Espoma potting mix is the first major brand of soil that we've come across that will grow a beautiful tray of microgreens.
We've done trials on many potting mixes (see below). Espoma is the first major retail accessible brand that works nearly as good as our own microgreen potting mix.
This article and video present a microgreen growing test comparing Espoma Potting Mix, Home Microgreens Potting Mix, and Espoma Seed Starting Mix.
You can see and judge for yourself which potting mix grows microgreens the best.
We haven't tested all soil brands found in retail stores, i.e., garden centers, box stores, and Amazon, to clarify our statement. But finding the best accessible supplies at reasonable prices for our readers is the goal.
Sneak Peak of the Espoma Potting Mix Results
But which is which? Read on (click to expand images).
Home Microgreens is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may earn a small commission from the companies mentioned in this post at no additional cost to you. Not all links are connected to affiliate companies.
Soil Trials at Home Microgreens
To keep with our Mission, we want to provide the best information so you can make an educated decision on all of your purchases.
We try to base everything we say or write on real data. All of the soil trials we do at Home Microgreens (there will be more plus mats, too) is to show you the results. Whether in photos or video so you can see the differences in the products and the end result.
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Later in the article and video, you'll see the results of two great potting mixes. One did noticeably better than the other. But besides growth, the cost has to be a factor in anyone's buying decision.
We want to be honest and upfront on our suggestions. We will state our opinion but give you the data to make your own choice.
Test Between Home Microgreens Potting Mix & Espoma Potting Mix
The short video below shows you how the test was run, how the microgreens looked during each growing stage, and the final results.
Below the video, we discuss more details of the test, talk more about each product, and include a Podcast episode on growing microgreens with these soil mixes.
Also, there's a third product in the video and some of the photos. You'll quickly see that the product is worthless for growing microgreens. At least without preparing the soil beforehand.
But who has time for that?
Which Grows Broccoli Microgreens Better, Home Microgreens Potting Mix or Espoma Potting Mix?
Play the video below to find out.
More About The Potting Mixes
Below are a few details of each potting mix, what's in them, where you can buy them, and a cost differential.
Home Microgreen Potting Mix
The Home Microgreens Potting Mix is a blended mix that we do in-house, literally.
It starts with a major brand, and we add other ingredients (or more) that make the base mix much better.
Home Microgreens Potting Mix Ingredients
All of the supplements are ORMI certified organic and does not create any odors.
Home Microgreen Potting Mix includes the following ingredients. Coconut coir, composted forest material, perlite, earthworm castings, kelp, oyster shells, dolomite, fossilized bat guano, blood meal, insect frass, langbeinite, and mycorrhizae buds.
Purchasing Home Microgreens Soil
Home Microgreens potting mix can be purchased in the Home Microgreens Store. With a $35 order, it will ship free to your home.
Listen to an Audio Version of the Article
We don't just read the article word for word in the audio version; it's a stand on its own piece of content that includes more details on the topic. These can include more tips, opinions, details, data, and information on this and related topics.
The Microgreens Podcast Episode 013
Espoma Potting Mix
Espoma Potting Mix can be found at larger garden centers and box stores. It can also be shipped free to your home from Amazon with a $25 minimum order or with Prime.
We choose the Espoma Potting Mix because we have great luck with Espoma products in the garden. Second, it's more readily available in retail stores than, say, Fox Farm or Humboldt products.
It also is reasonably priced on Amazon.
Espoma Potting Mix Organic?
On the front of the package, Espoma (front and center!) claims that it is an organic potting mix.
It's my understanding (correct us if we're wrong - not looking it up) that to label a product as organic, it needs to be certified by one of the organizations? Anyway, we couldn't find any independent organization that lists Espoma potting mix as organic.
But we will take their word on it. We trust the Espoma brand.
Espoma Potting Mix Ingredients
Unlike the Home Microgreens potting mix, Espoma potting mix is peat moss based. We aren't a fan of peat moss. But as you saw in the video, the Espoma mix did wet nicely. There was a little ponding, but it soaked in quickly. Maybe because it was already slightly moist, we aren't sure.
The mix contains, peat moss, aged forest products, humus (compost made from rice hulls), perlite, limestone, earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp, feather meal, yucca extract, and ecto & endo-mycorrhizal fungi buds or propagules.
The Espoma mix is very similar to the Home Microgreens mix except for the natural products we add. These increase leave size, stem diameter, and overall vigor in the plants.
For example, the leaf size in the trial shows how our potting mix naturally increases plant vigor.
You can see the leaves grown on Home Microgreen soil are larger and thicker than those on the Espoma.
In the video, you saw that the size of the canopy is quite a bit larger than the microgreens grown in Espoma. Again, we believe this increased growth is because of the natural products we add to the soil.
We Are Not Snubbing Espoma Potting Mix
We like Espoma Potting Mix, especially for a peat moss based growing media.
If we rated soils, the Espoma mix would be second or tied with second with Fox Farms Coco Loco. They grow great microgreens. But Espoma is much easier to find locally, and it's cheaper.
Without a doubt, we would use Espoma's mix if we couldn't find the materials to make our blend.
Lets Talk Price of Espoma Potting Mix
Today (12-10-2020) Espoma potting mix costs about $13.50 for a 8-quart (7.6-liter) bag. A 4X Home Microgreens potting mix costs $5.99 for what equals about a 3-quart (2.8-liter) bag.
That's a difference of 30-cents a quart.
In terms of microgreens trays, a Home Microgreen tray holds about 0.75 quarts. Using our soil, that's $1.50 a tray and $1.28 for the Espoma potting mix.
The price difference between the soil for a 1010 microgreen tray is 66-cents.
If you use 1020 trays, chances are you'll be buying larger 2 cubic foot bags, and the prices on those vary quite a bit depending on the source. So we'll leave those out of this discussion.
Both Potting Mixes Are Great
The question comes down to slightly better results using the Home Microgreens mix. But it's less expensive to use the Espoma mix.
You will have to look at the trays of microgreens above and decide if the tray on the left is worth 22-cents more than the one on the right.
The microgreens growing in the Espoma mix will get as large as the other. They are about 2-days behind. But I don't think the leaves will be as thick or as big.
Two Great Potting Mixes - Which Do You Choose?
You can't go wrong with either of these potting mixes.
If you're interested in purchasing either one or both soils, you can visit their product pages by clicking the buttons below.
What Soil Do You Use?
Tell us what soil you use. We'd like to know. We are always looking for soils to test, so drop us a line if you'd like a particular brand tested.
We want to find the best products.
Let us know in the comment section below.