Much More Than Dirt


Cultivating any plant to perfection naturally requires four things: stable genetics, light, water, and soil. The soil, no matter what type of plant, will play a significant role in the plant’s health. This is especially true for cannabis. When it comes to agriculture, remaining innovative is the only thing that allows many to stay successful in this industry. Changing with the times and tides is something the Wyrick family, owners and founders of Dirtbag Soil, does best.

The Story of Dirtbag Soil and the History of its Founding Family

At the turn of the century, Stephen Wyrick’s great-grandfather, Martin Andersen began cultivating iceberg lettuce in California. Five generations later, all family members — including Stephen’s daughter, Madison Wyrick — work in the the family business to help growers produce the best plants possible.

“We come from a background in commercial California farming and vineyard growing, and knew we could do better,” says Stephen, knowing that great soil starts from ground zero.

Stephen was also a pioneer in the 90s: he was one of the first and largest conventional spring mix and specialty growers, thanks to his state of the art 350,000 square foot processing facilities and the development of his own mechanical spring mix harvester.

After repeatability being disappointed with many of the soil blends on the market, the Wyrick’s took matters into their own hands. In 2015, Dirtbag Soil was started out of Hollister, California. The premium blend is dedicated to providing growers with the quality natural soil they deserve.

The Products

What started with one formula, Dirtbag V, has evolved into three premium grow mediums available for bulk purchase in Nevada, Oregon, and California. All three of their products offered in the Dirtbag Soil line are grown utilizing mycelium, and other natural ingredients to honor the symbiotic relationship between organisms and positive bacteria.

All of the products pass strenuous testing for use with leafy green substances and contain no pathogens. Dirtbag Soil has an inhouse lab that provides testing for all their products, along with an independent third party.

Without further ado, here are the three products offered by Dirtbag Soil:

Formula V: Formula V is the original formula of topsoil offered by Dirtbag Soil. This starter medium is also their most popular. Formula V is made with high-quality, top shelf compost that includes peat moss, mushroom compost, mycelium and other natural organisms. Dirtbag Soil uses high-end natural compost so that they are able to leave the terpenes available for the plant to use.

Some of the ingredients that you can find in Formula V include (but are not limited to) twice composted nitrogen-rich compost made with green waste, wood, herbivore manure, mushroom mulch, perlite, and peat moss.

The Good Stuff: The Good Stuff is another starter medium offered by Dirtbag Soil. This pH and nitrogen-neutral, ready to plant product is made with the highest quality, natural soil enhancers and fertilizers. The Good Stuff contains aged forest humus, peat moss, yucca, humic acid, seaweed extract, bentonite, bone meal, perlite, colloidal minerals, and all-natural nitrogen-rich compost.

Mushroom Magic: Mushroom Magic is a mycelium rich soil additive and enhancer that is made with 100 percent mushroom mulch. By adding Mushroom Magic to your soil, it will bring naturally rich mycelium growth and oxygen to the roots of your plants. This not only benefits your plants but also helps to eliminate impurities that may be lurking in your soil.

Now that you know more about the products offered by Dirtbag Soil, let’s take a look at the process that goes into making these products as well as a few of the people who make it all possible behind the scenes.

The People

In total, there are 20-25 individuals involved in the process of manufacturing Dirtbag Soil products from start-to-finish. All of whom have years of experience in compost and soil production.

Here is a look behind the curtain of the individuals that make up the Dirtbag Soil team.

    Stephen Wyrick is one of the founders of Dirtbag Soil and a vital part of the team. From determining the correct soil or individual ingredients that will meet their needs, to helping find the best shipment methods to keep costs low for customers, Stephen is responsible for many of the behind the scene tasks relating to customer needs and sales.

    Frank Shields  is a team member at Dirtbag Soil who was on a compost committee back in the 70s regarding best practices for composting and testing. He also developed the equipment that is still widely utilized today to test compost purity.

    Kenny Rumrill is the master chef of soils at Dirtbag Soil. Kenny works tirelessly, week-after-week, to ensure every aspect of the process stays on track and meets and exceeds standards and expectations.

The Process

Creating this superior soil takes the right ingredients, and dedication to provide growers with an outstanding product. While some details behind the soil’s creation are kept underwraps, the company can reveal that the process for making the main nitrogen-rich compost takes roughly 30 weeks. All products are either double or triple composted under vigorous conditions to ensure that all harmful food pathogens, like E Coli and salmonella, do not live in the food grade soil. This process creates a compost environment that is perfect for cultivating produce, and other leafy green substances. From the bottom up, Dirtbag Soil starts at ground zero and becomes your garden hero.

To learn more or place your order for delivery, contact Dirtbag Soil today via their website at

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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