Taking on Gritty Mix
These are the times when the less you read, the better off you probably are. But I can't unread what I've read, so for the last few days, I've felt compelled to attempt this gritty mix.
I have mixed feelings about Al right now, haha. I love his brain and knowledge but I'm pondering not reading his posts anymore lest this kill all of my otherwise perfectly fine plants because I tinker with them again and again due to learning something new! :-D (Kidding, Al. About me not reading -- not about me potentially killing my plants, which I very well may do at this rate.)
Mind you, I live in a 2 bedroom condo. I have two small balconies, no hose, and slight and non-diagnosed OCD issue with keeping the house clean, and sifting or watering over the railing is not quite as easy to do with two layers of plants hanging off the railing.
But I'm nothing if not a glutton for punishment, so I spent 4.5 hours yesterday driving around the Bay Area to procure the components needed. It was quite a sight to see me, who friends normally label with "princess syndrome" or "prissy", at best, shoveling up ROCKS from piles high as buildings at a landscape supply company. Quite a sight. And, after two scoops, I'd also have to google something else about Al's Gritty Mix, unsure if I was really buying the right thing or not.
Anyway, below is what I did buy.
Does the sizing look okay to all who are familiar with this?
In the photo to the left, at 12:00 is the fir bark (1/4").
At 3:00, is the 1/4" quartz.
At 6:00 is a significantly more pricey but pretty La Paz 1/4".
And at 9:00 is the ever elusive Turface which I finally found at Ewing Irrigation after driving to TWO John Deere locations that didn't have them in stock.
My intent, for purely aesthetic reasons, is to mix the La Paz and Quartz for the gritty portion of this mix. I'm presuming this is not a problem, and I liked that these two had CONSIDERABLY less dust and "bits" than the crushed granite that was also available.
As mentioned, sifting the way you guys do is really not a viable option for me right now. I will wash everything and manually remove what I can that's too small. But otherwise, this attempt will be made without the exorbitant sifting portion. I did what I could to pick the most equally-sized bits I could.
I just repotted a huge majority of my plants in a variation of the 5:1:1 mix and I'll have to hold myself back from redoing those for the moment until I can see I made this mix properly. (Then, all bets are off and I will probably repot those, too. You see what I mean? I am killing my plants!) I do have some succulents, a young kumquat tree and a Croton that need repotting. Washing the soil out of these will be an adventure....
Wish me luck!!