Anyone try Potter’s Gold soil?
—if im not mistakin this is the soil scientist that is marketing this here in michigan. google 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.
Had to look into this one as well and once I read the Lab Analysis I lost interest . Note hosphorus levels intentionally maintained at a low level to prevent cation binding. Anticipate significantly enhanced uptake via root association with mycorrhizal fungi.
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!
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…
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