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Lowes Miracle Grow as a Substrate ?
#1
On our big Exo-Terra we used a recipe found in a Natural Terrarium book for substrate. However, I was at Lowes the other day with my wife, and noticed that Miracle-Grow now makes a completely organic garden soil. I’ll look-up and list all the ingredients later, but has anyone every thought of using anything like this on bigger projects that that might require larger amounts of substrate?
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#2
I have seen that for the most part soils are not recommended. I cannot recall the exact reasons but I am sure someone else will chime in and/or I will see if I can find where I read that and link you to it or cut and paste the info that I observed.

As far as what I did for my substrate, I bought a large bag of peat/sphagnum mix, one brick of coco fiber, and a bag of orchid bark. I mixed about half the bag of both the mix and the bark and used the entire brick of coco fiber and that gave me enough to do a 3-4" layer in my 75g minus the area taken up by the water feature. So the area that is covered by substrate is approximately 36x18x4 and I had some left over. I can do this again by just getting another brick of coc fiber and the total cost of my substrate was less than $30. So far it seems to be working great. Stays moist, greats well, plants are growing.
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#3
I did a search on another board I am a member of and I saw mixed reviews but no real answers why. Those that said not to use it did not say why, those that say it is ok said just make sure it is chemical/fertilizer free and no perlite. They also said that potting soil my need the addition of something like orchid bark or sphagnum or something similar to help it drain better. So for what it's worth, that is what I found out.
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#4
We did basically the same recipe you used except the book called for compost and/or vegetable compost, which made it a little stinky at first, but about a month later, it got that good natural earthy aroma.

I’ll be stopping by Lowes today to sign the contract for our floors…I’ll check the bag out a little closer to see exactly what’s in it…but it states that it is not a potting soil and that it is not to be used in pots…I do remember that from the bag…it was specifically called an 100% organic garden soil. It’ll be interesting to see what’s in it.
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