Soil for eBuckets

Buffalo, MN(Zone 4a)

Just a question-much of the potting soil available here has time release fertilizer mixed in with it. How should I adjust my additives for the e buckets if that's what I get?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Go to Menards & buy Professional Potting mix. It's in a blue bag. You can use it as is or mix it with peat moss that comes in a 2 cu ft bale. We planted our container strawberries in it. Then you can fertilize as you want.
We have 3000 strawberries.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I might add, we have had trouble with the moisture holding soil like Miracle Grow. We,ve had greenhouse plants die from to much water.

Buffalo, MN(Zone 4a)


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Lakebay, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi all!

I'm a newcomer and also new to gardening. I'm going to be using "City Pickers" (Earthbox knockoff, but a bit bigger footprint and shallower than Earthboxes, with a capacity of 1-1/2 cubic feet compared to Earthboxes' 2 cubic feet). I'm planning mostly for tomatoes but also some herbs, lettuce, maybe a few other things.

(Also planning to use Walls-O-Water to get a bit of a head start on the tomatoes, because I'm in the Pacific Northwest with a short growing season.)

I started tomatoes from seed indoors, and so far that's going GREAT. However, I've read everything I could find (here and elsewhere) about mix to use in the grow boxes, and the more I read, the more confused I seem to get.

I've looked at the list of recommended mixes on the Earthbox site, and the few that are available locally cost the earth (so to speak).

This may have been a mistake -- hopefully not! -- but I picked up a BUNCH of "Wilco Professional Potting Soil" when it was on a killer sale. Now I'm trying to figure out if it's a good mix for the grow boxes or not. Here are its ingredients, in the order listed:
* Aged bark
* Alfalfa meal
* Kelp meal
* Pumice
* Lime
* Peat moss
* Compost
* Perlite
* Fish bone meal
* Ground oyster shell

(I note that, although it calls itself soil, its ingredients don't include any soil.)

So, my questions are:

(1) Will the Wilco mix, as listed above, work well in an Earthbox-like SWC as is?

(2) If no to #1, would it work well if mixed with other things? (I'm wondering about Gymgirl's 3:1:1 mix of bark, peat, and perlite/vermiculite, using the Wilco mix as the "3" bark component. Or some other components/ratio?)

(3) If I'm able to use it either straight or mixed as in #2, how much dolomite would you add for tomatoes, given that it's a listed ingredient already in the Wilco stuff? And would you adjust the amount of fertilizer you add?

On the one hand, cost IS an issue (and, of the branded mixes listed on the Earthbox site, the few available in my area *are* very pricey!)... but on the other hand, having knocked myself out getting the tomato seedlings doing so great up to this point, I don't want to screw it all up by pinching pennies TOO hard on something this critical! So I'm immensely grateful to have this forum to appeal to for expertise.

Thank you!!!

-- Michelle

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