Ocean Forest Potting Soil
In last week’s “develop a plan for your vegetable garden” blog post we recommended as a potting soil/growing medium our Coast of Maine Ocean Forest Potting Soil.
Herein is a summary of that recommended garden product as well as a full review by Gardens of Cascadia.
Ocean Forest® is a powerhouse blend of aged forest products, sphagnum peat moss, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish emulsion, and crab meal. Aged forest products, sandy loam, and sphagnum peat moss give Ocean Forest® its light, aerated texture. Start with Ocean Forest® and watch your plants come alive!
Garden tip: Designed for containers and ready to use right out of the bag.
Premium Potting Soil Growing Medium
Ingredients | Base and Composts
The Ocean Forest Potting Soil contains a rich blend of natural ingredients that make up the base. The main matter is aged forest products, including forest humus and sandy loam. These make the soil light, allow for good aeration, and improve drainage.
Composted forest humus holds nutrients that can help plants to grow, so it’s an extremely effective natural fertilizer. It offers a “balanced diet” to your plants by releasing nutrients over time, almost like a drip-feed. Another advantage of forest humus is that it encourages the proliferation of soil organisms that continually provide the plant with nutrients. Composted forest humus is a relatively rare ingredient in many pre-mixed soils, so it puts the Ocean Forest Potting Soil above many similar products on the market.
The mix also contains sphagnum peat moss, which can retain up to 20 times its weight in water. This keeps the plants hydrated for longer and prevents the soil from drying too quickly. Peat moss also contains sulfur, which encourages the plant to produce and express the natural terpenes that are responsible for the flower’s color, smell, and overall flavor.
Aeration and Drainage
The Ocean Forest Potting Soil has a light texture that allows for good aeration and drainage. This is due to sandy loam, made from sand, silt, and clay.
The Ocean Forest Potting Soil does not contain perlite, as most other soil blends do. This is not bad in itself. However, depending on your soil, you may want to add perlite to the mix to further enhance drainage, protect the roots from rot, and help break larger chunks of soil. If you are not regular with your watering schedule, and if you tend to underwater or overwater, then lack of perlite could be a problem.
The Ocean Forest Potting Soil is an organic powerhouse containing an impressive array of natural fertilizers that deliver to your plants all the nutrients they need from the start.
These organic materials come from the sea (fish emulsion, crab meal, and shrimp meal) and from the earth (bat guano and earthworm castings), justifying the soil’s name. The mix is so rich that it does not require any additional fertilizer input for at least 30 days, making the Ocean Forest Potting Soil ideal for growing seedlings into vigorous plants.
The “Ocean” ingredients can be found in the emulsion made from Pacific Northwest Sea-going fish, included in the soil. Fish emulsion provides a nitrogen boost to your plants (NPK ratio of 4-1-1) but is mild and there is no danger of damaging or burning them.
Crab meal is another fantastic amendment to the soil, which slowly releases nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium to the plants. It is also a bio-pesticide because it is high in chitin, a natural bug repellent.
The last oceanic amendment is shrimp meal, a natural bio-activator that helps the soil break down. Shrimp meal has multiple benefits for the plants, from encouraging root growth to delivering micronutrients, restoring the soil’s fertility, and providing chitin as crab meal does.
On the “earth” side, the Ocean Forest Potting Soil contains earthworm castings. Earthworm castings are an optimal soil enricher as they hold nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, but not too much nitrogen. They are also effective for repelling pests that feed on plants, such as aphids and spider mites. Worm cast manure in the potting soil encourages healthy root and leafy foliage growth, shortens the germination cycle, and protects plants from disease—all without the use of any chemicals.
The Ocean Forest Potting Soil also includes bat guano, a vital ingredient (essentially bat feces) that provides nutrients and beneficial bacteria that are present as a result of the bats’ diet of fruit and insects. Bat guano acts not only as a natural fertilizer but also as a fungicide and an inoculant, thereby making it a fantastic ingredient that contributes to the effectiveness and overall quality of the Ocean Forest Potting Soil.
- Made by a reputable company known for its high-quality products.
- Contains a great range of organic and natural fertilizers.
- Has ideally adjusted pH, in the 6.3-6.8 pH range.
- Is ready to use straight out of the bag.
- Slightly more expensive than some other potting soils on the market. However, you won’t need any additional fertilizer for at least 30 days.
- Does not contain perlite. If you are not regular with your watering schedule, you may want to add some perlite to the mix to prevent the soil from forming large chunks.