Frustration with finding 5-1-1 ingredients...

lizbeth-gardenerMay 20, 2012

I have been trying to gather all the items needed for this mix and am ready to go buy a potting mix to just get thru this season. I am just wanting a mix for containers for annuals. Is there anything out there that will do well for two or three months?

I have the perlite, sphagnum, crf, and can get the lime, but the pine bark fines seem to be harder to find.

I also noticed that one of the local nurseries is selling their own mix of: vermiculite, sphagnum, perlite, Osmacote and Soil Moist. Would this mix work?

Any help would be appreciated. I just want to get this done!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's not that you CAN'T grow healthy plants in commercially prepared soils, Lizbeth, it's just that the well-aerated, fast-draining soils many of us use are easier, offer much better potential, and greater margin for grower error. If you pay close attention to your watering when the planting is still immature, and guard against 'soggy-bottom', watering will be less critical as the plant colonizes the entire pot with roots.

There are some other tricks you can use to help you deal with heavy soils, too. You can use wicks; and buying an extra large pot and putting another tapered pot upside down on the bottom of the larger can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the amount of perched water a soil can hold.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Thanks for responding to my question, Al. I have read your lengthy guide and think it does make sense. I still want to do the 5-1-1 and especially want to make the gritty mix for my houseplants. I need to spend more time locating the fines and getting screening equipment.

For now I just want to get the current 5 large annual pots planted and am really pressed for time. That said, am I better off finding a soilless mix or just mixing 1/2 sphagnum, 1/2 perlite and crf?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:22PM
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What is your location?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:28PM
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