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Old 20-03-2005, 02:05 PM
ghbt
 
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Default plant pot soil add sand to the clay soil ?


Hi, I need some more soil for plant pots. that compost stuff you buy and
that the pot plants first come in never seems to be any good for plants
after a while, guess it does not have enough nutrients in it ??

I have acess to a heap of ordinary garden soil which seems alright, although
it does seem to have quite a lot of little 'clay' lumps in it. (London
area),

Coming back from abroad recently i noticed that the soil was very sandy but
everything seems to grow very well in it.

what i am now proposing is to make up my plant pot soil with 50% of this
garden soil plus 25% garden centre compost and also 25% sand.

Does this sound like a reasonable proportion ? and if so what kind of sand
should i use please ( sharp sand or smooth sand ?)

thanks for any advice you can give a novice.



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Old 20-03-2005, 03:19 PM
Mike Lyle
 
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ghbt wrote:
[...]
what i am now proposing is to make up my plant pot soil with 50% of
this garden soil plus 25% garden centre compost and also 25% sand.

Does this sound like a reasonable proportion ? and if so what kind
of sand should i use please ( sharp sand or smooth sand ?)


It should be OK, as it isn't usually critical; but I'd up the
"compost" proportion a bit, as you want good water absorbency in
pots. You may find that in use your topsoil makes the mixture turn to
concrete when it's dry: worth trying some out in pots without plants
until you get a mix which stays crumbly when dry and doesn't stick
together like dough when wet.

Use gardener's sharp sand, not builder's: biggest bits an eighth of
an inch across.

But your mixture will still get exhausted in pots, and you'll still
need to feed in a year or so. I generally use the stuff out of
growbags -- sometimes even used ones.

--
Mike.


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Old 20-03-2005, 05:04 PM
ghbt
 
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"Mike Lyle" wrote in message
...
ghbt wrote:
[...]
what i am now proposing is to make up my plant pot soil with 50% of
this garden soil plus 25% garden centre compost and also 25% sand.

Does this sound like a reasonable proportion ? and if so what kind
of sand should i use please ( sharp sand or smooth sand ?)


It should be OK, as it isn't usually critical; but I'd up the
"compost" proportion a bit, as you want good water absorbency in
pots. You may find that in use your topsoil makes the mixture turn to
concrete when it's dry: worth trying some out in pots without plants
until you get a mix which stays crumbly when dry and doesn't stick
together like dough when wet.

Use gardener's sharp sand, not builder's: biggest bits an eighth of
an inch across.

But your mixture will still get exhausted in pots, and you'll still
need to feed in a year or so. I generally use the stuff out of
growbags -- sometimes even used ones.
Mike.


thanks for your response. but i remember being told some time ago that grow
bags and shop compost are ok for a short time; but do not contain the
'essential minerals' that are found in ordinary garden soil. Which are
apparently necessary for long term use in a pot.





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Old 20-03-2005, 05:07 PM
ghbt
 
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Default

But your mixture will still get exhausted in pots, and you'll still
need to feed in a year or so. I generally use the stuff out of
growbags -- sometimes even used ones.
Mike.


thanks for your response. but i remember being told some time ago that
grow bags and shop compost are ok for a short time; but do not contain the
'essential minerals' that are found in ordinary garden soil. Which are
apparently necessary for long term use in a pot.


By essential minerals my understanding is that it means other things than
are found in ordinary plant feed.







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Old 20-03-2005, 05:32 PM
Mike Lyle
 
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Default

ghbt wrote:
But your mixture will still get exhausted in pots, and you'll

still
need to feed in a year or so. I generally use the stuff out of
growbags -- sometimes even used ones.
Mike.


thanks for your response. but i remember being told some time ago
that grow bags and shop compost are ok for a short time; but do

not
contain the 'essential minerals' that are found in ordinary garden
soil. Which are apparently necessary for long term use in a pot.


By essential minerals my understanding is that it means other

things
than are found in ordinary plant feed.


I take the same view; but in practice it doesn't usually matter much.
As I said, though, whatever you fill a pot with will become
exhausted, so the plant will have to be fed. Your soil-based mixture
is roughly like John Innes, and will last much longer than growbag
stuff; and in theory should result in healthier plants. I wouldn't
use peat-type media for anything like a fruit tree or a flowering
tree I wanted to keep in a container for years; and even then I'd
expect to have to change the soil regularly _and_ feed.

--
Mike.




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Old 21-03-2005, 07:09 AM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Dec 2004
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghbt
Hi, I need some more soil for plant pots.

I have acess to a heap of ordinary garden soil which seems alright,
my understanding of commercial potting composts is that what you are paying for is the fibre content without which soils in containers quickly become too compacted to allow functional root activity.

also the stuff in the bags is sterile un-like garden soil.

for longer lasting nutrient content add those pellets i forget the name...the slow release things people mistake for slug eggs.
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Old 21-03-2005, 07:12 AM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Dec 2004
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebright
my understanding of commercial potting composts is that what you are paying for is the fibre content without which soils in containers quickly become too compacted to allow functional root activity.

also the stuff in the bags is sterile un-like garden soil.

for longer lasting nutrient content add those pellets i forget the name...the slow release things people mistake for slug eggs.
oh i remembered the name..." osmocote "


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