Feeding Al's container mixes

fireduck(10a)May 5, 2013

I can see from recent (and older) posts....that the mixes Al has endorsed (gritty 1-1-1 and 5-1-1) are quite popular and successful if one is willing to do the research on buying the ingedients. Sounds good. Is the downside: it is a nutrient deficient mix? How often do you feed these containers...and with what? Sorry if this has been covered a hundred times (I was not able to find the info). thanks

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Most of us use a soluble liquid fertilizer, a slow-release fertilizer, or a combination of the two. The lack of nutrition in the mix is also what prevents excessive salt build-up, so it's sort of a balance between the pro and con.

Most of my plants are fertilized once a week during the main gardening season.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

The amount of nutrients in Miracle Gro potting soil and similar mixes is really negligible, no matter what it says on the package. It's probably enough to keep a foliage house plant growing indoors healthy for two or three months, but flowering plants and vegetables growing outdoors need supplemental feeding as soon as they put on growth. If you add a complete controlled release fertilizer like osmocote plus to either mix at the rate of one tablespoon per gallon of mix, your mix will have more nutrients than MG to start with. I do that and also fertilize with a soluble fertilizer once a week once the summer growing seazon is underway, as Josh said.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:47PM
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awesome answers...thankyou. Are those fertilizer amounts for either type of mix? I think I saw a youtube where Al mixed in the osmocote prior to initial planting....along with the other 3 ingredients (and dolomite).

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Yes the amount of fertilizer is the same for either mix. The 5-1-1 always includes lime. The gritty mix includes gypsum (not dolomitic lime), except you can leave the gypsum out if you use a fertilizer like Foliage Pro, which includes calcium and magnesium.

If Al is in a YouTube video, I'd love to see it. Don't think he's made one, but others using his mixes probably have. I'd love to see those too.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 5:23PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you concentrate on making sure your soil drains well & provides very good aeration for the intended life of the planting (IOW - focus on the soil's STRUCTURE), and depend on a good fertilizer to do what it was made to do - things will be a LOT easier ...... and your chances for success will increase considerably.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 5:52PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Where do you guys Osmocote Plus? At the local Home Depot and Lowe's, I see 2 kinds of Osmocote, neither one is "Plus".

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:38PM
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I had to buy it online this year.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 11:09PM
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