Nectar for the Gods or Fox Farm Soil?
Two of the most talked about products at the Indoor Earthworm are Nectar for the Gods and FoxFarm mediums.
Both of these “mediums” are tailor made to give your plants what they need to grow vibrantly in pots, raised beds, or hydroponically, indoor or outdoor. Both companies use coir fiber (the fibrous husks of the inner shell of the coconut), instead of peat moss and perlite of their blends. This blend of ingredients is sustainable for long term use and helps the soil hold the water it needs while allowing for aeration, leading to rapid root expansion necessary for denser, thicker plants. Both brands are well respected by growers of high dollar crops.
This blog will compare the two companies’ products to help you decide which brand and which blend is best for your specific needs. As always, if you have additional questions about either company’s soils, plant foods, and nutrients, or any of our other products, the trained staff at Indoor Earthworm will help you.
FoxFarm has been in business in Humboldt County, California, crafting soil and nutrients that have not been depleted of the microbes beneficial to healthy plants since 1984. All ten of their soil blends are tested in the FoxFarm greenhouse to ensure quality and consistency. Blends are available for every type of growing situation, from seedlings to fruits to ornamental hanging baskets.
FoxFarm’s Original Planting Mix can be used both in the ground and in pots and along with the popular Ocean Forest Potting Soil are the exceptions to the rule in that they do not contain coconut coir. Both of these blends contain aged forest products and earthworm castings in addition to the peat moss. Ocean Forest Potting Soil also contains bat guano, fish emulsion, and crab meal.
Nectar for the Gods has been manufactured by Oregon’s Only in Springfield, Oregon, in small four cubic yard batches for over 20 years. The unique ingredient in their four different blends is Oregon rainwater reclaimed from roof runoff, which is used to rinse the coir fiber. Rain water is softer and slightly acidic, adding nitrates, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and sodium to the soil. Because the high sodium content is not good for the plants, the soil is buffered with limestone to balance the pH.
There are currently two additional varieties of Nectar for the Gods soilless medium which complement the basic blend to meet the needs of various plants. Blend #2 is designed for hydroponic use or plant directly in it and has perlite, yucca meal, basalt and mycorrhizal fungi added. Daily feedings are safe with this blend. Blend #7 is a PH neutral coir fiber. Slowly hydrated and washed with Oregon rain water on site to release any salts. Designed for hydroponic use or plant directly in it.
Blend #4 is the most popular and is a bark and filler free blend that includes sphagnum peat moss from Lithuania, perlite, pumice, kelp meal, bone meal, diatomaceous earth, clay, basalt, oyster shell (for pH adjustment), humus and lime (for pH adjustment). It takes up to 30 days to activate, compost, and go dormant This traditional potting soil is suitable for indoor and outdoor use when additional feedings are desired. Nectar for the Gods started making Blend #4 because of inconsistencies in mass-produced and low-quality soils.
Nectar for the Gods Blend #8 is Blend #4 with perlite making up 55% of the mixture for increased drainage, making it a lighter soil.
The two soils that are the most interchangeable are the most common blends for each brand, the Ocean Forest blend from FoxFarm and #4 from Nectar for the Gods. Both are all-purpose blends especially popular with professional gardeners of high yield/high dollar crops.
It is important to check the pH of any soil blend you choose at various points in the development of the plant you are growing, as different nutrients may have to be added or the plant may have to be transplanted into a different soil.
Because both companies use small batch production systems, some soils may be out of stock at various times during the season. If you regularly use one soil and it is not available when you come in, our staff will help you select an equal or even better product. You might even walk out of our shop with a new favorite!
Here is Part 1 and Part 2 of Nectar for the Gods walk through. part 2 will take you through the making of their soil’s. I do not know any other company that will let anyone videotape their process of how they build their soil.