Dumb Newbie Question here about the best soil?

jungleexplorerNovember 18, 2011

Before a I start, let me just say. Yes, I did do a search before posting this question.

I have some indoor pepper plants. On a different thread, I have been scolded for using Miracle Grow Moist Control Garden Soil (Hey, I said I am a newbie).

Many have instructed me to change the soil on my plants and I do plan on doing that once my current crop of pods ripen and are harvested. But I don't know which kind of soil to use. I have seen reference to 5-1-1 soil, but I have no idea what 5-1-1 soil is or where to get it. I did a search on this forum using this term and found a lot of references to 5-1-1 soil, but not where to get it from.

So, even though I am sure this question has been asked a thousand times (I wish I could find them), what is the best soil for my indoor pepper plants and where do I get it?

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I've included a link to an excellent thread on "Water Movement and Retention." It's the place to begin if you're interested in perfecting your container soils. The 5:1:1 mix is a custom mix comprised of five parts pine bark fines, one part spaghnum peat and one part perlite. It is referenced near the bottom of the opening post in that thread.

Once you read through the thread you may have more questions, but this is a great primer.

FWIW, I've been growing peppers and tomatoes in the 5:1:1 for several years with excellent results.

Here is a link that might be useful: Water Movement and Retention

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 12:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Jungle!

Welcome to the Container Forum! Indeed, the link posted above is precisely where I learned
of the 5-1-1 and the Gritty Mix proper. Indoors, over the winter, I use the Gritty Mix to allow
for maximum drainage and aeration (so that my peppers aren't sitting in cold, wet soils for
days on end).

During the outdoor gardening season, I use the 5-1-1 in larger containers for great growth.

You can't find these mixes in a bag...you make these mixes yourself.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 2:40PM
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This may a stupid question as well, but since you can't buy the mix in a bag, are the base components available for sale. I live on the Texas plains and pine bark fines, spaghnum peat and perlite are in short supply in nature. What I mean is, would stuff this be my local garden supply?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 6:57PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Not a stupid question at all.
Perlite and peat are exceedingly common in garden centers. Pine bark or fir bark,
however, can be very difficult to find - although I think others have found a suitable bark
or mulch in many areas in Texas.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:27PM
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