need help with Al's Mix!
Yes the questions listed below I asked about in a different thread, but nobody answered them.
The soil mix I use for container gardening is Al's mix; it's 2-3 cubic feet pine bark fines, 5 gallons each of vermiculite and spaghnum peat, 2 c of Osmocote (pelleted fertilizer for container gardening) and 1 c lime (dolomite, not fast-acting).
Above measurements yields about 30-35 gallons per batch.
The mix when I mixed everything together was very coarse and looked like regular mulch; the pieces of mulch are too large.
Not everything hates the coarse soil mix, with the pine bark mulch used straight out of the bag, which is which is how I use the pine bark mulch to make it. Lettuce, cabbage, beans, pak choi, lemon balm and oregano love it this coarse. Very large and healthy plants when harvested.
Any root veggie, any squash (winter/summer), melons, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant hate it because it dries out too fast, doesn't stay consistently moist. Root veggies don't bulb/form roots due to being it being too coarse.
The main questions I have are....
The problem is the pieces I have are too lg. I was told I have to screen the mulch which I didn't know I was supposed to do; how do I do this? I don't know hot to, as I've never done it before. It's recommended the pieces be 1/4" to 1/8" in diameter. Can I just shred the mulch, or would this make it too small?
I'm looking for a balanced fertilizer that is higher in phosphorus and potassium for root veggies/fruiting crops (toms, peppers, squash etc.).
Unfortunately the ones that are more balanced aren't suitable for container gardening or it's just granular fertilizer you mix with water, and apply the liquid at the surface of the soil. The only other thing available is a dry fertilizer, but it's something you'd spread out in a plot in the ground over a lg. area and it's also not suitable for container gardening.
My last question is I realize this mix is designed for container gardening, but could you use it in raised beds? I have some raised beds I bought that I plan to use next season, that's why I'm asking.