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I purchased "Earthgro potting soil" today and I noticed something odd.

When i was patting down the soil, I looked at my hands and saw what seemed to be like crystal specs. They look like small tiny snowflakes or tiny broken glass. I took a closer look at the soil and noticed these specs all over it.

Is this normal and what is it? Also why is the soil clumped up into small balls rather then ground up?

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  • Please add a photograph.
    – J. Musser
    Oct 31, 2014 at 22:04
  • I will as soon as I get the chance.
    – Lone Wolf
    Oct 31, 2014 at 22:07

2 Answers 2

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Someone else has noticed this before. From here:

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

This product has very, very poor reviews, and reviews are a good thing to look at before purchasing any product. I haven't been able to find a list of possible ingredient sources, but these are easy to pollute with glass, and without proper testing it will end up in the finished product. Others have also noted the lumpy consistency, and sometimes high levels of sticks, sand, and small stones.

I would go to the company's question page and request an ingredient/source list.

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  • Wow, thanks I didn't know that the soil could be that toxic. I will definitely be asking a soil question next. But I'm not so sure it's glass. It seems more like the flakes that fall off rocks when you scratch them.
    – Lone Wolf
    Oct 31, 2014 at 22:41
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    @LoneWolf again a sourcing problem. there are often rock shards (from silicon dioxide, for instance) that resemble glass, possibly shredded with the composting material used to put together the potting mix. In fact, i wouldn't be surprised if that's what the fellow I quoted found, and mistook for glass shards.
    – J. Musser
    Oct 31, 2014 at 22:47
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While it certainly could be contamination I would also consider the possibility it's water absorbing crystals. Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Medium-absorbing-crystal-polymer-Insect/dp/B0051V40AO

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