prolonging a 5:1:1 mix (versus gritty)
I've been reading a lot (a lot a lot) about the successes people have had with the gritty mix. I'm also a pretty hands on waterer/fertilizer of my plants, so a fast draining mix is probably a good option for me. However, there is a problem. I don't really think I can handle making and procuring the ingredients for a batch of gritty mix. I'm a student, low-income, and live in a 1 bedroom apartment with little room for gravel sifting, large buckets, etc.
However, it seems like the 5:1:1 mix, while much easier to make (I can buy smaller bags, there are only a few easily acquired ingredients etc.), doesn't last as long.
Is there any way I can prolong this mix? What can I add? Am I silly to think it's a good substitute for the gritty mix? I've always been a 1/2 peat + 1/2 perlite container gardener, and it's worked out well. But if I can do something better, I'd like to try.
Also, to emphasize, it really is going to be very hard for me to make a gritty mix (if I'm going by other tutorials I've seen on this site) so I'd like to make the 5:1:1 mix work if I could.
One final question...does the 5:1:1 mix work on everything? I've got high humidity plants that need to be moist often (e.g. fittonia), and easy plants (e.g. pothos) as well.