Friday, February 29, 2008

Got Me Some DESIGNER Dirt?

So I guess Happy Leap Year? My mom has a friend who was born on a Leap Year Day. She's been retired for years, she says she's 17. Technically, she's right, I guess. But I digress...

So I was putting dirt into my big raised garden planting box, and I saw something that now I'm curious about. I had been putting in the El Cheapo Dirt from the big box store:

It's like $5 for a 30 lb. bag, and I figured that dirt is dirt, so I bought some for my the smaller raised box and when I put it in there - low and behold, it looks like..... wait for it...... DIRT. (Or as you gardeners call it - SOIL.)

Well, everyone must have been thinking the same as me, because the Supersoil was just about sold out, and the more expensive soil was virtually untouched. I got the last bag of Supersoil, and I picked up a couple of bags of the more expensive stuff. It would cost more in gas for me to come back to the store than few bucks difference in price.

So I got a two bags of this Scotts Potting Soil. And I was still thinking Dirt is Dirt. Until i threw them in the box today. (Sing along- One: Put your dirt in the box...)

First off, the Scotts and the Supersoil say they are both 2 cubic feet, but the Supersoil seems much heavier. Second, the texture and color is pretty different, and the Scotts has these white flecks in it.

I don't know if they show up very well, but when you open the bag - you can really see the difference.

The Scotts is much more compacted, but still less dense than the Supersoil. It's also a shade lighter.
(Insert Spinal Tap what's blacker than black joke here.)

It doesn't show up really good, but the Scotts with the white flecks is left of the garden tool, and the Supersoil is on the right. So I flipped the bags over to check the ingredient list. I was ready to call in the Mythbusters and get to the bottom of this, because to a city boy like me: Dirt is Dirt.

So we got the Scotts on the left and the Supersoil on the right. It seems as if Scotts has half the Nitrogen of the Supersoil, 7% and 14% respectively.

So I'm hoping that someone can give me a little insight here. You pay more for less nitrogen? Or pay more for the name Scotts on the bag? I thought nitrogen was good?

Master Gardeners, I'd love to hear your non-technical explanation?



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