Container growing in Mexico

pvbryan(11)March 5, 2012

I am in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and want to get gardening in containers. I am up on the container but the soils stump me. I cannot get any of the brand name bags so need to make my own mix. Looking at the pix of the various 'gritty' mixes none seem to have any nutrients all are simply media to hold the plant up and drain quickly. I appreciate the need for both! So how to make a mix from scratch and what to feed. Again no commercial items readily or regularly available.

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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

"Looking at the pix of the various 'gritty' mixes none seem to have any nutrients all are simply media to hold the plant up and drain quickly"

That is what you want in a grow medium for pots. Then you give them fertizer. I would keep it in-organic in pots to make it easy on yourself. If you can make the 5-1-1 go with that. If you can not get pine fines get a bale of peat moss and some perlite and lime. Mix up and add 2 tbl sp of lime per gal of mix. This will be a basic and cheap grow medium. Then feed with water soluble fertilizer. The 5-1-1 is better draining.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 6:46PM
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pvbryan(11)

Wow thanks. I grow veggies, flowers, orchids and bonsai in the coast of BC but things are pretty different here.

I have gone through many postings to see what 5-1-1 is. I know it is proportions by volume but of what?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 7:28PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

5 parts Pine fines 1 part peat 1 part perlite. I found using no peat is best and using more perlite.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 8:09PM
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pvbryan(11)

Hmm,
Pine fines? Are they a commercially available product, if so not available here.
Can you suggest a substitute? The pix I have seen of mix seems to be primarily composed of large grain sand/gravel?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 8:20PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Can you find peatmoss? Why not just use peat based mix? You might find it to be best in your climate.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:02PM
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pvbryan(11)

Hi,
from Nov to May it is bone dry but from Aug to dec it rains 2 inches a day. Wooooosh!

I think I need way more drainage potential than a peat based mix. Also bogland is so threatened by development and peat miners. Maybe coconut fiber, coarse sand and some sandy loam? I assume I can get coconut fiber as there are trees everywhere.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 8:25AM
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DaMonkey007(10b - Miami)

Hi Bryan,
I actually took my honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta! We stayed at the Grand Velas. Absolutely unreal! While we were there we made a trip up to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. They may be a very good starting point to find locally available resources. There website is:

http://www.vbgardens.org/

For the 5-1-1 you are going to want to try to find pine or fir bark to start with, you can use the dust (less than 1/16") from that as your peat fraction if you wish. For the other part you will need to locate some perlite. You will also need dolomitic lime and of course some fertilizer. If those products are not locally available, the internet is your best bet. You should also really read Al's threads in thier entirity.

I don't know how to post the link but just find:

"Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention XV" (this thread is on the first page right now)

"Fertilizer Program for Containerized Plants III" (this thread is on the second page right now)

Those two threads will get you moving in the right direction.

Good Luck!

PJ

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:21AM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Invest in a cover then.

How large is the operation?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:40AM
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