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Author Topic: Container Soil Mix.  (Read 1356 times)

Laaz

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Container Soil Mix.
« on: April 26, 2019, 03:02:49 PM »
So I've had a few people ask me about my soil mix. It's pretty much a 50 / 50 mix of Miracle Gro garden soil & Turface MVP with some clay balls thrown in as filler. (If you're in Europe you will use Seramis as it's pretty much the same as Turface MVP)

So here goes. By the way, this mix is impossible to over water...








Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 03:06:31 PM »







Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 03:15:31 PM »
Some of my Lytocaryum palms in the mix, they love it.





And some of my Eugenia's in the same mix & doing awesome.





And don't forget to add a little STEM to your waterings. (Thanks Bob)


Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 03:32:39 PM »
How much do the plants like this mix? Here's my Lytocaryum's that were in the mix for just over a year. They were put in the 5 gal container from the little square pots & barely out of strap leaf stage.









They are now potted up to 10 gal containers & will probably need up-sizing again next spring...


tve

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2019, 05:23:54 PM »
Thanks for posting, quite interesting! Is that Turface MVP similar to Vermiculite?

brian

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2019, 09:45:10 PM »
Thanks for posting this.  I have been using a mulch/peat/perlite mix for years.  It is light enough for me to be able to carry the containers around easily.  However, now that I have a greenhouse my larger trees will all be in ground and I have been wanting to switch to a more permanent soil for the plants I keep in containers.  I am going to see if I can locate the turface and clay pebbles.

Millet

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2019, 10:46:04 PM »
Laaz, do you really need the clay balls ?  Turface and Miracle Grow Garden Soil at a 50/50 mix, seems to drain very very well, while still retaining good moisture levels.

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2019, 11:00:45 PM »
No, but they make for a good fill material.

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2019, 11:02:28 PM »
Laaz, do you really need the clay balls ?  Turface and Miracle Grow Garden Soil at a 50/50 mix, seems to drain very very well, while still retaining good moisture levels.

Go to their website & put your zip in, it will show you who sells it in your area.

tve

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 12:08:36 AM »
Laaz, what is the end cost of a cu ft of your mix? I've been getting the E.B.Stone Citrus&Palm planting mix, which works very well but is heavy due to a good amount of sand. It ends up around $6/cuft.

Seanny

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 01:08:21 AM »
Do you water your plants every day?

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2019, 07:44:58 AM »
Never really tried to figure out the cost. I stock up when stuff is on sale. This week Lowes & Home depot have the 2 cubic ft bags of the garden soil on sale for 2 bags for $12.

No, I don't water every day, the soil hold quite a bit of moisture.

daytripper

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 10:15:27 AM »
Clay balls can be found at any hydroponics store, google hydroton and you find many places to purchase them.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 10:18:43 AM by daytripper »

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 10:19:43 AM »
That's where I got mine & they were cheap...

brian

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2019, 03:09:18 PM »
My nearest Turface supplier has Turface "all sport" but not "MVP".  I compared the spec sheet and they are identical except that "all sport" has more liberal tolerance for granule size variance (i.e. lower quality control I guess).   It's pretty cheap at $14 for a 50lb bag.   I'm going to pick some up.

Quote
https://www.turface.com/sites/default/files/_media/resource/turface_mvp_data_sheet_12.2017_1.pdf
STANDARD PARTICLE SIZE ANALYSIS "MVP":
% Retained
6 MESH (3.36 mm) 16.4% +/- 5.0%
8 MESH (2.38 mm) 41.1% +/- 5.4%
12 MESH (1.68 mm) 23.7% +/- 3.5%
20 MESH (.841 mm) 18.0% +/- 6.6%
30 MESH (.595 mm) 0.7% +/- 0.7%
50 MESH (.297 mm) 0.1% +/- 0.1%
Pan 0.1% +/- 0.1%

https://www.turface.com/sites/default/files/_images/content/turface_all_sport_data_sheet_2.12.18_0.pdf
TYPICAL SIEVE ANALYSIS "all sport":
% Retained
6 MESH (3.36 mm) 16.7% +/- 7.7%
8 MESH (2.38 mm) 41.1% +/- 6.5%
12 MESH (1.68 mm) 23.2% +/- 5.1%
20 MESH (.841 mm) 18.1% +/- 8.3%
30 MESH (.595 mm) 0.7% +/- 0.7%
50 MESH (.297 mm) 0.2% +/- 0.2%
Pan 0.1% +/- 0.1%

brian

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2019, 03:14:25 PM »
So is the hydroton really necessary?  It seems to be interchangeable with perlite, so same question there - what are pros/cons of including hydroton/perlite versus simply 50:50 garden soil and Turface?

tve

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2019, 03:26:35 PM »
I'm a bit curious about the use of turface, doesn't it retain too much moisture? As far as I can tell, it's about equivalent to vermiculite and retains more than perlite or pumice.

brian

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2019, 04:10:30 PM »
I dunno.  I just bought 4x 50lb bags.  The data sheet says it is fired clay pebbles.  So it should have about the same absorption as terra cotta?  That is, not much but more than zero.   Certainly should retain less water than the mulch that I would otherwise be using.

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2019, 04:31:20 PM »
I've been using it for over a year & like I said it is IMPOSSIBLE to over water the trees in this mix. Every plant that I have potted in it looks excellent. I am just starting to put citrus in it this spring & feel confident they will do as well as my other plants. Between the garden soil & turface it seems to hold just the right amount of moisture to keep them happy. You can add extra garden soil if you want to keep it more moist.

tve

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2019, 04:46:25 PM »
when you repo, do you replace stuff that is inside the root ball, or just fill around the outside? A lot of the "garden soil" is probably organic and decomposes?
Sorry for the dumb questions...

Edit: I've been doing some reading around. I found this interesting about turface (negative opinion): https://crataegus.com/2013/11/24/life-without-turface/ and http://www.colinlewisbonsai.com/Reading/soils2.html a good overview. These are for bonsai, so some differences apply... I'm not trying to say that Laaz mix is bad, I'm just intrigued :-).
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 05:15:59 PM by tve »

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2019, 06:31:35 PM »
Lmao! You'll always find somebody to bitch about something.

I spray the rootball with my hose on high pressure to remove what I can, then pack the rootball again with what I can get into it. After that I gradually add my mix & water it into the roots as I go.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 10:05:05 PM by Laaz »

brian

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2019, 02:12:17 PM »
So... I just tried this and it is *awful*.  I filled two identical pots, one with my usual 5-1-1 mix and another with 50:50 turface and miracle grow.  The 5-1-1 mix took 30sec to drain, and the 50:50 mix took ~10min.   I'm pretty sure the culprit is the miracle grow soil.  Previously on this forum we've speculated that Scotts makes different formulations for different regions sold under the same packaging.  I think that is the case.  Mine looks like muck, nothing like yours.  It seems to have very small particle size and is thick like topsoil.

5-1-1 on left and 50:50 on right.  I have more pictures but it seems new iphones use an image format that ... doesn't work on windows.


Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2019, 02:40:04 PM »
I don't know what that is, but it's not the same as the stiff I get here. What is all the white stuff floating? You got "garden soil" & not potting mix right?

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2019, 02:47:10 PM »
Post a photo of your 50 / 50 mix before you water it.

Laaz

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Re: Container Soil Mix.
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2019, 02:59:32 PM »
My mix...

Garden soil



Dry mix



After watering.


 

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