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Potting Soil

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by LandOfOz on October 05, 2006 11:33 PM
I've got a few plants that I'm growing in clay pots. I just bought the cheapo Walmart potting soil (was in a hurry) and was wondering, how bad is it? My plants are planted in the potting soil but it seems that the top layer gets extremely hard after just a few waterings, and that it takes water quite some time to perculate down even a few inches. Is this normal or just a complaint of cheap soil? What is a good brand to get, or what should I be looking for? I've got some dahlias (tubers which I rescued), cosmos, basil and an unknown plant--all in seperate pots, of course! BTW, I did mix in a little worm compost as I filled the pots. Thanks for the help!

Sarah

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by TulsaRose on October 07, 2006 06:01 PM
Sarah, it sounds as if your potting soil may have too much peat in it. You might consider repotting and adding more compost to the soil or tossing it and buy something better. When I've run into that problem, I usually give the pots a good soak in a bucket of water for four or five hours until I know the soil is completely wet, then allow to drain thoroughly. [Wink]

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Rosie z7a
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by tkhooper on October 08, 2006 10:39 PM
I bought that Wal-Mart potting soil last year. It's like hard pan really awful. I think throwing it out and starting over is definitely a better idea. I've heard good things about Scott's and I use Miracle-Gro. The Dahlias and Basil do very well in miracle-gro I know from experience. Good luck with your planting.

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by Deborah L. on October 09, 2006 02:42 AM
What color dahlias? Do you know the names of them?
I always am interested in dahlias because a friend of mine is the famous Edna of the Edna C. hybrid dahlia.

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by Deborah L. on October 09, 2006 02:45 AM
rescued), cosmos, basil and an unknown plant--

What does the unknown plant look like?
I love cosmos too.
Now I wanna see how my copy/paste worked - still new to that. [Embarrassed]

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by Deborah L. on October 09, 2006 02:45 AM
Hey ! I did it ! Yay !

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by Jiffymouse on October 09, 2006 08:23 AM
if you have to use the cheap stuff, mix it with either perlite or a good quality soil. mostly, i try not to use it. miracle grow all the way for me.
by LandOfOz on October 09, 2006 08:24 AM
My Unkown plant is listed in that thread. I think I'm going to have to wait until it's a little bigger to get a good idea of what it is.

I might have to buy some miracle grow potting soil. Now I'm just worried about repotting the plants because the soil is so hard. Hopefully I won't kill them in the process of repotting!! Thanks for the help. Maybe one day my worms will get to producing well enough to where I won't have to buy much potting soil.

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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