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What kind of soil is best?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Bounce847 on January 20, 2005 06:19 AM
When I buy what is indicated to be "good" potting soil for houseplants, I see slivers of wood chips all through it. It doesn't seem to be absorbent at all, and I wonder just how "good" this soil really is. When buying soil, which type is best? Anything special I should look for?
by MissJamie on January 20, 2005 06:29 AM
i'm not very good at this but the main thing i'd make sure of is that it drains good. because you don't want your plants sitting in water. sorry i couldn't help much! good luck!

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by Jiffymouse on January 21, 2005 02:47 AM
absorbancy is one of those things with soil that is funny. it is better to have to water more often than you think you should than to have wet, heavy, soggy soil. that just causes root rot.

the bits of sticks and wood (and maybe leaves) that you see in potting soil is from the compost that is added for nutrients and to keep it "light" so it doesn't get soggy heavy.
by Nako on January 21, 2005 05:19 PM
There's also ways you can make your own soil mixes. If you're willing to spend a lil money, then you can go out, grab some sphagnum moss, slow release fertalizer, bone meal, blood meal, pearlite, builder's sand, and stuff like that. It'll all provide your soil with nutrients, and if properly mixed, you'll get your own preference on how much water it'll hold at one time, how well it'll hold ur plants in the pot, how much your plants will get fed, etc.

Big world the soil place is [Smile]

~Phoebe

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by Bounce847 on January 23, 2005 08:52 PM
The moist and sticky (like brown sugar) soil is the one I've had the most success with. But when I buy soil at the store I always end up with something else entirely. Is there a name for the sticky stuff? Some way to identify it on a package? Or do I just go to a nursery and ask them for the sticky stuff? [grin]
by Jiffymouse on January 24, 2005 02:54 AM
i usually use miracle grow. it doesn't hold the moisture quite as well as schultz, but i tend to overwater if i'm not careful. so that works best for me.
by Bounce847 on January 29, 2005 05:12 AM
Thank you Jiffymouse! I bought some today! [Smile]
by TomR on January 30, 2005 02:14 PM
The woods chips are fine. It's organic matter and that's always good. I use mainly Pro-Mix myself and add (depending on the plant I'm repotting) perlite to loosen the soil and also provide better drainage.

I tried Scotts last year and HATED it. WAY to heavy of a mix IMHO.

Tom

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My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
by Jiffymouse on January 30, 2005 05:17 PM
tom, where do you get pro-mix? i've never heard of it, but am always looking for "new" stuff to try.
by Longy on January 30, 2005 05:31 PM
The potting mixes available in Australia, are rated and if they're good ones they'll have an Aust standards stamp on the bags. There is premium and standard, the premium usually having some slow release fert and zeolite, maybe some other additives. I've found that the cheaper ones without the standards stamps are usually crap. They are also about a quarter of the price but it's just not worth it. They put all sorts of crap in there to make it look like good soil, including dyes to colour it black so it looks richer. They are also the ones which tend to have bits of wood in them and other stuff. You don't want bits of wood in there, you're not buying a compost heap,if it's organic matter you want it to be broken down already. The best way i've found to buy quality stuff is instead of buying a 25 litre bag for say $5:00 i'll buy a 60 litre bag for $10:00. You pay a lot of money for your plants and you give them a lot of your time and attention. Don't waste your money on second rate potting mixes. It's just not worth saving a few dollars in the short term.
by obywan59 on January 30, 2005 05:36 PM
Jiffymouse, try your local garden centers--the people who grow the plants themselves. Not Wal-Mart or Lowes. They should have Pro-Mix or something very similar.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Jiffymouse on January 30, 2005 05:52 PM
thanks terry... i'll have to find one... i thought i knew of one, only to discover they "order" their plants too!

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