Need well-draining mix, limited to Big Box store supply

amg_2007August 19, 2013

Hi everyone,

I recently acquired meyer lemon tree, which requires better draining soil than the stuff I use for my herbs. :)

Unfortunately, I don't have a car and my only real option for soil is the local Home Depot. I looked for the ingredients to do 5-1-1- myself and it doesn't seem to be a go - I can't find everything, and what I can find is in such large quantities it may not help. Similarly, I can only get fafard online, it costs an arm and a leg (like three times what it apparently costs at nurseries), and it isn't the heavy material versions.

So, sacrificing perfection to be able to repot this sucker, is there a way that I can mix some of the more commercial options to come up with something decent for draining? I plan to wick as well to help.

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fireduck(10a)

A...you are smart to get the right mix to avoid trouble. The best thing for you to do is: Use a 50/50 mix of potting mix and "cactus" potting mix. This will provide better drainage and not be too expensive. Never use the moisture control MiracleGro. It holds too much water, and it makes a mucky mess on the bottom of the pot.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:40AM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

I don't know if your Home Dopey has the same planting mixes as the ones in SoCal but,

Mine has a cactus/succulent mix that is pretty reasonable for potted citrus. I can't remember the brand but was thinking it was Kellogs. It has pumice, fir bark, sand, and not too much peat moss. I certainly would not mix any regular potting mix with it as then you would go from "too much" peat moss to "way, way too much" peat moss.

It is not as good as the EB Stone Citrus Cactus mix that is readily available around here but is way better than you would expect to find at a Home Dopey.

A wick does help the perched water table a lot.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 2:00PM
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amg_2007

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm definitely staying away from the MG - between the water retention and the pests that can fall in love with its fertilizer it just isn't worth it!

I'll see if I can find some good cactus mix. Oddly, my home dopey (love that!) has perlite, so I might try to mix some of that in too??? Sigh. I have a feeling this will be a "try this" and then "try again" experience!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:11PM
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