What do you think of this soil?

greenthumb2011April 5, 2011

Hey guys I have read just about everything I can find on this forum about the soils used in containers and SWC and plan on setting up my own SWC in about two weeks. I have bult a prototype with the soil mix and it seems to be working great but want some other insight. Here is my mix

30% compost- Leafpro

30% partialy composted pine and hardwood bark- Claybreaker (also contains gypsum)

20% perlite

10% peat

10% aged mannure/hummus

Moisture level seems very good over a 2 week period in prototype but there are no plants in it and it has been pretty cool so it has not needed any additional water is this normal?

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prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)

Pull out a handful of your mix from the very bottom and describe what you see. The results will tell us if the mix is too heavy, which I think it is.

Ron

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:34PM
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greenthumb2011

When I dig to the Bottom the mix is nice and moist(maybe a little wet is this bad) and is in about half dime size peices. If a picture would help i will post one tomorrow afternoon. If it is to heavy how would you change it? Please- Feel free to give suggestions on how you would change either way. I have made this according to things I have read and tried to get the best of all the diffrent mixes all in one.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:54PM
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emgardener

For SWC, your mix will always end up being too wet at the bottom. If it isn't then the capillary action won't be strong enough to keep your plants watered, when they are larger and the weathers hot.

Your mix looks ok to me. I found using about 50:50 absorbent-to-fast draining materials as the best for SWCs. So your bark + perlite is 50%.

If you are going to set up an automatic watering system, you might want to just consider regular draining pots.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 2:15PM
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