5-1-1 or Gritty Mix Watering Question

slopfrogJune 12, 2011

This is my first year gardening (and my first post on GW). I made a number of rookie mistakes that have made life much more difficult. Everything is growing in a mix of composted cow manure and fine "county mulch" which is just mulched yard waste from the county dump... could be anything, but it's free.

The soil is pretty water retentive, but it has been so hot and dry here that watering must be done at least twice per day. Part of this is because many of the containers are too small for the plants that are in them, and part of it is that many of my containers are unsealed terracotta. But make no mistake about it, I have the worst combination of HOT, DRY, and WINDY!

In an effort to make my gardening better, I want to try gritty mix (for container trees) and 5-1-1 (for vegetables and flowers). The benefits for plant growth are clear to me. However, I have to balance this with the convenience factor of not wanting to be a watering slave.

So can anybody who has a hot/dry/windy climate tell me how much more watering they had to do once they switched soils? Thanks!

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I can tell you that watering was no different for me last year in my hot and dry summer. All my plants that were in the hot sun all summer were actually holding moisture better than the peat based mixes.

If you are concerned about having to water in the gritty mix and you live in an area where your soil dries out too fast, why not adjust your mix by adding more turface?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:54PM
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