, cow manure, chicken manure, more
topsoil, more potting soil - well, you get the picture. So far, the
vegetables I have grown in there have done very well - this will be the 4th
year for that bed. Vegetables I have grown in there include lettuces,
collards, parsnips, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, snow peas, sugar snap peas,
chinese cabbage, spinach, mesclun - well, you get the picture. I have found
that these soils compact over time, so every spring I add a few more bags,
and top dress with more manure.
So I don't think you have to obsess over it too much. Since you are creating
soil from scratch, the plants don't have to deal with rocks, hardpan clay,
and some of the other obstacles they would encounter in "real" soil.
"Cicero_wnb" wrote in message
om...
I want to fill my newly built 4'x24' raised bed, over 1 ft deep, with
a good soil to grow vegetables and herbs (and maybe some flowers too,
why not). I purchased 5 40-lb bags of top soil, different brands, from
local stores, and sent samples from each to our Extension Service for
testing. Based on the results I got back, and also from price
considerations, I will choose one named Garden Magic Top Soil,
produced by Michigan Peat. Now that I'm looking more closely at this
product, I noticed that instructions on the bag talk about using the
product to "top your soil". Specific recommendations for using this
product a

-Top dresses lawns and gardens
-Patches bare spots on lawns
-Loosens heavy soils
-Improves moisture retention in existing soils

(this is verbatim from their web site)

Interestingly, there is no mention of using this product as your soil,
period. It's always about doing something to your existing soil in
order to improve it. So I called Michigan Peat and asked whether this
particular product is suitable for use as the only soil (as opposed to
something used to enrich existing soil). The person I spoke with
seemed to be caught by surprise by my question, and after a few
seconds of silence (and apparent hesitation), slowly said "yes, it
should work". So the official answer from the company, technically
speaking, was "yes", but I didn't feel exactly reassured. Perhaps it
would help if I mention that they describe the composition of Magic
Garden Top Soil as a "blend of dark reed sedge peat and sand". Not
knowing anything about soil composition in general, this description
doesn't help me much. I know it's supposed to be a mix of clay, silt,
and sand, but how does "dark reed sedge peat" fit into this scheme? I
know from the test results that the pH and mineral and organic content
are all good, so one question to ask would be, is the structure of
this product adequate?

I'd like to know if anybody happens to have used this product and
knows whether it can be used as "real" soil (whatever that is). Any
other related experiences or insights will be appreciated too!



  #13   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:52 PM
Pen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

You're right to test them. I'm too cheap to do so. When I first
began gardening, I got whatever was on sale. For annuals and
perennials, I dug top soil into the hard clay down to 12". I had a
triple mix that became crusty around mid-summer probably because of
all the salts in the manure portion of the mix.

For shrubs, I simply dug as deep as I could get, usually 24", and
filled it with top soil then planted my shrubs in the top soil. The
shrubs did great for a couple of years then it would sink into the
soil so I had to add more soil each year or take the shrub out and
replant it. I'd don't know if I'm imagining it but the top soil in
these pits seems to shrink.

Plants do beautifully in pure top soil. If your mix is light enough,
you might want to try it as a potting mix for outdoor plants too.
  #14   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:53 PM
gregpresley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

I created a little raised bed over an unused portion of driveway in my back
yard, and basically did the same thing. But I dumped any kind of bag of soil
in there I could get - there's top soil, potting soil, some shovelfuls of
dirt from other parts of my garden, cow manure, chicken manure, more
topsoil, more potting soil - well, you get the picture. So far, the
vegetables I have grown in there have done very well - this will be the 4th
year for that bed. Vegetables I have grown in there include lettuces,
collards, parsnips, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, snow peas, sugar snap peas,
chinese cabbage, spinach, mesclun - well, you get the picture. I have found
that these soils compact over time, so every spring I add a few more bags,
and top dress with more manure.
So I don't think you have to obsess over it too much. Since you are creating
soil from scratch, the plants don't have to deal with rocks, hardpan clay,
and some of the other obstacles they would encounter in "real" soil.
"Cicero_wnb" wrote in message
om...
I want to fill my newly built 4'x24' raised bed, over 1 ft deep, with
a good soil to grow vegetables and herbs (and maybe some flowers too,
why not). I purchased 5 40-lb bags of top soil, different brands, from
local stores, and sent samples from each to our Extension Service for
testing. Based on the results I got back, and also from price
considerations, I will choose one named Garden Magic Top Soil,
produced by Michigan Peat. Now that I'm looking more closely at this
product, I noticed that instructions on the bag talk about using the
product to "top your soil". Specific recommendations for using this
product a

-Top dresses lawns and gardens
-Patches bare spots on lawns
-Loosens heavy soils
-Improves moisture retention in existing soils

(this is verbatim from their web site)

Interestingly, there is no mention of using this product as your soil,
period. It's always about doing something to your existing soil in
order to improve it. So I called Michigan Peat and asked whether this
particular product is suitable for use as the only soil (as opposed to
something used to enrich existing soil). The person I spoke with
seemed to be caught by surprise by my question, and after a few
seconds of silence (and apparent hesitation), slowly said "yes, it
should work". So the official answer from the company, technically
speaking, was "yes", but I didn't feel exactly reassured. Perhaps it
would help if I mention that they describe the composition of Magic
Garden Top Soil as a "blend of dark reed sedge peat and sand". Not
knowing anything about soil composition in general, this description
doesn't help me much. I know it's supposed to be a mix of clay, silt,
and sand, but how does "dark reed sedge peat" fit into this scheme? I
know from the test results that the pH and mineral and organic content
are all good, so one question to ask would be, is the structure of
this product adequate?

I'd like to know if anybody happens to have used this product and
knows whether it can be used as "real" soil (whatever that is). Any
other related experiences or insights will be appreciated too!



  #15   Report Post  
Old 06-04-2004, 09:55 PM
Cicero_wnb
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is Garden Magic Top Soil suitable as soil (by itself)?

I can't argue from my own knowledge, but this seems to go counter to
the general recommendation of "raised beds" and "deep soil". Do you
really think that one foot of top soil is too much?

Salty Thumb wrote in message ...

If I recall correctly, it is suboptimal to grow stuff purely in "topsoil".
Don't remember why though. Might have to do with drainage (you want a less
permeable layer to slow water from siphoning below the root level but not
so impermeable as to continually waterlog the roots) or nutrient intake
(same idea, you don't want water soluable ions to wash beyond your root
depth).



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