Pros: requires smaller easier to carry bags, expands up to 3 times the size.
Why I bought Miracle Gro Expand and Gro Concentrated Planting Mix
I was watching TV and noticed a commercial for this amazing new planting mix from Miracle Gro. I immediately did a google search and found it on their website but could not find much else. I discovered that it was available in only a few states so I am assuming they are testing it out to see how well it does. The website states that it is available in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan. Lucky me! I looked to see where it was available and the website stated that I could get it at Target or Menards. My husband spotted it at Walmart though so that is where we bought our first bag. We paid $15.98 which is a bit pricey for the larger bag(17.2 qts) It also comes in a smaller bag(8.4qts) but they did not have that size so I am not sure of the price.
What is so special about Miracle Gro Expand and Gro Planting Mix
Have you ever gotten a planting kit with that compact soil in it that you add water to and then watch it expand? Well that is what this soil is like. You put some in the bottom of a pot or bucket and add water then let it expand to three times the amount. I was blown away by the possibility of not having to lug giant heavy bags of garden soil home. Also storing smaller bags is awesome
What does it look like
When we first picked up the bag of miracle gro Expand n gro Planting mix, it was light weight and if you feel through the bag you can tell that the soil is sort of in clumps. When I opened up the ziplock style bag, it is a light brown in color and has small lumps in it. Before you rehydrate it, it probably looks more like mulch than potting soil.
In reading on the Miracle Gro website, I learned that Miracle Gro Expand and Gro expands up to 3 times it's size with the addition of water, holding 50% more water than traditional potting soil. When adding to native soil it makes soil up to 40% lighter and creates up to 90% more air space for roots to grow. Expand and Gro can be used in pots or for planting in the ground and feeds up to 6 months with a fertilizer analysis of 0.45-0.15-0.30
The manufacturer's website suggest that you use gloves when handling Miracle Gro Expand n Gro or any potting mix. I am guessing that is because of the fertilizer content. Of course do not ingest the mix and keep out of reach of children and animals. Their website states that in the state of Washington that you are not to use more than 130 bags per acre.
Trying out Miracle Gro Expand n Gro Planting Mix in a pot
I could hardly wait to try this stuff out. What fun! I opened the bag and grabbed a plastic pot from our garage that was probably a 6 inch pot. I put a couple handfuls of the mix in the bottom of the pot filling it 1/3 full as instructed. I think perhaps I filled it closer to 1/4 but it's hard to tell since the pot gets wider at the top. Then I turned on the water and poured some warm water on top of the soil. Sure enough it started expanding and growing before my eyes. I had to fluff it up and break about some of the clumps with my hands but it was not too difficult. It took no more than a minute and I had a nearly full pot of soil.
One it was all expanded the color darkened and you could see the little fertilizer balls in the soil. They were tiny maybe 1 millimeter across. The potting soil when rehydrated does not resemble regular miracle gro but rather a cleaner less "dirty" potting mix.
Before and After Photos
I have uploaded some photos so you can see the mix in the pot. You will have to cut and paste the url into your browser.
Using Miracle Gro Expand and Gro Potting mix in the ground
The directions state that you should mix the dry planting mix into the ground with the native soil. I did not like this idea so I used the soil that I had rehydrated instead. I would rather know how much it is going to expand before I put it in the ground. I had picked up some plants that I wanted to put in my front beds and used the planting mix to amend the soil in the area where I was planting. It was very easy to work with and I can see that it will be a nice addition to our rather clay like soil and will give my little plants a better home. The fertilizer is of course a plus since it should keep working for 6 months.
I think I will be using Miracle Gro Expand and Gro a lot this summer and through out the year. I love the idea that I can buy something that does not weigh so much or take up a lot of room in my car or the garage. Miracle Gro Expand n Gro is a winner for sure.
Thanks for reading my review
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about Miracle Gro Expand and Gro. If you have comments or questions I would welcome them below in the comments section.