Made Flowers Grow in a War-Zone

WAr Zone2
Two-tiered planter

I deploy to Afghanistan often, and I’ve spent the last three summers here. (I miss JULY 4th so freaking much…) That aside, this time around, I was intent on growing some flowers to break up the monotony and ugliness of white rock, dust, cement t-wall barriers, and barbed wire. Kind of hard to do when there’s no dirt around.

WAr Zone

I’m an enlisted flyer (USAF), and fly missions every day, but I found time to build a little two-tiered planter when a couple of spring thunderstorms gave me some downtime. (Thanks next door NAVY SEABEES for the scrap wood you threw out in my squadron’s dumpster). Being the industrious airman that I am, I made friends with a bunch of random people and borrowed a circular saw, some screws, a tape measure, etc…and built my masterpiece. (4ft x 8in).

Thankfully, my dirt had arrived in the mail right on time. I bought four bags of Black Gold Natural & Organic, and mixed about half with some Afghan dirt (think really, really sandy, rocky, clay) and planted my seeds. Holy crap am I glad I bought this dirt. I’m growing sunflowers and zinnias (both like direct sunlight, and there is way too much of that out here) and boy are they growing. The plants sprouted in 6 days. 6! And little buds have just started blooming around day 30. I’m not sure what they put in the dirt, but thanks! I’ll be looking for this brand in stores next spring when I PCS to the Midwest when I get back in the fall. If I can’t find it in stores, I’ll be buying again.

War Zone 3
Sunflowers and Zinnias

Takeaway: This dirt is magic. I had low hopes that my plants would grow, much less bloom, and they have done both!

-Jason Strong

Great for Carnivorous Plants!

“I have been using your peat moss for many years and find it excellent. I am a carnivorous plant grower. I am also a member of a Facebook group called “carnivorous plant community.” Many times people (especially in the U.S.) ask where they can buy pure sphagnum based peat moss. It seems most products in the major chains are “value added”. This is no good for carnivorous plants. Cheers!” -Owen, Somersby, Australia

(Owen buys his Sun Gro Peat Moss at Garden City Plastics in Somersby NSW Australia.)

Bring Black Gold to Your Garden Center!

BG_ALLPURPOSE_1CF-FRONTCan’t find Black Gold® or other Sun Gro products at your local garden center? Interested in carrying Black Gold? Then please email us at We will work with you to find a solution!

Black Gold® products are quickly moving beyond the Western United States to a garden center and hydroponics store near you. And it’s easy to see why. Sun Gro has production locations and distributors all across North America, so we can provide the best product to our customers from regional hubs. What’s more, many of our products are OMRI Listed and Veriflora Certified, so you can feel confident that you are growing with the best.

Want to be part of the action? Then request our top-quality growing products today!

If you are a retailer ready to join the thousands of other happy Black Gold® vendors, please email us here.

If you have Black Gold® customer support or sales suggestions please send us an email.


Black Gold Orchid Mix: A Superior Product

BG Orchid Mix frontI must agree with your article on orchids. Your Orchid Potting Mix (as near as I know) has to be the finest orchid potting mix available. I usually wait until the orchids are done blooming. In my case I have waited over 11 months to re-pot and I do use Black Gold Orchid Mix.

Thanks for making a superior product.

-Joel Hobbs

Black Gold Garden Compost Allows Your Plants to Perform Better

The row of kale on the right (in the photo below) was grown using Black Gold Garden Compost, while the kale on the left in the photo was grown with a Big Box compost. The plants on the right were even planted later than the plants on the left.

Properly composted OMRI Listed Black Gold Garden Compost Blend allows your plants to perform better!

Ben – Seattle, WA
Continue reading “Black Gold Garden Compost Allows Your Plants to Perform Better”

Testimonial from New Mexico

Here’s a letter that was sent to us by a happy customer in New Mexico:


Hi, I want to tell you I think your BLACK GOLD potting soil is the best!

I would routinely purchase a national branded potting mix, thinking it lived up to its advertising… but it doesn’t.

One of my favorite houseplants, Purple Oxalis, has struggled for years and years. It would produce a few scrawny leaves and they’d be brown and crispy at the edges. I bought some BLACK GOLD soil and transplanted the Oxalis and watered it only with distilled water. It is thriving! The pot is full of leaves and blooming non-stop, and it is just beautiful. Your product saved my favorite plant!

I have probably 40 houseplants, and am using BLACK GOLD on the ones that are struggling.

So much for the other potting soil!

I LOVE your product. Thank you very much.

Marcia, New Mexico

Black Gold Earthworm Castings Yield an 855 Pound Pumpkin!

Giant pumpkin growing is a true art. Learn what a smart grower in Utah did to grow a giant, award-winning pumpkin:

Check out the pumpkin I grew this year in a 400 square foot patch!  It was the 4th heaviest in Utah this year at 855 pounds.  This is my 5th year of growing and my previous best was 404 pounds in 2007.

One of the only things I did differently than previous years is add 160 quarts (10 bags) of Black Gold Earthworm Castings into the top 6 inches of soil.  Please don’t tell anybody!  Thank you!


Russ, Utah



Potting Soil Recommendation for Black Gold

We couldn’t have asked for a better potting soil recommendation! Read what Nat Lichten has to say about Black Gold:

We’ve attached the first few photos of container gardens that we were sent from participants in the NWSA AmeriCorps Home Gardens Program.  All of these beautiful veggies were grown in Black Gold potting soil! What success!

I’ll pass on more photos as the season continues.  Thank you and everyone else at Sun Gro so much for all your support in helping low-income Portlanders grow their own food!

Nat Lichten
Home Garden Coordinator
NWSA AmeriCorps



3-2-1 Fast Germination with Black Gold!

Better seed germination was achieved with Black Gold!  Bill Bird, who writes the Sacramento Vegetable Gardening blog, raved recently about Black Gold seed starting mix. His tomato seeds sprouted in six days! Bill wrote: “What I needed was a good seed starting medium. And I found it at Lockhart Seed in Stockton. This stuff is called “Black Gold” and it is — as advertised — some of the softest and nicest seed starting mixes I’ve ever come across. It truly is “Black Gold”. I have the seed starts to prove it.”


Thanks to Black Gold®

Jeanne wrote to us:

“I wanted to let you know that received the Black Gold gardening apron and the Black Gold potting mix and transplant fertilizer.  Thank you so much!  I added those items to other gardening products in a basket to be auctioned off for charity this Saturday.  I’m intending to bid on the basket, but in any case the basket will go to a gardening enthusiast and the money will go to a good cause.  Black Gold gardening products has been credited for the donation, so your company’s name will go out to all who attend the auction (a little extra publicity!).   Thanks again to Black Gold for making great products and for sending me these great prizes!”