Container media for overwintering

ngrrsn(7)September 20, 2012

For the past several years I have brought in about 100 geraniums, 25 peppers, and assorted other plants in the fall to winter over until I could put them back out next spring. I re-potted them into 2 gal and 3 gal black plastic nursery pots. For media I have used garden soil, potting soil, and even a product called "nursery mix" that seemed to have a lot of sand in it. But in all cases the containers (media) stays too wet, air doesn't get to the roots, the soil compacts, and I get soil gnats. Cutting down on watering doesn't help. With a little light, the geraniums actually bloomed and peppers tried producing fruit, so heat and light and air movement in my garage are o.k....but I have problems with the media.

I thought about using saw dust, but a nursery guy said it would compact like press-board. I thought about a mix of bark and potting soil, but was told this is not a good idea (don't know why). I am on a limited budget. Any recommendations?

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Here I use a lot of "#1 Nursery Mix" which is available by the yard for about $50. It is mostly course sand, with bark and pumice stone. It comes with a PH of 6.5 and a fertilizer with a life at 70 degrees of about 3 to 4 months. I think this is the least expensive mix, ready to use, and drains well, without compaction problems. Al

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:53AM
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One word: Perlite. I mix a LOT of it my soil mixes. I never use potting SOIL, use potting MIX, it's lighter. I always add Perlite to it to improve drainage and aeration for the roots.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:42AM
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