MiracleGro Potting Mix versus SuperSoil Potting Soil ???

sonaliagrawalMay 7, 2009

I am confused. What should I buy? My HD also has bags of planting compost and bags of peat moss.

I am mainly growing hardy perennials in hanging baskets, some annuals in big wood planters, some tomatoes / peppers / herbs / mesclun.

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justaguy2(5)

Not a fan of commercial mixes myself, but between the two I would choose the standard MG mix. Not the organic one, just the regular one.

The standard MG mix seems to stay fairly consistent in terms of it's composition, the other mixes seem to vary year to year and place to place. The 'organic' mixes often get poor reviews for holding too much water and not enough air.

Even on the Scott's website the SS mix is rated 2 of 5 stars by those using it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:53PM
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sonaliagrawal

Thanks for your reply, justaguy2! Do you have an easy recipe of making your own mix for a gardening-beginner?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:16PM
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justaguy2(5)

Do you have an easy recipe of making your own mix for a gardening-beginner?

Yes.

I would recommend using what is known around here as 'Al's 5-1-1 mix' for annuals and perennials grown for just a year or two before being repotted.

For plants that will stay in the same container/mix for more than 2 years I would recommend what is known around here as 'Al's Gritty mix'.

The 5:1:1 mix is 5 parts pine bark (very small pieces), 1 part perlite and 1 part peat.

The gritty mix is 1 part pine bark fines, 1 part Turface MVP and 1 part grower grit (#2 sized).

For more information on this I will refer you to this thread.

Don't get too hung up on specific ingredients and percentages. The principle is using ingredients that will be of a large enough size (above 1/16th inch) for as long as the plant will be in the mix. This provides superior aeration.

The higher the percentage of organic matter such as peat or bark, the faster the mix breaks down and aeration suffers. The bark breaks down much slower than peat though.

Anyway, read the thread and you will learn a lot.

If you can't find suitable ingredients to make your own mix in time to get the season started then just get the regular MG potting mix and take until next year to learn more and locate sources for ingredients you want.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:46PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Yea...what justaguy said.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:01AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I too would use the MG mix if I "really" had to...

I like to save on the mix I make to use for my houseplants and outside plants I plan on keeping long term in the same containers...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:55AM
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sonaliagrawal

Where do you buy all the ingredients to this Al's gritty mix:
- pine bark fines
- Turface MVP
- grower grit (#2 sized)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 12:18PM
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justaguy2(5)

Grower grit you will find anywhere that sells chickens or live 'poultry' or any store that serves those who do raise chickens. Look for farm coops and grain elevators in the yellow pages. It's crushed and screen granite or similar stone. Don't use it if it is crushed oyster shells, otherwise it's fine.

Turface MVP you find by going here John Deere stores also carry the Turface MVP under a different name I can't recall right now. Napa Auto Parts carries a product called Floor Dry which is a suitable substitute.

Bark fines you either get lucky and find them at a big box store or you have to look at nursery supply places or greenhouses where they make their own mix to find sources. They are often labeled as soil conditioner. If you can't find a source, take a look at the pine bark nuggets available at the big box stores and read the bag to find out who supplies them to see if they are reasonably local. Then call them and ask how to get it in smaller sizes. They should be able to point you to retailers or let you pick some up from them.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 12:49PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I have question..

Does anyone here have any access to farfard products from, lets say, nursery suppliers?
Look them up on their site and they will give you a rep or someone who sells big bags in your area.
Hope this helps someone out there.;-)

They have a product that is AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is the "nursery mix", I will make sure.
It is is comprised of "80" percent bark fines...
The other 20% is 1/2 perlite and 1/2 moss...

I love it. Plus it is already limed ph ready...
Saves me ALOT of work!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:52PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Here's a MG example...two months old. Has a bud set. The hanging basket is 16 inches wide by 12 inches deep, to give you an idea of the size of the plant. Just in case anyone is wondering, i'm training it to grow to that side. :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 2:22PM
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