Newbie Please Help! ( A soil mix question)

JenEstellaMay 1, 2012

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are new to container vegetable gardening and are trying to figure out the best way to fill three planters we built (they're pretty large each one is about 6'L x 2'W x 1.5'D). It seems like a lot of people have success with the 5-1-1 soil mix, however it seems a bit of pain to take everything out and refill every year especially since our outdoor space is up two flights of stairs, through a quirky Brooklyn apartment, above a garage. Anyway, we are planning on growing peppers in one, tomatoes in another, and the third will have peas and cucumbers. All of which will have a border of trailing tuberous begonias for color. We were wondering what you all would suggest for some newbies in desperate need of help. Thanks and any advice is much appreciated!!!!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Just for clarification - the bark in the 5:1:1 mix breaks down at about 1/4 the rate of peat on a (particle) size for size basis. When you consider the larger particle size of the bark used in the 5:1:1 mix, which also slows breakdown, it's not difficult to see that the life of the 5:1:1 mix as it relates to retaining suitable structure is at LEAST 4-5 times greater than peat-based soils. You'd be far better served to press the 5:1:1 mix into subsequent years of service than a peat-based soil by a wide margin; plus, the 5:1:1 mix will probably end up being about half the price of anything you might want to use from a bag.

Al

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 5:48PM
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