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well draining soil

Posted by bryce5474 (My Page) on
Mon, May 17, 10 at 17:58

what is well draining soil, can i buy it at the store or do i need to make it?

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RE: well draining soil

At the risk of getting caught by a punster ... "well draining soil" is soil through which moisture seeps or permeates easily or ie: "well".

Here is a link that might be useful: Well drained soil

RE: well draining soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Mon, May 17, 10 at 20:49

When discussing container culture, soils with a high % of small particles hold water tightly in the small spaces between particles. How much water they retain is a direct function of how large or small the particles are. OTOH, soils with a high % of large particles hold less water between the particles. Small particles might be considered 3/32" or smaller. Large particles would be considered 1/8" or larger. Container soils that drain freely will have a large fraction of soil particles >3/32" and a small fraction (15% or less) of particles <3/32". Mixing a small fraction of larger particles (perlite) into fine particles (peat/compost/coir) has little impact on the drainage characteristics of the soil or the ht of the perched water table. The perlite simply occupies space that would normally be filled with water, reducing the total volume of water any given volume of soil is capable of holding. This does allow air back into the soil faster, but there are still the negative effects of a PWT to contend with.

Another way of looking at it is: A free draining soil is made of particles large enough that most of the water the soil holds is held within the particles and not between them.


RE: well draining soil

A well draining soil is one that allows excess water to flow out fairly quickly and does not get water logged.

RE: well draining soil

You can buy soil at the store, I don't suppose I have ever seen store purchased soil that didn't drain well. As a matter of fact, I have had the opposite problem with store puchased soil, some dries out too quickly. I think that is why most of the people here either make their own mix or compost.

I have purchased topsoil from a mulch company that had a lot of clay in it (Tennessee soil is mostly red clay, I am lucky to not have that problem!!) and it had poor drainage which is why I originally came to gardenweb and lurked about to find out how to improve drainage. I usually judge drainage after a rain. Some parts of my yard will hold water for hours after a rain while others, it drains in a matter of minutes.

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