HYDROMAG’S OPINION With the soil test we saw an unprecedented amount of brands that we decided to compare. It would be a little unfeasible to go through every one of them here, so we will go over some that stood out for us.
DNA MILLS The new kid on the block. A combination of minds from Holland and America. Performed great in all aspects: fantastic nutrient content (both available and long term), nice high volume and a nicely low bulk density. A little bit like the old Stella Artois saying: Reassuringly Expensive. One of the things we didn’t do for this test was a biological analysis, if we had then we would have seen if this selling point was indeed justified. Until then, if we were going to be using a soil it would most likely be this one.
If there is one thing we have learned with Canna, it’s that their products are consistently of a high quality. The soil is no exception. One of the few brands where the contents of the bag (or bottle) consistently match their description. Where they shone in particular was the super low bulk density, meaning a fantastically well aerated medium that will result in a lot faster wet/dry cycles. Always a bonus.
PLANT MAGIC Mixed feelings about how this one performed. Being a UK brand we were rooting for this one the whole way through. A back breaking high volume in the bags, so you really are getting value for money here, but the pH of the soil being lower than 5.5 was really a bit of a turn off. Combined with a low nutrient content both soluble and in total, our previous raging hard on for this brand is now rather flacid.
Another let down. Being a big fan of this range, particularly all their organic amendments, there were high hopes for this brand that unfortunately took bit of a nosedive when the results came in. Well over 10% down on volume, so the high price tag doesn’t even get you a full bag. Being marketed on having lots of added guano and other amendments, you would expect the nutrient content to be through the roof. Unfortunately it barely scraped the height of our low hanging, wrinkly, old man style ball sacks.
From the good, to the bad, straight to the ugly. The only saving grace for this brand was the average bulk density it displayed. Unfortunately the ridiculously low pH level, combined with a low bag volume and then topped off with a limited amount of total nutrient ensured this brand’s secure grip on the wooden spoon for this round of comparisons. To be fair using it in conjunction with a good quality fertiliser would probably counteract any of these problems, but you shouldn’t really be reliant on a second product to fix the first one.
BIOBIZZ After the pretty poor coir results, we were braced for a similar result with their soil. In a perverse sense we were almost disappointed when they turned out not to be too bad at all. The Allmix contained a large amount of soluble and total nutrient while the lightmix had a proportionally lower ratio as you would expect. The only real let down was in the volume of the lightmix. It turned out very shy, but then when you’re buying lightmix you’re probably only going to be filling small pots so won’t need that much anyway.