Browse By

Dangerous EarthGro Pottting Soil From Scotts

I am in the process of creating a new vegetable garden this summer, on a piece of land that gets good sun, but where the soil is poor.  Generations ago, people had created a driveway for horse-drawn carriages to the barn next to this area, building up the path with a jumble of bone, stone, and pottery shreds.  To grow vegetables there, I’ll have to build new soil up.

My plan has been to start with a foot-thick pages of mulch, to suppress the grass presently growing in the area, and to provide a good amount of organic material from which future years of vegetables will grow. To grow a relatively small number of plants in the garden this year, and to encourage the soil biology of the new garden to move along, decomposing the mulch, I’ve been placing pockets of soil within the mulch.

I have some compost for this project, but not enough for the size of the new garden. So, I decided to get a few bags of soil from the store to increase the volume.

Most of the soil that’s available in the garden centers is filled with MiracleGro, a synthetic fertilizer that encourages plants to grow lush, and full, and beautifully, but a bit too fast, leaving them. I don’t want to use that, so I took a few bags of what looked like a smaller company’s soil – EarthGro potting soil. It said it was “organic” and “natural”.

Do shards of glass and ceramic sherds count as organic and natural? That’s what I found in the Earthgro potting soil.

It’s just the sort of material that was thrown in to the ground by the people who lived in my house years ago. It takes up space quickly, but won’t help a garden grow well – or keep a gardener’s hands safe.

Upon further investigation, I find out that Earthgro potting soil is manufactured by the Scotts Company, the same people who make Miracle-Gro. To them, I suggest placing a warning label prominently on the Earthgro packaging: May Contain Dangerous Fragments Of Industrial Refuse.

29 thoughts on “Dangerous EarthGro Pottting Soil From Scotts”

  1. Bill says:

    I’ve frequently employed mushroom compost (the blend of cow poop and moss and ground bark and god-knows-what-else used by mushroom farmers, then re-sold in bulk once it’s too exhausted for mushrooms) as a soil amendment. I really like it, but it takes some getting used to the foreign objects one very frequently discovers therein: lots and lots of used latex gloves (blech), the occasional junk-food wrapper or soda straw, and other miscellaneous oddments no doubt discarded by the farm workers. I’m guessing that properly sieving their products isn’t a big priority for the companies that peddle these soil amendments. This doesn’t much surprise me when I’m dealing with some nameless faceless bulk distributor, but I’m surprised Scotts isn’t more interested in protecting its good name.

    And good on you for steering away from Miracle Gro. I don’t have anything against it in particular (aside from the fact that it is crack cocaine for plants), but nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers are produced from mined minerals that do not occur widely (at least in economically useful concentrations) around the world (and also from natural gas). They are non-renewable resources that we’re slowly running out of and so they need to be used very wisely, plus over-fertilization of soil (which is what Miracle-Gro’s marketing is all about) contributes importantly to greenhouse gas emissions from soil microbiomes. Growing bigger more beautiful roses or winning the Biggest Pumpkin contest hardly seem like appropriate uses for these valuable resources.

  2. Chuck Beard says:

    I just bought some Earthgro potting soil from Walmart and I took it back to the store. It smells like it contains kerosene. Strong odor and it doesn’t absorb water. This stuff is toxic.

    1. Bill says:

      I’m starting to get the impression that Scotts just throws together whatever garbage they can find for free…plus a whole lot of sand…and calls it “Earthgro Potting Soil.” The customer reviews for this product on Scotts’ web site are hair-raising. And Scotts’ replies to these reviews? I could 11 instances of “we’re sorry” or “we apologize.” And yet they’re not so sorry that they’d actually either improve it or take it off the market. Must be a great business, bagging miscellaneous garbage and selling it.

      As for me, I feel y’alls pain but I’m so not there, myself. I’ve got about 3 tons of well-aged carefully composted horse manure waiting to be spread this week. Nothing, nothing makes a better soil amendment, or even potting soil, than composted horse manure. Black gold. Smells fantastic, like a forest floor. Holds water like a rain barrel. Jet black and beautifully friable. Friends keep asking me if they can buy some off me. I just look at them like they’ve got to be kidding, right?. There are some things money can’t buy.

  3. Scott S. says:

    You may want to google human waste biosolids. Evidently they are able to package this crap (literally) and sell it to unsuspecting consumers who think they are using only organic products on their gardens. Disgusting and harmful to health, but some scientist no doubt figured all plant nutrients are the same no matter where they come from not counting the many other toxic items poured down the drain of the average household. This may the case for Earthgro, but I do not know.

  4. wesley king says:

    Not only does earthgro have forign particulate matter in it thats not organic,but i now have a baby earwig infestation in everything i put earthgro into.Iv’e learned a valueble lesson from this and thats that a 10.00 bag of fox farm is worth it….

  5. Mike says:

    Oh common I have used EarthGro for years and I have never found anything in the soil so that means it is Walmart’s end of business not Scotts

    1. Kathy says:

      I’ve bought Earthgro locally, at the Ace Hardware store and have found lots of foreign matter in it. It’s terrible stuff, not much better than the blow sand that we have on our property and a waste of money really. And since Walmart doesn’t bag it, I don’t see how you can blame them.

    2. Megan Swearingen says:

      Well I just purchased two bags of Earth Gro Potting Soil from Wal-Mart and I had black trash bag pieces, glass shards, and kerosene smell in both my bags. All my flowers were destroyed within a week of planting them. I have been planting flowers for years and I had healthy perenial flowers that just died. The stems turned black and they looked completely awful even though I cared for them. I am not sure how you can say you have used this product for years and never have any issues? I am not the only person that experiences the same issues.

    3. George Baxter says:

      How the hell would Walmart have any thing to do with what is in a Scott’s product? Mike you must be a very old senile man to come to a stupid idea like that. I got mine from The Grocery Outlet a company known for buying company over stocks and rejects and it killed everything it came close to. Even Scott’s customer service agent said the was a problem with there product.

  6. Stephen Schuch says:

    I purchased a bag of EarthGro potting soil, and went about breaking up soil so we could do some replanting when my wife yelled I that she had been stuck by a needle!!!! Sure as shit.. She had the tip of a hypodermic needle stuck in her hand. We took the needle and her to the ER so they can be checked out, now she is on preventive meds while we await tests… Bad Quality Control on the part of this company… Beware when using this product..

    1. Bill says:

      Or at least keep your attorney on speed-dial.

  7. Ella says:

    This information is so condemning there should have been several law suits against Scotts by now. It is one thing to post such obviously criminal behavior by a nationally advertised company and another to bring it to the attention of the buying public so that such dangerous products are taken off the market. Even cars are recalled for such serious issues. If these ingredients are in the Earthgro potting soil then some will be taken up into the plant – cause for a lawsuit in itself. If anyone here ginuienly has such a complaint, I want to know what Scotts has done for reparations.

    1. George Baxter says:

      I contacted some lawyers about a class action lawsuit and nobody replied back.

  8. Nana says:

    Thank you so much for reminding me how bad the EARTHGRO ORGANIC HUMUS & MANURE was. I bought it several years ago! It was filled with numerous rocks, not pebbles or stones, but rocks. My garden once again could use soil amendments and, because the price is right, I had high hopes Scott’s (Hyponex Corporation) had cleaned up the product.

    If you might be interested, their MSDS for this ORGANIC stuff,is at:*&upc=&regulation_number=&search_submit=Search

    Reviews? I went to Bill’s web address for Customer Reviews for their Potting Soil: (😉

    Presuming they existed when he posted in May 2014……. Well they’ve mysteriously disappeared.

    If you’d like another hair raising venture re one of Scott’s more popular products- they now distribute Roundup- you know, that great product that degrades as it hits the soil & is so safe to use in your flower garden, or even better, the vegetable garden?

    Manufactured by Monsanto, Glyphosate is the primary chemical in Roundup products. They no longer refer to it as being 100% biodegradable,simply because it isn’t. Parents of autistic children are learning from Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT who since 2011,has been focusing on nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health.

    If interested, the following web pages provide highlights permitting you to do your own research to learn a bit about GMOs & Roundup so you can decide for yourself.

    1. Jen says:

      I’ve read the site posted on your message and I’m not seeing what makes this product bad. I am in the middle of sowing seeds with of course none other then Mericle Gro Organic Potting soil all of a sudden my peppers have nats and are not sprouting took it all back including the blood meal and anything else I bought with the name Mericle Gro on it. I’m not trying to go cheap I just needed manure. The next thing my local nursery sold that was organic was Earthgro, I bought 2 bags of the potting soil and 3 bags of the manure, then I read this. I haven’t opened it yet but really need to get new seeds started for my hydroponic boxes. Any suggestions for a manure to use?

      1. Kathy says:

        The Miracle Gro Organic is different than the reg. MiracleGro potting soil. It is terrible for bugs. If you buy the reg. Miracle Gro potting soil, it’s a lot better. I always add diatomaceous earth to my potting soil right out of the bag and that seems to help. I would never use another Earthgro product….they don’t hold water and have no redeeming qualities at all.

  9. Larry Wolf says:

    Reading all these posts I can nail your frustrations. I have been growing and maintaining plants vegetable and nursery for 40 years plus.

    OK myself, have been always noticed for superior soil blends.

    Now about Earthgrow you just have to know how to use and what you are using for. First the basis of most potting mixes is compost or waste that is composted from various sources. So without a soil test and reading the ingredients I remix to whatever my specification is . From small plugs to 50 gallon containers. If you study composting many bad materials go bye bye due to the process.
    I did notice that the last batch of earth grow is a little hotter then most potting soils so add some peat perlite or pumice and lean the mix while adding some slower releasing fertilizers organic depending on what your growing and away you go.

    Note I would never recommend these products for your vegetable gardens, I tend to always research local sources for garden amendments. But for potting large plants down to 4 inch size mix it and you will like it just fine.

    Remember for professional horticulturists make soil for every specific plant so one soil mix doesn’t work for all. Before you Plant study the plant.

  10. Macau says:

    Thank you, I have just been searching for info approximately this topic for a
    while and yours is the greatest I have came upon so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive about the source?

  11. Jason t.shaffer says:

    I hate home depot to begin with left my mom talk me into getting topsoil it had rocks and glass in it to way it down! there I will be contacting my local news

  12. Lynn says:

    Well, I have a great experience about Earthgro top soil. We bought it for $1.25 a bag at home Depot.We use the soil to fill up some areas that are not even. Then few days later I noticed some sparkling shiny soil. I was curious and took a closer look. They are native platinum nuggets that formedn in few days and some gold tellurides.I got so excited collecting them. I only started this in September and it needs heat from sun also for the minerals to grow and form. Don’t tell anyone. It might not be good for planting but it’s a good garden for growing precious metals. Keep this secret to yourself so that you’ll have soil to buy. Home depot only had 2 bags left when I bought some. I am collecting these now. Too bad that there is no option to post a pic here. I would like to post some. Thank you so much Earthgro. Hope you’ll get the good luck soil. Check the soil for sparkles. If they do you might have the luck.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      But you have to keep watering the platinum or it will wilt! What a pain that would be. I’d rather just visit a grove of platinum trees, to tell you the truth.

  13. Lynn says:

    Lol.Jim Cook. The heat from the sun is needed. You do not need to water the platinum and the gold tellurides. It didn’t need water. It just need the sun to really cook the metals to give a good color and shin.I’ll send pics if you want. It is fun to watch how these minerals forms and grows. There are no platinum trees Jim Cook. However there are platinum nuggets in native forms and colors.

  14. Eric says:

    I have been using Earthgro humus and manure for years and have never had a problem. I have never found rocks or needles! I use it in all my raised beds. A little bit of drama going on here I suspect.

    1. George Baxter says:

      My problem was with the potting soil not manure.

  15. jo says:

    I bought 6 bags of this Earth Grow potting soil and mixed it with peat in my vegetable garden beds. As i was raking through it I found a silver chain, it does have a strong manure smell to the soil. I then came inside to research the product only to find these horror like stories here. Now Iam afraid to continue planting my vegetables. Any professionals here who can advise if I should go any further?

  16. George baxter says:

    I’m a master gardener and it killed every thing! Strawberry starts, trees, everything even the plants that the water dripped on from planters. And Scotts knew about it. They gave me my money back but I wanted them to get the stuff off my property. I would love to have it tested in a lab!

  17. George baxter says:

    And by the way this was all I would use for years and years. I would mix it with peat or saND or manure but this batch was toxic. Home Depot quit carrying it and found it at Grocery outlet. They knew it was bad!

  18. Joe says:

    Late last year I was spreading EarthGro steer manure in my yard, by chance I happened to purchase a wheel barrow to make things easier on me. While using a shovel to chop up the manure and spread it across the lawn I cam across a needle in my bag. The marking on the needle says 1/2mL U-100 Insulin on it. I couldn’t believe it. I contacted Scott’s about it and told them what I found and that I had photos to share with them (maybe they could recall the batch number) but I didn’t even get a response.
    “Needless” to say I will no longer buy any of Scott’s product. I used to use them almost exclusively for lawn products.

    I tried to attach the photos to this post but couldn’t figure it out.

  19. Kim Spearbecker says:

    I bought some from Ace this year to use in container gardening. It was more mud than soil with a very yucky smell. Now I learned that a lot of bagged compost and soils contain human waste from sewage treatment plants . After doing some more research on this I found a list that includes Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil that does contain it. I’m wondering if Earthgro does too. I’m including the link to the list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Psst... what kind of person doesn't support pacifism?

Fight the Republican beast!