Newb seeking approval.

nugardnrinncMarch 8, 2011

Hello all. I'm looking for some suggestions on my soil mix. I have done alot of reading on here and know there are many varied opinions and very extensive posts, but hopefully I wont get in over my head on this one. I'm new to gardening and have a new greenhouse too and I am going to grow everything in containers. I am planning on making an all purpose soil for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, a dwarf banana, a dwarf citrus, and whatever else I may get. I'm acually gonna use 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled for most of my containers as I have many. My idea for the mix was 3 parts pine bark(chopped with mower) to 1 part potting soil(or compost if it finishes by then)and maybe 1 part peat. I like to keep things simple and I live in the mountains and don't get out much to buy stuff (hence the reason to learn gardening) and these things are readily available at my local garden center(their selection is fairly small). Any other place is an hour away, or more. Thanks for any help

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nygardener(z6 New York)

I don't think that either pine bark or peat would contribute much to your mix. I would start with a good commercial potting soil until you've got the greenhouse routine down pat, then experiment if you like with soil amendments.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I can only add one suggestion KEEP A JOURNAL ... because the one thing you can count on, is that you will have some successes and some failures .... and the journal will help you to tell why for each.

Re: the soil mix for containers .... you might get some useful tips by lurking/asking at the container forum ... lots of experienced folks hang out there.
Also the greenhouse forum might have some hints

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Forum

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:18PM
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Better commercial potting soils often contain both pine bark fines and peat, so I think you are on the right track. I'd omit the compost and the link I've attached will explain why.

There is a vast difference in the soil requirements of growing in containers compared to growing plants in ground. The Container Gardening forum is a excellent venue for this discussion and there are several regular posters there that are considered authorities in this field. The link is long but an invaluable read and an excellent resource. And visit the forum for other related questions and discussions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container soils - all you need to know :-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 7:20AM
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NuGar-NC I am in Shelby here and will try to help you any way I can. Good to have the knowledge that is in here at your keyboard's length away. Plenty of smart folks that are willing to offer assistance. In the last few years this site has been a great blessing for me to get much insite in soils.... admendments... nutrients.... and just interesting successes and failures....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 7:44AM
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I have conferred with the bugs, trees, dirt, compost and manure administration members, and we have all agreed, you have our approval to try Gardening and composting, any way you want.
Enjoy the simple things.
Its OK to fail (Heck I have been gardening for some 40 yrs and still can grow cabbages), its OK to try new things, Yes keep a journal and don't be afraid and don't over think it. Some things work for some and not for others. A great Do it yourself site I use for Homemade gardening devices is Http://
Have fun.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:30PM
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Thanks for all the knowledge and insight. I've been on this site for a month or so it is so wonderful. I've always been interested in plants and look forward to having my first garden this year. I'm sure I'll make lots of mistakes, but I've already got lots of knowledge thanks to everyone here. I've read many of Al's posts and it is overwhelming how much is out there. That guy should be getting a paycheck. I'll go repost to the container forum.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:36PM
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