Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Container Soil

Since last summer I have been experimenting with different mixes of soil for containers. I have tried Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix. This works well, but the price was a little more than I wanted to spend for the amount of soil we need in our garden. Toward the end of the summer I found Sta-Green's Potting Soil with Mositur Control.

Using this potting mix is great. The soil has a lot dark and rich organic material. The soil will stay moist longer and there is a small amount of fertilizer to kick start the plants. The price is great. I can usually find a 40lb bag for about 7 bucks.

As the months went on I started mixing different types of mixes to save money and see if I can make a better mix. I started mixing cheap $2 potting mixes with the Sta-Green mix. I added extra perlite for my coco hanging basket and humus to add extra organic matter. This mix works great, the roses that I potting in just Sta-Green do not have a lot of growth on them. But my new potted roses with my mix has a lot of new growth and are doing great.

In the next few weeks I will be changing my potting mix recipe to a mix I found on the fourms of Garden Forums. Under the container garden forum do a search for Al's Mix. Everyone says this one of the best mixes around. Below you can see Al's Mix.

My Basic Soil

I'll give two recipes. I usually make big batches. I also frequently add agricultural sulfur to some soils for acid-lovers or to soils I use dolomitic lime in.

5 parts pine bark fines
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat please)
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime or gypsum
controlled release fertilizer
micronutrient powder (or other continued source of micronutrients)

Big batch:

3 cu ft pine bark fines (1 big bag)
5 gallons peat
5 gallons perlite
2 cups lime or gypsum (you can add more to small portion if needed)
2 cups CRF
1/2 cup micronutrient powder (or other)

Small batch:

3 gallons pine bark 1/2 gallon peat 1/2 gallon perlite small handful lime or gypsum 1/4 cup CRF 1 tbsp micro-nutrient powder

I will be modifying this recipe just a little. I will be adding several large handfuls of humus.

Please leave a commit about this. I await your ideas.

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