Store-Bought Potting Mix Contents (A Spin-Off Thread)

Amanda

Arachnolord
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A Sex-Me thread recently spun off into a discussion about the "little yellow balls" in the soil. I've been meaning to ask a similar question, but didn't want to further derail the thread.

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=94833

I use Schultz Cactus & Succulent Mix exclusively for my tanks and I love it. It contains the perfect mix of ingredients. What concerns me is that there are little green balls in the soil. When I pop them, there is moisture inside.



The ingredients list NO fertilizers or pesticides whatsoever. Just to be sure, I sifted through the soil and picked out all the little green things before using it the last time I rehoused. Then I emailed the company to be sure. This was the correspondence...


Query:
This product contains the perfect organic blend for what I need, but I have some questions about its other contents.
I'm curious as to what the small green balls are in the soil. Also, are there any fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or chemical additives in this product?


Response:
Thank you for your e-mail.

The ingredients that are listed in the product are Candadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, sand, limestone, and various other organic materials. This product doesn’t contain any fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or chemical additives.

Sylvester M Brown
Consumer Services Specialist
Phone: (608) 203-2339
Personal Fax: (608) 288-4208
Main Fax: 888-677-4770
Sylvester.Brown@spectrumbrands.com


The response reassured me, but didn't tell me what these things are. Any clues??
 

jr47

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i do think the little balls are perlite, they are to help the soil retain moisture. but its been a while since i worked with plants so im not 100% sure.
 

Taceas

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Perlite is glass fluff, and generally is white little "rocks" added to retain moisture and keep the soil loose.

I have no clue on the composition of the little balls.

If they say it doesn't contain chemicals, I would probably be apt to believe them, after all they should know. I just wish more companies labeled it in absolute terms on their bags, especially if the brand is a fertilizer company (MiracleGro, Schultz).

Generally I buy a soil-less seed starting mix. It's basically peat moss with a small amount of vermiculite in it, but its been dirt cheap and fertilizer free.
 

Amanda

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I know. Part of my question to him was about the green balls, but he didn't answer that. I'm pretty sure they aren't perlite, because the perlite is clearly identifiable in the mix. You can even see a bit of it in the picture.
 

Taceas

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My main complaint with peat products is how dusty they are. You put it in the container, and it coats the walls with the dust. Which if you spray it down, your substrate is now wet, which most of my terrestrials would abhor.

I would probably write/call back and specifically ask what the green balls are. Fib and say you're sensitive to chemicals and you need to know what's in them. ;)
 

Amanda

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That's why I love this mix as a substrate. The other ingredients all but eliminate the dust-factor, and it packs well enough for sturdy burrowing.
 

Taceas

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I used some cacti mix when I had some cacti, I don't remember the brand name, and it was a sand/peat/fine bark mix. Is it the same as yours?
 

Amanda

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Sounds like it. The ingredients of this one are "Candadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, sand, limestone, and various other organic materials." Those and the green things, that is. :rolleyes:
 

Arachnobrian

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I have noticed these little green balls as well, using (schultz's peat moss).

When I popped the green balls a white powder came out. The bag states completely organic matter.

I just sifted though and removed any found. I think they are some type of moisture release fertilizer, but not absolutely sure. As I keep my enclosures bone dry and removed as many as I could find, I hope it should not be a problem. It hasn't yet.

Next time I'll buy the cheaper organic stuff, I bought this stuff because I liked the zipper bag and trusted the label.
 

Masurai

Arachnobaron
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I brought some of this today and it didn't have any of the green balls in it.
 

Drachenjager

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My main complaint with peat products is how dusty they are. You put it in the container, and it coats the walls with the dust. Which if you spray it down, your substrate is now wet, which most of my terrestrials would abhor.

I would probably write/call back and specifically ask what the green balls are. Fib and say you're sensitive to chemicals and you need to know what's in them. ;)
that wouldnt be a fib, if he is wanting no chemicals for his bug i am sure he would be very sensitive to having them lol
 

IdahoBiteyThing

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green balls

Amanda, thanks for starting this spinoff, good idea. I think that your green balls look suspiciously like fertilizer as well, and I'm concerned the company gave you basically a non-answer. Organic or not, I'm dying to know the content of the balls. I suppose they could contain another organic compound, but can't imagine what that would be. Oh, and when it comes to the term "organic" it certainly doesn't mean that it's not also potentially harmful to T's. Hope you hear more back from the manufacturer! Tony
 

Drachenjager

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My main complaint with peat products is how dusty they are. You put it in the container, and it coats the walls with the dust. Which if you spray it down, your substrate is now wet, which most of my terrestrials would abhor.

I would probably write/call back and specifically ask what the green balls are. Fib and say you're sensitive to chemicals and you need to know what's in them. ;)
send them to a lab
 
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