Scott's Potting Soil Question

riceke(Z8GASnellville)February 10, 2012

Has anyone experienced this? I bought a small bag of this to pot a few houseplants with and I can't get it to absorb water and to keep it moist. When I watered it the water just stayed on top for a long time. So I soaked it in a pan of water but 2 days later it was dry again. I can't seem to get it hydrated.

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I would recommend to you to read following posting on this forum:
"Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention"
it is long post, but very well explained "why"...I found posts by Al (tapla) on this forum very helpfull. To find, type in search box: tapla water movement.
I am getting lots of great info, clearly explained. Rina

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 3:30PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I agree with Rina.

Also, most bagged soils are made from peat moss. Peat moss is known to be both hydrophobic
(difficult to wet) and hydrophilic (difficult to dry). That's but one reason why I've ditched
peat moss and bagged potting soils as a container mix ingredient. Just no reason to use it.

Often, bagged soils include a "wetting agent" for this very reason.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:45PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am no expert on bagged potting soils, never use it myself. When you read the list of ingredients on the bag, try and find a brand that uses bark as its organic base. It will sometimes be listed as "forest products". Any peat based mix will always need to be kept in a damp state to be ready to use. ANY mix should only be used damp, and dampening should be at least the day before use. I buy my mix by the yard, and my last load was dry when loaded on my truck and it has been a real job to get it all evenly damp for potting. Next time I will get out of the truck and inspect it before loading. Al

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:30AM
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I, myself, abandoned the use of bagged potting soils long ago... they simply do not deliver the results I'm looking for, and most have gone downhill considerably in regard to quality.

Begin reading at the link I posted below, and you'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about container soils and how to grow healthy potted plants!

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils - Water Movement and Retention XV

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:35AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Soak it in water and stir it up so you atleast get most exposed to the water .let it sit a few days about all you can do with it best toss and get something else

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Just got a nice bag of Miracle Gro Potting Mix and cant wait to achive the same trusted results year after year.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 12:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Trusted results? MasterGardener, I thought you promised to turn a new leaf?
I'm disappointed.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 9:15PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

While most come here to learn and engage in meaningful conversation that contributes to the flow of information, or even to socialize, it remains an unfortunate fact that there will always be a few who remain ever content to throw stones in the pond and watch the ripples.

The behavior isn't just limited to the container gardening forum, it's site-wide.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 11:09AM
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TheMasterBaitor1: Obvious troll.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 3:21PM
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It's just the nature of message boards and forums in general. There will always be a minority amount of members who only want to play games or start trouble. It's not only site-wide, it's internet-wide.

Stick around long enough, and you learn who wears the white hats, and who just gallops through town looking to shoot up the place. Ignore works very well.

Ya know... I could swear we just talked about this very thing recently...

Anyway... I find it more beneficial to my container growing to mix my own mediums. Let's face it... the gardening/plant industry is like any other... it exists to profit... not necessarily to offer us the finest in products.

Therefore, I did my homework, and with a little help from tapla, I learned everything I needed to know, but didn't know where to look for the answers. Tapla's writings on the issues of container mediums, fertilizers, and pretty much everything else have sent me on the path toward very successful container growing.

And mixing your own mediums allows you the diversity you may need depending on what you're growing, where you are growing, and any other variables you might run into.

I use the Gritty Mix in different formulas for indoor growing, and a rendition of the 511 for my outdoor containers. Plus, I like the work, and I like the results even better!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 6:45PM
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"Just got a nice bag of Miracle Gro Potting Mix and cant wait to achive the same trusted results year after year. "

This was my ONLY reply to this post.

Some very strange responses to that?

"The behavior isn't just limited to the container gardening forum, it's site-wide. "

Saying Miracle gro is trusted soil?

"TheMasterBaitor1: Obvious troll."

To know what "troll" is reffering to you would have to be a "troll". You know?

So who really is out of line here?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Uh um>:-)

Any mix with peat as a base ingredients such as MG or Scott's potting 'MIX' has always been trusted to me when using a 1/2 scoop to 5 scoops of bark and 1 scoop of perlite.
Even better than that for me is 5 parts bark, 1 part perlite, and one part

Now any potting 'SOIL' will not do one beneficial thing to my potted plants even if I use a fraction of it.

Thanks to Tapla, and others, as Jodik says I can make just about any great soilless mix that I want that does not compact in a short amount of time, repel water because it can't run through it, does not become hard and hydrophobic, or harbor fungus gnats and pests within weeks because it stays to wet.

It is a fact that a porous mix won't due what you described above. I would definitely look for something else or make my own.

I too have now abandoned peat all together and have the best results I have ever had, thanks to wonderful people here by teaching me simple basic principles about growing in pots and with arming me with such valuable information I was once ignorant of. Thank goodness!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Yes when letting the top layer of peat dry out it will cause a blanket effect which will not allow the lower soil level to dry out and exchange needed oxygen. The 5-1-1 and other mixes allow air flow at all times. In a rain forest it rains for months and plants thrive because of the drainage of the soil.

I will post pictures this year of plants in the 5-1-1!!!!!!!!!! I am using it in my 2 gal and larger containers so it will be a huge part of my garden!!! I will have 60+ potted plants and I can't get pine fines that easy. The only way is if I just use up my peat moss and add miracle gro and perlite. It is just easier to fill more containers thats all.

So the fact is I am still using peat based mix for a portion containers. I know pine fine are better that is why I am using the 5-1-1. I am using peat aswell because Pro Mix is another trusted mix I used in the past. I understand there is better options but is that to say one should be against another mix?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 11:10PM
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"Any debate I have had was garden related, not like some of the remarks made in the Container Gardening section under the post called "Scott's Potting Soil Question" Go ahead check it out I want everyone to see ;)"

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Mastergardener, You Shouldn't have to explain yourself to any of these people. "CYBER BULLIES." They attacked you for your opinion. I read the whole thread. Its the ole "our" way or the high way mentality. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Don't let it bother you. Try going to TV and see what other people are doing and look at their results. You'd be suprised

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 1:56PM
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How can I say this without offending anyone... once you've spent a great deal of time on this forum, and a few others, you will, Augiedog, hopefully, begin to understand the scenario that repeats and repeats and repeats itself to the point of utter frustration.

The very definition of insanity is asking the same questions over and over again, hoping for a different answer.

And with that... I bid you all a good day.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Sad fact of life: The only effective way to deal with a troll is to completely ignore him. But many new people visit these forums every day with sincere questions about the "common wisdom" created by the huge Scotts MiracleGro Osmocote conglomerate and the big box stores. If we don't counter comments suggesting their products will always produce trusted results, we are doing the new people a disservice. If we do call the troll on his destructive tactics, we look like bullies.

If you want to see what trolling looks like, check out some of the 278 threads siewide that the "master gardener" has joined in the 10 months since he joined and note that he usually makes multiple comments bypassing GW's rule that should prevent posting two times in a row.

Here is a link that might be useful: Is this stuff helpful?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 8:12PM
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Well if that is the case then I will make sure not to post twice in a row, I thought it was ok because I seen so many others do it. This season I really am going to use the 5-1-1 and show pictures.

I just looked at the link, they all seem like on subject with gardening.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 9:50PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

How I see it:
Being careful to fly just under the radar and not violate the LETTER of the law doesn't mean someone can't wantonly violate the spirit of the law. These good people and regular contributors to this forum aren't upset with you because of your soil or fertilizer choices, because of your opinions, or because you post something twice in a row. It goes well beyond that, to the type of posts you make and the content that is intentionally offered to create strife. I've been running into the same behavior on this and other forums for a long time, as have others, as was noted. People are just letting you know they're on to you and how you've been conducting yourself. Hopefully you'll take what's being said to heart and rethink how you present yourself. I know you would gain a lot more respect by altering your course than staying it; and in the end, we would all gain.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I will Al, and thank for even giving me the time at this point,and I mean it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Habits die hard Al unfortunately bad habits stay with us even longer.

GardenMaster: (As you request to be called) We all say things that nobody wants to hear or maybe they just don't understand what you are saying the way they meant for it to be heard.

As Al was saying the only thing you can change is you. GW remains the same in this aspect..... There will never be a GW thread with all the right answers to what ever question you or someone else may ask or opinion you or they wish to express regardless of how many times you/they post it.

Subject being about Scotts potting soil and the question I hope to answer for the person posting question is

I have no experience in growing any plants in containers with this type of soil( me being Humble) I don't know if any plant would grow in it nor do I know if the plant wouldn't grow in the Scotts type soil in question ( Me being honest)

I'm almost certain if you decide to grow any type of plant in any type of soil and ask questions you'll get over 5 million different responses. ( me being intuitive)

Which brings me to being sometimes dishonest, take a moment and look up how to fix a broken leg on goggle and there in lines are over 5 million ways to fix a broken leg( Honestly though this is me being snarl regardless of the New Years resolution someone else TRIED to make for me )
Don't be confused by me being snarl or by the person who tried to make such a heavy resolution for me. I still allow them to be who they are in the same respect they allow me to be who I am results: At least we both/All learn and now know one of us is wrong.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Usually, in the forums I frequent, using the same brand names over and over and over, even when they've been proven many times to be questionable through vetted scientific information, we call the person who keeps "selling" the poor idea a shill. Corporations plant them within forums all the time to keep their product(s) high in the search results. They're often paid by corporations.

There are too many tactics used by too many predictable message board types... after a while, you can almost tell what will follow depending on certain names and certain repeats.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:35AM
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riceke , have you done any tests with the soil you bought ? planted someting in it ?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Test... ? Are plants to be graded on the production of how well they may grow ?...... Did they plant something in it ? Hmmmm how can I say, the plant cant pass or fail unless it was planted in some type of media with out someone being offended.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Mrlike2u, it is a valid question.
Perhaps you aren't aware, but Tecnico's first language isn't English.
He is asking if anything has been planted in the soil. Tested, in that regard.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 2:47AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I often have a lot of difficulty discerning what Mrlike is saying, but whether or not our plants meet our expectations, or even our hopes, is the test. If they don't, we have the option of suffering the status quo or making a change for the better.

This idea is a constant part of our lives and the decision making process. If you don't like one brand you buy another because the former didn't pass the test. If you don't like warm showers, take a cold one .....

FWIW - I can't think of a single incidence where anyone was offended by someone else's media choice. It just doesn't happen because no one cares enough to fret about it. People are far more likely to be offended by the deportment of say, a rabble rouser that causes more heat than light by insisting on being a part of a thread but not really contributing anything meaningful, than they would be by someone's media choice. That happens regularly, but the media thing I don't see.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 2:42PM
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I don't post often here, but just to offer a bit of help to Master Gardener, I would recommend or suggest that a little attention to spelling, punctuation, and grammar might help us understand your message better. I only say this to be helpful to you. I gave your reply a cursory glance, didn't understand it well enough to absorb the comment(s), and moved on to other replies to the OP. I didn't even realize there was an intention to "stir the pot" by him/her.

I finally got it when reading the replies to MG1's comment. So maybe the comment would have been best left "untouched." I, and probably several others, don't give a hoot about past, in-house battles. We just want information. This smacked of a group beat down. Not called for. I commend Al for he has helped an endless number of folks with his research and shared knowledge. He got my attention and I use the 5:1:1 mix. But, I also believe that everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion or belief on what works for them, right or wrong in the eyes of their peers.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:24PM
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I come to this forum everytime I get a break so I may miss spell and write off subject things and I am sorry for that.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Susan: I don't believe the problem some of us have with TheMasterGardener1 is that we disagree with his opinions. He has expressed opinions on all sides of many issues and often contradicts himself in the same post. The problem is that he does just what he said: He comes here to misspell, use poor grammar and distract from whatever the topic is. I don't believe he is stupid or uneducated. I think he is actually pretty clever. His behavior is designed to draw attention to himself and to stir up negative emotions in others. I believe he gets pleasure from being able to make others angry. If we call him on this behavior, we look like the bad guys. This kind of behavior happens on many Internet forums and is described as trolling or being a troll.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 12:38PM
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I want everyone to look at the "anything you want to talk about" question and see how I am telling people things they do not know. See how all I talk about is plants and Ohiofem keeps saying off subject things talking about my spelling and how I am a TROLL ;)

Thats right a troll :o

So please everyone check it out, it is about to get better.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:22PM
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