Mixing Perlite, Vermiculite and Bark Fines into a Potting Mix

yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)August 26, 2011

I have 52 quarts of Fafard Professional Potting Mix, 8 quarts of Perlite, 8 quarts of Vermiculite and 8 quarts of bark fines (fir, not pine but still a conifer). If I mixed them all together, would this be a good mix for my tomatoes or should I use a different ratio?

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Leave out the vermiculite. It gets soggy and is even worse than peat in compacting container soil. If you add the orchid fir bark and perlite to the Fafard, you will have a better mix for growing tomatoes. Even better would be to have a higher proportion of partially composted pine bark than any other component. Try to find some pine bark mulch where the pieces are around one quarter inch in diameter. It's easier to find at an independent garden center or hardware store than at a big box store. This time of year, in my area, they often have sales on old, torn bags that have begun to break down due to being left outside all summer. That stuff is perfect.

If you haven't read about 5-1-1 yet, I think you'd find it helpful. See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils (5-1-1 and gritty mix)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:04PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Do you have access to ALL the Fafard products, or just a select few?

The best choices of of their products based on aeration/drainage and durability would be their 3M mix, the 51L mix, or their nursery mix.

I agree with robin and would skip the vermiculite ...... and if the fir bark is screened, I know it's expensive and almost a shame to use it in a highly organic mix when you could be using it in a primarily inorganic, highly aerated medium.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:59PM
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