tapla wrote: I make all my own mediums, but I basically use 2. The reason I use them is they are much easier and much more productive. I don't need to worry about over-watering, root rot, or a build-up of salts in the soil from tap water & fertilizers.
Easiest to make is the mix based on pine bark fines. It consists of:
5 parts pine bark fines
1 part perlite
1 part sphagnum peat (or compost)
dolomitic (garden) lime @ 2-3 tsp per gallon or 1/3-1/2 cup/cu ft
When you're done, it will look like the mix in the middle (when dry). It's coarseness lends plenty of aeration to the soil and reduces or practically eliminates perched water, which is the real culprit, and normally the most limiting factor for growers using commercially prepared soils based on peat. Perched water in soils simply makes your job soo much more difficult .... you end up fighting against the effects of the soil instead of letting the soil work FOR you.