View Full Version : BEWARE: MiracleGro ORGANIC Garden Soil

05-23-2009, 08:55 PM
I normally avoid products labeled organic when they are produced by companies that I know make chemicals. I just don't trust them. But, when I built my new raised beds this year, I filled them with the only thing I had available to me at my local garden center. Since they only carry MiracleGro products, I bought the garden soil for in-ground beds (instead of potting soil). I read the ingredients, composted plant materials and manure, sounds safe....? So, we bought 2 pallets worth, several hundred dollars, because that was the only choice we had, and filled our beds. We thought that eventually they would pay for themselves and we would finally have good soil to work with.

What a mistake! The soil is filled with the spores of some kind of mushroom fungus, which keeps popping up after every rain. Not any kind of mushroom I've ever seen before and I'm wondering if it is poisonous. What safety issues do I need to be concerned with if I truly am growing vegetables in poisonous mushrooms? Also, it is loaded with some kind of insect egg/pupa/larvae, and I just can't wait to find out what that is. :eek:

I can't even begin to tell you how furious I am that I was this ripped off! Of course insect larvae is technically organic, so are mushroom spores. So they didn't outright lie. But if this is some kind of a ploy for them to come back and say to use chemicals, I fear I may have to choke somebody. :mad:

05-24-2009, 12:41 AM
Hehe, I get mushrooms poping up after every rain. It just happens. Pull them before they use up too many nutrients.

The insect larva would possibly be present in any compost material. I couldn't tell you what they are. Watch them closely.

In general I stay away from MG due to the salts they use as filler. Of course here we have a plethlera of options open to us. I can only suggest building your own compost bin to supplement. Good luck!

05-24-2009, 09:06 AM
Yes, that's what's happening. It's after every rain. But I've never seen so many!! Here's some pictures to help identify what kind of mushroom it is. Starts out a small brown/tan cap then opens to a grey flat umbrella.





05-24-2009, 10:04 AM
mushroom and fungus spores are very natural. If there was a fair amount of wood fines in the mix - that increases the odds of fungus spores being present.

Bottom line... they are not harmful to your garden or your soil. just pull them out and cultivate the soil to disrupt the growing process and carry on. They will periodically pop up if conditions are good - warm but not hot, and wet. But again, it is nothing to worry about. Happens all the time and really has nothing to do with it being from the miracle grow manufacturer.

05-24-2009, 04:01 PM
First, your garden looks great. Considering all the rain you have had, things look beautiful.

I agree with everyone else - the spores are in the air, in the ground, in the compost, you name it. I even have some that pop up on my new soaker hoses - who knows what they are!

I don't worry about the fungi that pop up, I just ignore them. I suppose if I had an infestation of some sort, I'd bother pulling them -

You sound so sad about your soil. I bet it is just fine and that you can continue to amend it and make it the rich and lush soil you desire in a very short while.

05-24-2009, 07:56 PM
Don't worry about the fungus, totally no big deal. That garden is looking good!

05-24-2009, 11:29 PM
I quit using anything miracle gro after the whole scott's/MG monsanto deal (round up & soy).

05-25-2009, 01:31 AM
Sorry to hear about you soil troubles. Could you maybe put mulch or landscape fabric around you plants? I don't know if that would stop the mushrooms though as they like low light.

I stopped using anything MiracleGro a few years ago. We had a bag of indoor potting mix that we hadn't opened yet although we had bought it about a month before. When I did go to use it I found that the bag had a few large funny coloured mushrooms in it and, because I didn't know there was a problem, I breathed in some of the spores that puffed out. My mouth and lips went numb for almost an hour.

05-26-2009, 12:00 AM
OneSmallShift - wow! yikes! That sounds quite frightening! I guess as long as I avoid consuming the mushrooms, I'll be all right.

Everybody else - thank you very much for soothing my concerns. Yes, I do tend to panic first and ask questions later. Please forgive me. I guess I'll just look at it like a natural process and not worry about it. I have been disturbing the soil around them, knocking them out, and breaking them up. I have also pulled them out completely if it looks like a major infestation. This soil really was full of wood chips and things, so I guess it still is "natural", including everything that comes along with it: fungus, insects, etc. I just need to embrace it as the natural thing it is. Thank you.

Cynthia - I will continue to ammend the soil each season. Hopefully it is redeamable. I think it is. Over the years, I should be able to make it what I want it to be. Thank you.