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Container Gardening: Scott's Potting Soil Question

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Forum: Container GardeningReplies: 8, Views: 116
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riceke

riceke
Snellville, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 10, 2012
10:29 AM

Post #9001834

Has anyone experienced this? I bought a small bag of this to pot a few houseplants with and I can't get it to absorb water and to keep it moist. When I watered it the water just stayed on top for a long time. So I soaked it in a pan of water but 2 days later it was dry again. I can't seem to get it hydrated.
Snug_As_Bug_Rug
Sterling, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 18, 2012
10:33 AM

Post #9011106

Try adding some Perlite to the soil. This will help aerate the soil and retain moisture.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 18, 2012
10:39 AM

Post #9011115

Potting mixes sometimes have a lot of peat in them, and peat can be really hard to rewet once it dries out. Try adding a few drops of dish soap to the water and that should help it wet the mix.
ssgardener
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 18, 2012
2:31 PM

Post #9011285

I had the same issue with Espoma potting mix. It became concrete the moment I added a little bit of soil. These peat-based potting mixes can be hard to work with.

If you must use a commercial potting mix, I've found that Fafard is the best. Still, it's a good idea to amend the soil with other materials to help it drain better.
MyRee
Brigham City, UT
(Zone 5b)

February 19, 2012
8:45 PM

Post #9012703

I have found that moistening it with very hot water the first time helps the mixture absorb and afterwords it takes up water much better.

riceke

riceke
Snellville, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2012
5:05 AM

Post #9014335

Thanks for all your input...I have used the suggestions you have posted now and many times in the past with all y planting mediums but noticed even after Scott's was moistened it dried out quickly and was hard to get wet again. After I got fed up with the way it wasn't absorbing water I dumped the plants out to repot and found the soil around the root base was dry, as though no water was absorbed except around the edges of the pot. I never experienced this with even the cheapest commercial soils that I have used. Once moist the soil will usually absorb more water. That's why I was asking if any one elsa experienced this. Could have been a bad bag. I am hesitant to use Scotts as a result of this.

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2012
10:51 AM

Post #9014732

My only suggestion to you, should you give it another try, would be to add large amounts of compost to the mix and combine it well before filling your pots. I'd say, make it a 1:1 ratio, or as cloe to that as you can get it. That should help quite a bit. I have never had any troubles with bagged potting mix, but then again, I rarely use it as I make my own. LOADS of compost, always.
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

February 23, 2012
8:53 PM

Post #9017821

Speediebean, what are your proportions and ingredients? I also make my own potting medium.

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 24, 2012
4:21 AM

Post #9017963

Oh dear... errrr, I'm embarrassed to say that I have no idea, I just add and mix, add and mix until it looks and feel right. < =/ I guess to start with, I... well, start with 1 1/2- 1.5cuft sized bags of compost, 1-2cuft bag of top soil, then to that I add a handful of shovels-ful of peat, and about 1/3 or so of an 8Qt sized bag of perlite. (I use Hoffman's horticultural perlite). With mask on face, I dump that all into my wheel barrow, grab the shovel, and start mixing until my back is ready to fall off. Sometimes I'll add a few shovels full of mulch for texture.
I'll grab a 1-gallon sized growers pot and fill it up to heft it, to check the weight, then adjust accordingly, with more peat or compost or perlite as needed. It's sorta like how I cook, I fly by the seat of my pants. =)
All this gets stored in giant rubber maid containers with lids.

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