Bought potting soil instead of potting mix

sandpapertongue(7a VA)June 5, 2014

I wanted to transfer my tomatoes into a much bigger container (~20 gallons) and give it to my mom. I ran out of my normal Miracle Grow potting mix, so I went out and bought some more, except I got cheap and decided to go with a generic brand.

Once I go home and fill the pots, I realize it is a mushy, gummy mess that hardly drains -- because I got potting *soil*, not potting mix.

So now I have 20 gallons of this gray, mushy mess. Is there anything I can mix in it to make it usuable? I have shredded sphagnum peat moss and 2 bags of compost/manure. I tried mixing some peat moss in there but it really didn't make a difference. Maybe the mix should be 90% peat moss instead?!

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As long as it said POTTING on the bag, it is for pots.
If it's not for pots it says Garden Soil, or Top Soil.
If you bought the cheapest thing they had, get rid of it anyway. That stuff is crap and I wouldn't plant anything in that.
Wait til you get the money so you can buy Miracle Grow potting mix.
Remember, don't go cheap on your potting soil or potting mix. If you put the money out on something decent, your plants will thrive and you just might get 2 years out of it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 2:06PM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

The "mushy mess" has too many fines, so more fines from peat or manure won't help. To save it you need something coarser, but too expensive might be a bad gamble.

If the mush is finer than coarse sand, grit, or fine gravel, one of those might help.

My home depot has coarse builder's sand for $3 a bag. It might be worth a test at that price. Say 10 or 20 percent sand.

(Avoid fine sands, patio sand, play sand. You want course, sharp, or horticultural.)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 2:53PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

You could add perlite to it, but probably better to just buy a better mix, or make some 5-1-1 mix from scratch.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:49PM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

For what it's worth, this guy is in some of that $3 sand.

I really don't know if this "mush" is redeemable, but with 20 gallons, a $3 test seems a small gamble.

This post was edited by johns.coastal.patio on Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 17:37

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:31PM
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sandpapertongue(7a VA)

Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 9:46PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

As they say " Same difference" :D (I think)
They are probably both soil(dirt)less. You have to check the quality to see what you are getting.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 2:40AM
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