Return to the Container Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

Posted by jennypat Zone 3b NW MN (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 2, 11 at 14:55

Is there anywhere a HOW TO on using Al's 5-1-1 and 1-1-1? Not the what it does part I found that confusing.

I just read something that makes it sound like the bark is supposed to be wet when you first use it. I didn't know that! And if using the 5-1-1 what types of things can you plant in it? Tomatoes? Flowers? Or just houseplants?

I finally found some bark that will work, and the Napa floor product. Although I am mostly done with planting my containers for this year. I do have some house plants that need repotting. And I am not sure which of these to use.

Which mix for a Rex Begonia?
Which mix for a Christmas Cactus?
I am sure the 1-1-1 is the one to use for a Jade plant.

Oh so many questions! Not enough brain to remember it all! I need it written down.

Jenny P

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

This may help a little. When mixing the mix must be moist because it needs to react with the lime for a week to let the ph ballance. Heat and moister will determin how long the lime will take to react. I think that the 5-1-1 is the best mix I ever used. You ask what can be planted in it? Well if you ballance the ph for the specific plant it will grow everthing. Most soilless mixs are peat/perlite based but This mix is cheaper and has better drainage!!!

1 tb sp of lime per gal of mix.
Then macro/micro nutrients.

RE: Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

Hi Jenny,
Yes, it helps if both mixes are moistened as they are made. If I don't use before they dry out, I mist them again before planting in them.

The bark and peat will repel water if they become too dry, so being moist from the start is a big help to your plants.

As far as what works best for what plant...

In general the gritty mix is for woody and long term plantings, including house plants, and succulents.

The 5-1-1 is used alot for annuals and short term planting.. Tomato's , Peppers, fruits and veggies, and flowers and such.

The Jade would do best in the gritty mix (1-1-1) and probably the christmas cactus (I haven't actually grown that one).

I'm not sure about the begonia.


RE: Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

This is what I mean, I would love it if all this great info was in ONE spot. I don't remember reading the add lime then let it sit a week. I also just yesterday saw something about getting it wet BEFORE planting in it. No wonder my plants looked so sad until I put them outside and it rained a couple inches!

I am going to have to start a note book to keep all this information in one spot to refer too.

Jenny P

RE: Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

Hi Jenny,
I'm glad you got some of the help you needed.
I copy and print bits and pieces I feel will be helpful to me. :-)


RE: Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

I do copy and paste, but I wonder what else I missed! If you search for Al's mixes there are hundreds of references. Which is why I wondered if it was all compiled into one place. I DID see the one where he described WHY his mixes work. But that one just confused me more. I am looking more for a HOW TO.

Jenny P

RE: Al's mixes a difinitive how to?

This old post might help. I refer to it often. However, I have notes, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soil Basics: a compilation

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Container Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here