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Container Gardening: What kind of soil for my containers?

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Forum: Container GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 153
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kudrick
Fallston, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 21, 2011
1:08 PM

Post #8511465

I am new to container gardening and wish to plants various hardy perennials in large containers and leave them out all year long. My question is: what kind of soil should I use? Potting soil, garden soil, my own awful clay soil or a mix of all the above? Would greatly appreciate any thought on this, as I am now starting to pot em up!
Maryann
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 21, 2011
2:00 PM

Post #8511572

Here's a thread by Tapla (Al) that explains all about soil, planting, drainage, containers:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1073399/

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2011
9:51 AM

Post #8513430

Your soil is the most important choice you'll make in establishing your container garden, so if you concentrate your efforts on learning what separates a good soil from the pack, you'll be taking a significant forward step in your quest for results you'll be satisfied with. The article Pirl linked you to will help you understand the soil/aeration/watering relationship, which is probably the source of more problems in container culture than any other aspect.

Al
cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

April 22, 2011
11:53 AM

Post #8513561

Al, could you give me a quick, beginner words, synopsis? Like, buy these 3 things, mix them, add this to the bottom?

I've read your wonderful threads but truthfully, I don't understand it all.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2011
5:20 PM

Post #8513997

Buy pine bark that looks like what you see at 3, 6 or 9 o'clock below. Use 5 parts of it mixed with 1 part sphagnum peat and 1 part perlite. Add 1 tbsp dolomitic (garden) lime to each gallon of soil.

The concepts highlighted in the thread you were linked to are really much more important than the recipe. If I had to distill everything into a sentence, it would be that you can't build a highly aerated soil that supports very little perched water by starting with a large fraction of fine ingredients (like peat/compost/coir/topsoil/sand); you must start with a large fraction (75%+) of large particulates (like the pine bark you see below) in order to reap the benefits from superlative aeration and little or no perched water.

Al

This message was edited Apr 22, 2011 7:21 PM

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kudrick
Fallston, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2011
10:36 AM

Post #8515447

Thanks Al and pirl; this info is just what I need!
cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

April 26, 2011
8:08 AM

Post #8521425

Thanks to all, I can understand that. :D

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