Why do Searles Potting Mixes look different lately?

Why do Searles potting mixes look different lately?


For over 45 years the Searles family has been blending premium quality potting mixes, garden soils and composts designed for home garden use. Through research, testing and trialling, Searles has formulated high-quality recipes which are rigorously tested before bagging and dispatched to retail stores.


Over the course of many years, mixes are constantly improved with new processes, amended ingredients and improved composting practices. Some ingredients have variable availability which requires Searles to modify the percentages of base components in each mix. Many of the mixes ingredients are organic by-products of other industries and therefore varies in availability depending on the prevailing circumstances in the market at the time.


Base ingredients may be interchangeable in the mixes and have been developed so there is ongoing improvement in performance. We place very high importance on maintaining the correct mixture matrix to provide growing media that performs to the highest standard and lasts for a long time period in use. Each batch is fully tested, and samples are retained to ensure you are receiving a mix that will meet and exceed your expectation in performance.


During the Covid crisis of 2020 and into 2021, certain base ingredients have been unavailable or extremely restricted, which is understandable given the crisis circumstances. Searles has elected to interchange some ingredients to maintain supply during this very high demand period. As a result, the appearance and texture of the mixtures may have changed from what we are accustomed to seeing leading up to the Covid crisis period.


Searles reassures our valued customers and consumers, that the visual changes in the mixtures are not an indication of performance, rather a necessity of ingredient availability and ongoing growing media improvements. The mixtures will continue to perform at exceptionally high levels and all have been tested prior to release. The texture changes may consist of higher coir/peat content, alteration of fine grade bark shape, the increased presence of fine wood and bark slivers and darker/lighter colour appearance. None of these visual changes is detrimental to the mix, plants or performance. These are an indicator of Searles robust commitment to the highest quality, consistent supply and outstanding results.

All mixes are screened through a matrix of screen apertures to provide the necessary particle size distribution and ensure the correct matrix of particles for the designed purpose of the mixture. The end result is a friable, fine-textured mix with exceptional water holding capacity, drainage and texture for root and plant growth. The presence of longer wood and bark particles with 1-2cm pieces is excellent for mix drainage, longevity in the mix and aeration for root development.


Visual changes are not an indication of product performance. Each mix is rigorously tested, inspected and formulated to deliver exceptional performance, even when the visual context of each mix may appear slightly different.


Thank you to all the gardeners supporting our family business and products over many years. Searles aspiration is to continue delivering excellent performance in our products and to give you the confidence to relish your gardening experience.