Author Topic: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?  (Read 38307 times)

zands

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What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« on: January 24, 2012, 08:31:33 AM »
Any potting mix ideas greatly appreciated and fertilization advice too
 I have always  potted in Home Depot topsoil but can now see the drawbacks. I have planted mangoes and citrus but would like to grow some in  pots such as my Meyer Lemon and my Red Naval Orange.

mangomandan

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 09:29:16 AM »
I've been wondering the same thing, since I plan to try a couple mango trees in fabric pots.
With vegetables I've had good luck with Miracle-Gro Moisure Control, I think it's in a blue bag.
But I'm not sure if your citrus would dry out enough between waterings.

sultry_jasmine_nights

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 10:08:15 AM »
People have their own ways of doing mixes. For citrus,  I use some miracle grow for roses soil (a little acidic) mixed with the Jungle growth from lowes and add a lot of perlite. My potted citrus seem to like it. This year I harvested blood oranges, ruby red grapefruits, buddah's hand, meyer lemons, variegated eureka lemons  and thai limes (even though most people just use the leaves we use the rind of the limes as well).  I have more trees but many are still small since I had to restart my citrus collection when I moved to FL since you can't bring citrus into the state. I had quite an large collection before.
Growing edible and ornamental tropicals and subtropicals and many night bloomers on 4 acres in zone 9a. Learning to live a more self sustainable lifestyle with chickens and other livestock.

pj1881 (Patrick)

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 10:53:03 AM »
I began using Fafard's 3B mix, it seems to work really well and holds moisure nicely also.  I attempted to switch to "The Gritty Mix", spent a small fortune massing the ingredients, and eventually found that it made my trees look like they were growing in a bag of gravel.. I guess it all depends on the future intentions of the grower, whether you plan to plant the tree out, or maintain it in a pot.  Also, depending on how the mix is composed, you can create a lot of work for yourself by requiring more watering.  I like the even distrubution of the Fafard mix when it comes to the transport of nutrients and watering.

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 11:48:35 AM »
Any potting mix ideas greatly appreciated and fertilization advice too
 I have always  potted in Home Depot topsoil but can now see the drawbacks. I have planted mangoes and citrus but would like to grow some in  pots such as my Meyer Lemon and my Red Naval Orange.

Make your own mix like this!

Lambert Peat Moss Large cube (11 dollars by me at home depot) 40%

Silica sand/ multi purpose sand ( home depot sells bags near concrete 50lbs, 3 bucks) 20%

the remaining 40% can be a variety of ratios of the following materials:

Pine bark Fines (maybe 20-30%)

Cocounut mulch, smaller size particles (maybe 20-30%) 

coffee grounds (don't use more than 10-15% total in mix)



Hope you make a good mix for cheap! ;D

DON"T MIX SILICA SAND WITHOUT A RESPIRATOR, OR PROTECTING YOUR LUNGS!!! :'( :'( :'( :)


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CoPlantNut

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 01:08:34 PM »
I began using Fafard's 3B mix, it seems to work really well and holds moisure nicely also.  I attempted to switch to "The Gritty Mix", spent a small fortune massing the ingredients, and eventually found that it made my trees look like they were growing in a bag of gravel.. I guess it all depends on the future intentions of the grower, whether you plan to plant the tree out, or maintain it in a pot.  Also, depending on how the mix is composed, you can create a lot of work for yourself by requiring more watering.  I like the even distrubution of the Fafard mix when it comes to the transport of nutrients and watering.

As PJ said, I think it is all down to whether you intend to keep the plant in a container long-term, or to plant it in the ground within a few years.  It also depends on exactly how you fertilize your plants-- the "Gritty Mix" has worked wonderfully well for me in the long-term (a decade or more) as long as I fertilize with (almost) every watering.  For most plants that I expect to keep for only a year or a few years, I use a commercially-prepared peat-based mix for most things.  (The one I use is probably identical to Fafard's 3B mix, given the descriptions).  If you need to keep things alive in containers for 20+ years, the gritty mix is the only way to go, in my opinion-- I learned this from a bonsai enthusiast a long time ago and have been pleased with the results.

   Kevin

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 05:15:37 PM »
On gardeb Web, a lot of people use Al's gritty mix that is made of one part of pine bark or repti bark, one part of turface and one part of crushed granite 1/8" to 3/16" .It works really great for mangos and citrus because it drains fast, the only is the ingredients are hard to find. Email lycheeluva he uses it for his mangos.

Samuel Forest

nullzero

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 07:39:17 PM »
I have been using this mix which I find to work out pretty well. The pine bark and peatmoss helps combat the high ph water conditions we have in Southern California. I intend to repot the mix every 2 years or so.

5 parts pine bark (A bag runs about $4 for 2 cubic ft., I buy 5 to make a batch)
1 part peat moss (Around $11-15 for 2 cubic ft.)
1 part perlite (Around $11-15 for 2 cubic ft.)
dash of lime and a hand full of compost (for microbes)

Total cost for 14 cubic ft. of soil mix $42-50. I believe from memory this fills up 3-4 20 gal containers.

Another mix I use for a custom made self watering container seems to work really well. Its 80% multi purpose sand with 20% compost. I finish off with a thick layer of pine bark mulch.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 07:42:47 PM by nullzero »
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

zands

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 05:24:20 AM »
Thanks much for all replies!

natsgarden123

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 09:07:38 AM »
PJ- I bought a Fairchild in a nice pot from you-I think it was one you were expecting to keep in a pot?  I havent planted it in the ground.  What kind of mix is it? How often should I be watering?  I may be planting it in the ground but I havent decided it yet. Thanks
Nat :)

zands

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 04:01:39 PM »
Pine bark Fines>>>>>>
Anyone know where I can get this in Broward County or close by..... Please let me know

Pine bark can be substituted? I saw that in HD next to the mulches. The pine bark is shredded to mulch size

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 04:04:38 PM »
Pine bark Fines>>>>>>
Anyone know where I can get this in Broward County or close by..... Please let me know

Pine bark can be substituted? I saw that in HD next to the mulches. The pine bark is shredded to mulch size

What again are you repotting? Mulch can be bad for root formation, and too bulky! Some plants won't care, whereas others will hate you for large chunks of pine.

Good luck! ;)
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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 04:20:44 PM »
Bushel Stop locations in Broward carry pine bark fines.  I think i paid $6 per 2 cut ft bag.  Also home depot on Atlantic Blvd in Coral Springs sells large bags of perlite and vermiculture.

zands

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 06:44:49 AM »
Pine bark Fines>>>>>>
Anyone know where I can get this in Broward County or close by..... Please let me know

Pine bark can be substituted? I saw that in HD next to the mulches. The pine bark is shredded to mulch size

What again are you repotting? Mulch can be bad for root formation, and too bulky! Some plants won't care, whereas others will hate you for large chunks of pine.

Good luck! ;)


Thanks. Re-potting Meyer Lemon and Red Naval Orange. Also  mangoes.
I did go by HD and saw peat moss, perlite and the $3/bag sand in the concrete area. Pine bark fines I may skip. Hard to locate going by posts in GardenWEeb

nullzero

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 12:30:41 PM »
I have been using the HD groundcover pine bark (the smallest ones, I believe they carry 2-3 sizes). Most pieces are about the size of a nickle or smaller, with a small amount of larger ones around the size of a chestnut. The plants don't mind the mix (with 5 parts pine 1 part perlite 1 part peat) at all, I figured after a year or so the pine bark will shrink down and decompose slightly. Its probably not optimal, but I have been getting good drainage and good growth so far. I used this same mix to fruit the Dwarf Orinoco banana in a 30 gal.

ASaffron, brought up a good point though, I don't think all tropical fruits are going to like the mix (Ones that like there roots wet most of the time). The mix works out well with Mangoes, Jakfruit, Cactus, Blueberries, Apples, Citrus so far.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

pj1881 (Patrick)

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Re: Your potting mixes for mangoes, citrus and more
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2012, 03:39:29 PM »
PJ- I bought a Fairchild in a nice pot from you-I think it was one you were expecting to keep in a pot?  I havent planted it in the ground.  What kind of mix is it? How often should I be watering?  I may be planting it in the ground but I havent decided it yet. Thanks
Nat :)

That was potted in a gritty mix intended for long term pot life.  If you transplant it you need not worry, it will not effect it in the ground.  Otherwise, water every two or three days (maybe half a gallon)..

Patrick

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What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2012, 11:25:51 PM »
After seeing the fruit trees that Adam is able to grow in pots, I'm eager to try a few. Most of my stuff is in ground, but I'm running out of room, and these tropicals could use the warmer garage in the cold months. So please share your "miracle mix".  :)

nullzero

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 02:18:27 AM »
I get 5 parts pine bark, 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, then you can add a dash of lime. After about 1 year the plants seem to really take off, when the  bark starts to break down. This mix seems to work well for me.


Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2012, 05:12:52 AM »
I use the same recipe as nullzero.  I believe the larger batch version is 3cu ft pine fines, 5 gal peat, 5 gal perlite, 1 cup lime.  I haven't tried the infamous 'gritty mix' yet though.

puglvr1

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2012, 07:43:23 AM »
The mix that Null and JB uses is an excellent one...but I prefer to use Al's Gritty mix...the main reason I use it is because it last a few years before it breaks down (3-4 years sometimes)....it lasts a lot longer for me.   I'm lazy and don't like to repot unless necessary  ;D.  Another plus with this mix is you can tweak the ingredients a little...you can use a little more Turface if you have a plant that prefers a little more moisture or use a little more Grit or sand if you need less moisture (for Jades/Cactus/Succulents).

Equal parts, Turface, Pine Bark (fines), Grit or (coarse silica sand) and a dash of lime. You can also add a little Osmocote or Dynamite slow release fertilizer in the mix.

Crushed Granite (rinsed) to flush out the fine dust


Pine Bark (Fines) sifted to remove the dust


Turface (screened) to remove the fine particles.

Slow Release fertilizer


This is what the Finished Mix looks like...



Make sure you use a MASK...to stay safe so you don't inhale it...Very dusty and do it outside on a NON  windy day.

For more info check out the Container Forum on GW...Tons of info there. There's always a ton of people to ask ??'s there that uses it. Good luck!

Berto

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 08:52:59 AM »
Puglvr1,
It seems like it will be difficult to move around a 25 gallon pot filled with the mix you use.  Any thoughts on this subject?  Thank you!

puglvr1

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2012, 11:16:15 AM »
Yes, definitely heavy Berto!! You're right, that's the reason I have my Dolly,lol...on a upside you never have to worry about the wind blowing it down  8)

There's definitely a lot of different mixes out there...many great suggestions and recipe mixes posted here. The hardest thing is to find one that works best for you and your area.

Nancy

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2012, 08:43:47 PM »
Nancy,
I completely forgot about the wind.  Thank you for your answer.
Berto

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2012, 10:10:07 PM »
I agree with Adam, the best is to make your own potting mix, especially if you are doing more than just a few pots. The good thing about mixing your own is that you can see exactly what goes into the mix and later adjust accordingly if you need to. Every plant has slightly different needs, also every climate is going to be different, so can't give you a recipe for the mix. Also the ingredients we use here would not be available in Florida and vice versa. This is a topic that could take up a whole book.
Oscar
Oscar

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Re: What soil mix are you using for your container plants?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2012, 01:55:28 AM »
Someone mentioned to add a little bit of lime. What's the purpose, and what's the commercial name for it, or is it labeled as "lime"?
Thanks,

 

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