Anyone try Potter's Gold soil?

Discussion in 'Michigan Patients' started by phizzion, Sep 5, 2013.


    phizzion Well-Known Member

    Saw a new soil at the local store that was Potter's Gold made in Grand Haven, MI. Anyone try it yet? Was wondering about ph stability. Feels lighter than FFOF (about 2/3 the weight), maybe much more peat and a lot less bark?
    buckaroo bonzai

    buckaroo bonzai Well-Known Member

    ---if im not mistakin this is the soil scientist that is marketing this here in the guy

    he claims it is a water only from start to finish-- here is an older article....
    (he was in detroit crains business weekly)

    Todd Herrick (right), creator of Potter’s Gold potting soil, unloads a shipment with help from Anthony Cardosa, owner of two AAA Hydroponics “hydro shops” in the Grand Rapids area. Herrick sells an average of more than 600 bags a month to shops that help customers set up marijuana growing operations.
    West Michigan financiers "want to be on the bleeding edge of where this is going," said Joseph Voss, an attorney in the corporate practice of group/debt and equity financing in the Grand Rapids office of Clark Hill PLC.

    "But we have to say to the nonaggressive money — which is most of the money — that it is really difficult to do this without the threat of seizure of all the assets for businesses that lean to the distribution side. It's 'Take stuff first and figure out the case later' in drug enforcement circles.

    "The specter of a federal prosecution hangs over everybody, even those who are complying with the letter of the law in Michigan."

    That hasn't stopped people from asking. Voss said he has fielded about 10 inquiries from private equity funds since November, double such inquiries from the entire year prior.

    Having a green thumb

    With a master's degree in soil science from the University of Vermont and a bachelor's in ornamental horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, Todd Herrick knows what pot plants need to grow.

    He has put years of training and horticulture experience to use developing Potter's Gold, a premium, custom-blended soil well-suited for customers who visit West Michigan hydro shops to set up marijuana growing operations. After launching the product in March, Herrick sells an average of more than 600 bags a month to about 16 shops throughout the area. He hopes to boost sales by reaching stores on the eastern side of Michigan.

    "Grow stores are popping up all over the place, and there's opportunity for people like myself who have more of a specialized product to offer to the market segment," said Herrick, a Grand Haven native whose primary job is consulting on soil science through his firm, Hort Services LLC.

    "I decided to launch this knowing full well that there was a great deal of uncertainty in this green industry sector. There aren't any leaves or buds on the bag — I wanted to make sure that I could cross over to their traditional garden center market if I needed to."

    But rising sales and feedback from growers of medical marijuana confirmed Herrick's belief that the market was ready for a locally produced, high-quality soil.

    Herrick sources and checks the ingredients, blends the soil and packages the product in Hudsonville in bags holding 1.5 cubic feet. "The business has gotten so large, I can't do it by myself anymore, so my wife and my son help when it comes to bagging the product," he said.

    Herrick does much of his own distribution of the soil, which can cost $15 to $20 per bag — more expensive than ordinary potting soil sold in home improvement centers but midpriced for specialty soils.
    BobBitchen likes this.

    phizzion Well-Known Member

    Buck, thanks for the info. I plan on calling and talking to the 'Dirtman' to find out about the product. I work too much and I'm way too busy (at this point in my life) to make my own soil, so this may be the ticket for me.

    DrGreenthumb333 Active Member

    Great soil but I can assure you it is def. not just add water soil, prolly a 4 week feed then you have to start feeding... we had ran it for a couple cycles and I didn't have one complaint. I believe it is supplemented with dolomite lime so it is Ph stable, at least we never had a problem...and it is def a lighter soil than FFOF, also it comes teaming with beneficial bacteria.

    ProfessorPotSnob New Member

    Had to look into this one as well and once I read the Lab Analysis I lost interest :shock:.Note:Phosphorus levels intentionally maintained at a low level to prevent cation binding. Anticipate significantly enhanced uptake via root association with mycorrhizal fungi.

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    phizzion Well-Known Member

    Professor, I'm really intelligent in some things and really uneducated in other things, plant biology being on the uneducated side. Please educate me on the low phosphorus side relying on mycorrhizal fungi. Are you saying that a boost in available phosphorus to the plant will be taken care of by the fungi but is mot 'preloaded' into the soil. Excuse me for my ignorance. I know when I'm out of my league, and this is one of those times.
    Rrog likes this.

    ProfessorPotSnob New Member

    Mychorrizhal mycelia is much smaller than the smallest root and can cover much more volume than the root alone hence more uptake and as well regardless of soil pH being out of optimal range . Many types of phosp additives can bind , precipitate and become rendered useless in time as they change form ( organic matter ) and especially after the ions are demineralized .This soil will be applicable for most growers though but general supplementation will likely be needed by 4 weeks in as this mix is a general one used for the horticulture/agriculture industry and I imagine the owner is aware and has all intentions of cross marketing, as he does make custom soil mixes for other companies .. Well I tried to cover both sides of the picture while keeping it simple . Hope it worked hehe as I too have much to learn , the more I learn the less I really know ... Have a good one Phizzion
    Rrog likes this.

    phizzion Well-Known Member

    Professor, many thanks, I'm now spurred on to enlighten myself on this subject.
    Rrog likes this.
    PG Dirtman

    PG Dirtman Member

    Phizzion, buckaroo, professor,

    I’ll post this as a general “for what it’s worth”, hopefully not coming across as a rant. I really do appreciate feedback that I receive from growers using my soil!

    1. Potter’s Gold is light by design, and many growers and store owners that I talked with in early development indicated need to amend popular retail soils with extra perlite. Those that have time & interest in batching their own would likely benefit from a similarly high level of porosity, as it’s prerequisite for optimal root health and nutrient uptake. There’s a tradeoff here with water-holding capacity, but I’m of the belief that root health comes first.

    2. pH stability is relative and is significantly impacted by grower inputs. I’ve tried to formulate PG with adequate buffering and elevated CEC to help reduce drastic swings in pH, certainly relative to Pro-Mix and other high peat options. Unfortunately well-intentioned growers can often be the source of their own pH problems if they lack understanding of the influences of water quality and applied nutrient formulations (there’s lots of info on the web to help here).

    3. I’ve never claimed that PG is “water only from start to finish”, and if this was quoted in the Crain’s or Big Buds article it’s an unfortunate error. The bag and website have always been very clear, indicating that the incorporated nutrients should sustain healthy growth for 3-4 weeks. Again, this is by design since the majority of feedback I’ve received over the last 2 years suggests that most growers want to control their own nutrient load. In practice it appears that many use PG as a supersoil base or in layering applications, others sometimes continuing to use stand-alone with each pot size “upshift”. Nutrient supplementation is very subjective and recommendations are typically all over the map.

    4. I’m not surprised at your reaction to the lab analysis, and for all the misinterpretation and confusion it generated I regret ever having put it on my website. My horticultural library is extensive, and coupled with 28 years of growing & consulting experience provides justification for both target pH (organic container soils) and nutrient balance. Phosphorus supplementation effects pre-bloom through bud set are well documented, but nutrient marketing is powerful and has been effectively coupled with cute artwork and rammed down growers throats. The biggest irony is that the benefit of mycorrhizal fungi is totally misunderstood in growing substrates flooded with excessive P, yet has become another source of exploitation.

    5. The Crain’s article put more emphasis on the business side than the real truth of the matter - it was almost out of spite that I developed and introduced Potter’s Gold. I’m sorry, but in my opinion the majority of soils coming from the west coast are substandard (and you can prove it to yourself by drying them down and running through a screen/sieve to look at the fillers). Retail customers deserve better, and my goal was simply to bring a locally produced soil to the shelves that’s of significantly higher quality. Reference to garden center cross over is real in theory and for liability purposes on my bag, but in practice I’d estimate 85% going to the MM segment and the remaining 15% to veggies and other indoor gardening crops.

    6. I inadvertently pissed off the author of the Big Buds article in advance of its writing in my attempt to provide some distance - thankfully we smoothed things out over a couple of phone conversations & emails, and I was able to convince him to evaluate PG purely from the standpoint of relativity to other currently available retail soils. Truth is I’m a walking liability if I make blanket recommendations on nutrients or plant culture, yet any grower can take a look at PG on its own and assess whether it might be a better fit for them than OF, RO or other offerings.

    Feedback is welcome and appreciated, and thanks to all that have tried my soil!
    Jynx616 likes this.

    Stompromper Well-Known Member

    I running Potters Gold, just transplanted into it yesterday. I'll give my review in about 3 months
    .. First impression is really good though. The stuff is nice, much cleaner than Ocean Forest but whether it performs as well is yet to be seen by me.

    faded187 Member

    how is ta potters gold comin along

    Stompromper Well-Known Member

    Not real happy with it. Definitely needs amendments. FOX farms is better.

    jw23ck11 Member

    Ive been using potters gold for 3 weeks and my girls love it. It can't be any more simple, just water for the first few weeks. They are vibrant and healthy with no added nutrients to date. This soil is truly a premium mix and locally made! Good work dirtman

    jw23ck11 Member

    Potters gold premium soil.
    Best looking girls I've grown and no nutrients yet! 21 days old from cloner. 20140923_083514-1.jpg

    phizzion Well-Known Member

    The guy making the product has listened to feed back from growers and I believe he has upped the amendments by about 25% from when he first started producing Potter's Gold. I've been using product for about 6 months (mixed with a couple of other things) and have had good results. I like it much better than FFOF, plus I don't have pesky soil gnats that I had off and on with FFOF. As with all store bought soils, about 3 to 4 weeks into flower ferts will need to be added.

    CashCrops Well-Known Member

    Too many variables, I have sativa that is a nitrogen whore. Cannot give it enough. I wish it were this easy start to finish.

    st0wandgrow Well-Known Member

    Huh. Every sativa I've grown has been just the opposite. Very sensitive to too much N. they turn dark green and the leaves start to claw.

    st0wandgrow Well-Known Member

    Phizzion: I don't know what Professor P was getting at there, but having a soil relatively low in Phosphorous (in comparison to most cannabis specific soils and supplements) is a good thing. Simply put, high levels of P in the soil will inhibit mycorrhizal spores from colonizing the root zone of the plant. Mycorrhizal fungi act as roots of sorts working symbiotically with the plant helping to uptake water and nutrients/minerals. In their absence the plant has to divert more of its energy to root production.... at the expense of other functions such as producing foliage and flowers.

    I've never used it, but this stuff looks to be better than most organic soils you see in the hydro shops
    Jynx616 and FamMan like this.

    Stompromper Well-Known Member

    Unless they changed it I won't try it again. I'm glad some people are having good results with it, maybe I got a bad batch or something but I didn't like the results at all. Was disappointed too because it really is a nice looking soil.

    jw23ck11 Member

    51 days veg, 47" tall in 5g smart pot with potters gold soil. Fed nutrients for the first time a week ago, this soil really makes things easy. transplanting into 15g for a couple weeks then off to flower to see how this soil holds up.

    Attached Files:

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