5-1-1 questions

salsmypalJune 13, 2012

I have been searching back posts and trying to absorb all I can ... am really a newbie at gardening and learning as I go.

I just mixed up a batch of the 5-1-1...found most everything at my local nursery. Are you supposed to wet it after mixing it up and then wait the 2 weeks for the lime to dissolve and everything to sort of "jell" before using it? Or do you leave it dry until ready to use and then thoroughly wet it before planting?

Also, I started some tomatoes in smart pots in Organic MG before I came to these forums and began learning. Would it do any good to gently add some of the 5-1-1 to the potting mix my plants are currently growing in?

thank you all for your kindness to beginners,


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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Moisten as you mix. Spread a little Lime, then mix, spread a little Lime, then mix....
The ingredients will all meld together better with moisture, but not so much moisture
that the Lime washes away.

If you mix thoroughly, you can plant in the 5-1-1 the same day. I've done it many, many times.

Don't bother adding 5-1-1 to your other containers, unless you are going to change the soil out.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I usually mix it up in layers in a wheelbarrow, first layer, 3 gallons bark, then one gallon perlite, then one gallon peat, spread lime in a layer, water it all, then put the final two gallons of bark in layers on top and water again. Then I use a hoe to mix it in several directions until it looks uniform. The layering helps you judge how well you've mixed it. I usually let it soak overnight to allow the peat to hydrate, but have used it immediately when needed without issue. I don't think the lime is the issue. It's the peat. If you put dry peat in, it takes time for it to absorb water. You can feel the difference when the peat gets hydrated, and then you know the soil is ready.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Thank you!! I've potted up a few things and am hoping for the best.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 10:20PM
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If you water with warm water the peat will take it up more wuickly.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:48PM
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I always pour hot water over the peat before mixing with other ingredients - it wets it immediately. Just enough to be able to mix it with my hands to get all of it wet.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 8:51AM
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