Question about water retention/drainage
With the 5-1-1 mix and the gritty mix, are they both water retentive and also have good drainage? When I decide to take the plunge and start using these mixes, I'd like if they wouldn't get water logged if it rains a lot, and it would also be nice if I wouldn't have to be watering them more than once a day in the summer. Is it possible to have both or is it asking for too much? Every year I have some plants in 3-5 gallon containers and have them planted in potting soil; some days it feels like I'm constantly watering them in the summer. Sometimes they get so dry that when I water them the water runs right through and out the bottom of the pot. Would that happen with Al's mixes?
I sure am excited to try them if I can find all of the ingredients. I'm in central PA and there's a Farm & Tractor Supply (right name?) store in the area where I could probably find the grit. I'm not sure about the turface. I could probably get pine bark (mulch) at Lowe's. I almost have to go with whichever mix I can find the ingredients for. At least I guess either one would be better than what I'm using for the plants now.
I have an Amorpha fruticosa that I have in a 5-gallon pot and is about 3 feet tall that I want to use one of these mixes for. I also have 2 hackberry trees that I'd like to do it with too. I also have a crabapple tree that's been in a one-gallon pot for about 3 or 4 years that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with yet. Maybe it's good for bonsai?
Oh, and there's a feed store up the road a few miles from us that I can maybe get the grit from (either there or that tractor/farm place). Am I right in understanding that I should ask for grit that doesn't have calcium in it? I'm wondering, though, why a feed store would carry such a thing when chickens should have calcium in their diet so their eggs have thicker shells (isn't that right?).