Soilless potting mix home depot
One way to achieve this may be by making homemade potting media rather than purchasing pre-made materials at garden centers and home supply stores. Although purchasing the base ingredients and developing your own mix may not result in a cheaper mix, it does offer the opportunity to be creative and to modify mixes for specific goals or plants that you feel would make a media better for your situation.
The following information will provide you with a basic understanding of potting media ingredients and steps for making a homemade media from scratch. Potting media, which has a coarser texture than garden soil, is commonly used in container gardens and in trays for sowing seeds. Ingredients recommended for potting media have changed over the years as research conducted by professional horticulturists has identified components that are beneficial for sowing seeds and plant growth.
Before the mid’s, soil-based potting media was commonly used; however, in recent years, peat-based soilless mixes have become more popular. Many ingredients are now available to gardeners who choose to create a homemade potting media instead of buying one from a retailer. Either soil-based or peat-based potting media can be made at home by combining individual ingredients. Recipes given here are measured in gallons for primary ingredients and in teaspoons and tablespoons or ounces and grams for smaller ingredients.
Primary ingredients used for both soil-based and peat-based media are discussed below. The following is a basic recipe for soil-based potting media. In this recipe garden loam soil, coarse construction sand, and sphagnum peat moss are combined together in equal parts by volume:.
Peat-based media are useful for seed germination because they are relatively sterile, light in texture and weight, and uniform. The light texture enables seeds to readily germinate and emerge, allows tender roots to grow, and makes transplanting seedlings easier. In general, standard media recipes are created based on the types of plants being grown ex.
A standard recipe for a homemade soilless mix consists of half sphagnum peat moss and half perlite or vermiculite. Small amounts of ground limestone and fertilizer will need to be added to the media. These ingredients can be blended together in a separate container and then added to the bushel basket. Fertilizer will supply nutrients; however, the correct media pH must be maintained so these nutrients can be available for plant roots to absorb. The range in which all nutrients are available to most plants is between 6.
Based on the length of time plants will be held in containers, it may or may not be necessary to add supplemental fertilizers to soil-based media. Clay or mineral content in garden soil provides cation exchange capacity CEC for nutrient retention and water-holding capabilities. Therefore, soil-based media generally provides enough fertility compared to soilless media. When making soil-based mixes, the pH will need to be adjusted according to soil test results.
Soil test kits are available for purchase from your county extension office or garden center. Refer to the website to contact your local county extension office. Although soil-based potting media may not initially require fertilizer in the mix, additional nutrients are usually helpful for plants that will remain in the same container for several years. A slow release complete fertilizer e.I have tried two guerdon’s one with this Miracle-Gro and one with out the Miracle-Gro and the one with I had 25 tomato plants and got over tomato’s and very nice size and one with no Miracle-Gro I only around tomato’s, same season same care taken with each guerdon’s same season so yes it does work well and the price is great at Sam’s.
I love Miracle-Gro Moisture control and have used it for years. I container garden and it is the best potting soil I have ever used. I bought several bags of this potting mix. My plants love it. I used it for outdoor plants including tomatoes. This mix keeps enough moisture, which is important to steady growth. I can see darker green leaves since I repotted my tomatoes into the mix. I wish Sam’s Club had an organic potting mix also.
The price was better than at the competitors. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments. Sorry, but we can’t respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All. Update Location.
Potting Soil & Soilless Mixes
Learn more. Report incorrect product information. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Average rating: 3. Walmart Free delivery Arrives by Wed, Apr Pickup not available. Add to List. Add to Registry. Product Highlights Contains all the necessary ingredients container plants need to thrive Feeds for up to 6 months.New here? I invite you to subscribe to my Free Newsletter for exclusive tips on growing a healthy food garden. Thanks for visiting! Do you want to learn how to make potting mix at home? Look no further!
My early experiences with bagged potting mixes were not happy ones. With a sea of choices, clueless salespeople and confusing labels, I made more than one bad choice. Maybe you have too! Easy DIY Potting Mix Recipe вЂ” learn how to make your own moisture holding, nutrient rich potting mix at home in simple steps. So I decided to make my own mix. Now, I try to be self-reliant and budget conscious where possible, by making my own supplies.
Quality bagged mixes can be quite expensive when you add up ingredients, packaging, transport, marketing costs, retail margins, etc. Many use non-renewable resources that impact the environment like peat moss expensive; breaks down too quickly; and compacts easily reducing aeration and drainage.
It also consumes nitrogen in your mix so has to be compensated for, with added fertilisers. On the up side, commercial mixes are sterile, disease free and very convenient as you just open the bag! Mixing key potting mix ingredients together is like baking a cake.
Similarly, in your potting mix recipe, you need ingredients that provide different roles. These include drainage, aeration, water and nutrient retention, plant food, support, microbes and sometimes, thermal insulation. This mix is suitable for use in pots, hanging baskets and gardens.
I like to keep things simple. Try using more or less of the ingredients to suit your own needs. Or substitute with resources you have easy access to. This basic potting mix recipe is a starting point. Each time you need to make a batch, you will have it all together.
A few good quality tools will last you for many years. Affiliate Links: Your support of this site is appreciated! This is not overkill! These are simple precautions to take when making your own potting mix:. Remember to wear suitable protective clothing when making potting mix. Ideally, source your ingredients from your own garden, locally and choose organic where possible.
There are also many sustainable, low-cost options online. Coir peat is available in a convenient dry, lightweight compact block in various sizes. It provides aeration; water holding capacity and bulk to the mix.
Potting Soil & Soilless Mixes
The flaky vermiculite particles soak up moisture and nutrients and keep them in the mix so the plants can access them. Compost retains minerals, provides moisture and plant food, microbes and improves the structure of the growing media. It also acts as a buffer to changes in pH and suppresses disease.
Tip: To rehydrate a 9L block requires 4. When rehydrated according to the directions for the volume you are making, loosen and fluff with your trowel.Opt-in to mobile texts to receive money-saving, project-inspiring alerts. Redeemed in stores only. Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area. Soil is the foundation of good gardening. Without healthy soil, your plants will be more susceptible to pests and diseases and will, simply put, not perform well.
When you start with good quality soil, you will reap the rewards in the garden. Soil is much more than the dirt in your backyard. All soils are made up of minerals, organic matter, air and water that work together to provide the ideal conditions for plant roots to provide fuel for the plant to grow.
The mineral component of soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay, and the ideal ratio is 40 percent each of sand and silt, and 20 percent clay. When this ratio is out of balance, amending the soil with organic compost will improve drainage. Determining the kind of soil you have is simple, you just begin with a soil test.
Your local Cooperative Extension Service offers low-cost soil tests; you can also purchase soil test kits from the Garden Center. Select amendments for your soil based on the results. On the pH scale, 7 is neutral, and anything below is acidic. Above 7 is alkaline. Most plants will thrive in a pH range from 6. Of course, there are exceptions, like acid-loving blueberry bushes that prefer a pH around 5. Acidic soil can be amended with lime to make it more neutral or alkaline, while garden sulfur is added to alkaline soils to decrease the pH.
Compost is neutral and will not affect the acidity of soil when added. In addition to structure and minerals, soil texture is important to a healthy garden. The ideal loamy, friable soil holds together when you squeeze a handful.
A sandy soil will fail to hold its shape when squeezed, and slightly damp clay soil clumps when squeezed. To achieve soil that is quick-draining but retentive, amend the soil with organic matter like compost and sphagnum peat moss.
The garden soil you purchase in bags or bulk from the Garden Center is designed to be mixed with the native soil in your garden.
Top Tips for Successful Container Gardening
By adding garden soil and amendments, you can improve structure and revitalize tired soil. Potting mixes also come with nutrient boosts. Check package labels for more info. If you want to make your potting mix, use the recipe that container gardening expert Jessica Walliser recommends: equal parts good quality garden soil and compost, either purchased or made in your backyard. Compost is easy to make at home, but requires time. Learn how to make your own compost.
There are a few variables in determining the amount of soil you will need to purchase. Begin by knowing the size garden space or container you will fill, and if you are adding an amendment such as compost. In the Garden Center, consult labels for quantities. You can also find the information in the online product listings.Opt-in to mobile texts to receive money-saving, project-inspiring alerts.
Redeemed in stores only. Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area. Whether your gardening space is a condo balcony, a half-acre plot or anything in between, container gardening will bring the beauty of plants up close and eye level. This makes them easy to enjoy and even easier to work with once you know the essential rules for successful container gardening. And when you master the basics, let creativity guide you to plant gorgeous Pinterest-worthy containers.
Spread a layer of newspaper and fill with potting mix to within a few inches of the rim. Fill a big container such as a wheelbarrow or large galvanized tub with 10 parts water to 1 part bleach a 10 percent bleach solution. Submerge the pots and let soak for 10 minutes. Scrub the pots, rinse, and leave in the sun to dry. Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!
Back to Top. Garden-fresh offers are one step away. Join Garden Club. Just For You. Select Your Area. Thrillers give height, fillers bring body to the center and spillers cascade over the rim of the planter, softening the edges.
Put them all together and you have a colorful display with texture and movement. Mix different types of plants. If it grows in the ground, it can grow in a container. Besides the usual bedding plants like impatiens and pansies, small shrubs and trees make lovely container plantings.
Choose your container wisely.Even with the healthiest of soils, dirt is still prone to carrying harmful bacteria and fungi. Soilless growing mediums, on the other hand, are usually cleaner and considered sterile, making them more popular with container gardeners.
Gardening with soilless potting mix does not include the use of soil. Instead, plants are grown in a variety of organic and inorganic materials. Using these materials rather than soil allows gardeners to grow healthier plants without the threat of soil-borne diseases.
Plants grown in soilless mixes are also less likely to be bothered by pests. Some of the most common soilless growing mediums include peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and sand. Generally, these mediums are mixed together rather than used alone, as each usually provides its own function. Fertilizers are also commonly added to the mix, providing important nutrients. In addition to these common mediums, other materials, such as bark and coconut coircan be used.
Bark is often added to improve drainage and promote air circulation. Depending on the type, it is reasonably lightweight. Coconut coir is similar to peat moss and works much the same way, only with less mess. While soilless potting mix is available at many garden centers and nurseries, you can also make your own soilless mix. Bark can be used in lieu of sand, while coconut coir can replace peat moss. This is a personal preference. Small amounts of fertilizer and ground limestone should be added as well so the soilless mix will contain nutrients.
There are numerous recipes for preparing soilless potting mixes online so you can easily find one to suit your individual needs. Friend’s Email Address.
Your Name. Your Email Address. Send Email. Image by koromelena. What is a Soilless Mix? Types of Soilless Growing Mediums Some of the most common soilless growing mediums include peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and sand.
Sphagnum peat moss has a coarse texture but is lightweight and sterile. It promotes adequate aeration and holds water well. This growing medium is ideal for germinating seeds. Perlite is a form of expanded volcanic rock and is usually white in color. It provides good drainage, is lightweight, and holds air. Perlite should also be mixed with other mediums like peat moss since it does not retain water and will float to the top when plants are watered.
Vermiculite is often used with or instead of perlite. This particular form of mica is more compact and, unlike perlite, does well at helping to retain water. On the other hand, vermiculite does not provide as good aeration as does the perlite.Forums New posts Search forums. What’s new New posts New profile posts Latest activity. Members Current visitors New profile posts Search profile posts. Log in Register. Search titles only. Search Advanced searchвЂ¦.
Those stores are the only place that I can buy soil and soil materials from. Can I get some recs about what soil I should use? I see all the Miracle Grow potting soil varieties, sphagnum moss, and all these different kinds of stuff with “potting soil” on its label.
I notice a lot of the potting soil looks a lot like wood chip type material. This is primarily for outdoor. Thanks for the reply. I’ve never seen coco coir in WalMart and Home Depot. Haven’t seen vermiculite either. I see perlite everywhere though. Miracle Grow and perlite mix? LightningMcGreen Active Member. LightningMcGreen said:. GrizzlyAdams Well-Known Member. If I may, The cheapest soil you’ll be able to go with is a blend you make yourself.
A basic blend is. Make sure you add trace elements to this mix one way or another, your plant WILL need them. I make my soil from stuff bought from Home Depot. Yea I’ve used scotts too it works well. Just don’t use MG soil Phill Member. I am using a mixture of Does this seem like a good mixture? I’m not a pro so im not too sure just read alot of diff soil mixtures then combined them all in to one.
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Choosing the Right Soilless Mix
A good growing medium will ensure that your plants get a healthy balance of water and air
The term potting soil has become something of a misnomer in today’s world of container gardening. Most bags of potting soil contain no field soil but are composed of a variety of organic and inorganic materials and are referred to as soilless mixes. As a commercial greenhouse operator and horticultural researcher, I’ve worked with all kinds of soilless mixes over the years and believe them to be far superior to soil-based mixes for a variety of reasons. Many excellent brands are readily available at chain stores and garden centers. If you have a clear understanding of the requirements for a good container medium and the various ingredients used in these products, choosing the right mix for your container plantings is in the bag.
Successful container gardening requires a potting medium that meets several of the plant’s needs. The medium must be a stable reservoir of moisture and nutrients and remain loose enough to allow for root and water movement and the exchange of gases in the root zone. A growing medium must also have a pH (a measure of the alkalinity or acidity of a medium) that can support adequate nutrient uptake, and it must be free of soil-borne diseases, weed seeds, and toxins. Finally, a container medium must provide adequate anchorage and support for the roots while still being heavy enough to provide sufficient ballast to prevent plants from tipping over. A well-blended soilless medium can easily satisfy all these requirements and do so without the inherent problems and variability frequently encountered when field, or native, soils are used in containers.
If you have a good mix, water will penetrate it quickly and drain freely from the bottom of the pot. When the excess water has drained away, air will fill the large pore spaces, but enough water will be retained in the smaller spaces to provide ample moisture for the plant. In a poor mix, water may be slow to penetrate, the medium will become heavy and waterlogged, and a crust from algae or accumulated salts may form on the surface. Under these conditions, the roots become starved for oxygen, plant growth slows, foliage may begin to yellow, and plants often succumb to root rot.
For the best results:
Both organic and inorganic ingredients serve a purpose
Organic ingredients hold water and nutrients
Some organic ingredients, such as peat moss, provide needed water-holding capacity, and others, like pine bark, can lend a porous structure to avoid compaction.
Peat moss: The physical and chemical properties of peat moss make it an ideal base for most soilless mixes because it can hold both water and air. It’s light, but its fibrous structure allows it to hold 15 to 20 times its weight in water. The peat fibers also give it a large amount of pore space (80 to 90 percent of its total volume). It holds nutrients well, and it readily shares them with the roots, thanks to its slightly acidic pH. Horticultural-grade peats come from the decomposed remains of sphagnum moss species that have accumulated over centuries in peat bogs. They are not a renewable resource, however, and concerns about the sustainability of harvesting this product is a common topic of discussion among gardeners. Another type of peat that is used in soilless mixes is known as reed-sedge peat, but this material is generally inferior to sphagnum peat.
Composted pine bark: This material is a renewable resource and is one of the most widely used components in commercial container media, although barks from many other species are also processed for this purpose. Bark lacks the moisture-holding capacity of peat moss, but it can dramatically increase the porosity of a mix. Bark particles used in container media generally range in size from dustlike to about 3/8 inch in diameter.
Coir: Another renewable organic material is coir, a derivative of coconut hulls that shows promise as a peat substitute. Coir has exceptional water-holding capacity, and when mixed with pine bark, it can eliminate or substantially reduce the need for peat moss in a mix. Other sources of organic matter that can be used in soilless mixes include composted manures, leaf mold, and crop residues such as rice hulls.
Inorganic ingredients improve drainage and add weight
Inorganic ingredients improve drainage and add weight Inorganic ingredients like sand, vermiculite, and perlite generally lend porosity to a mix, but they can also help retain moisture and add weight or density.
Sand: This material can add needed weightto peat- and bark-based mixes and fill large pore spaces without impairing drainage. Coarse sand is preferred in most cases, and sand ground from granite is used in the best mixes. Fine sand with rounded grains like that found at the beach can actually reduce drainage when used in excessive amounts.
Vermiculite: A mineral that has been heated until it expands into small accordion-shaped particles, vermiculite holds large amounts of both air and water. But it can easily be compacted, so avoid packing down mixes containing large quantities of it. Vermiculite can also retain nutrients and help a mix resist changes in pH.
Perlite: One of the more common ingredients in commercial potting mixes, perlite is an inert ingredient manufactured by heating a volcanic material to produce lightweight white particles. It promotes good drainage while holding nearly as much water as vermiculite. Other inorganic materials that are useful in potting media include polystyrene (plastic) beads and calcined clay, which is similar to kitty litter. Plastic beads are inert and serve only to promote drainage, but calcined-clay particles can actually improve the moisture- and nutrient-holding capacity of a mix.
The ideal mix: Generally, most container plants will thrive in a mix that contains about 40 percent peat moss, 20 percent pine bark, 20 percent vermiculite, and 20 percent perlite or sand.
Soilless mixes leave the fertilizing to you
Soilless mixes have little natural fertility, so they need fertilizer, lime, and sometimes other materials added to them to give the plants nutrients. Many soilless mixes contain a “starter charge” of fertilizer that can satisfy the nutritional requirements of plants for a few weeks, but longer-term fertility maintenance can require the addition of liquid fertilizers on a regular basis. Another option is the application of a slow-release fertilizer, which provides a constant supply of available nutrients and can either be incorporated into the medium or simply top-dressed on the surface. The rate of nutrient release for most of these fertilizers is regulated by temperature, so plants receive more fertilizer when they are actively growing, and frequent watering will not leach the nutrients from the mix. Slow-release fertilizers are available in various formulations that can provide adequate nutrition for as short as three months or as long as two years.
Soilless mixes also have limited reserves of trace elements, so for best results, choose a fertilizer that also contains these micronutrients. Some mixes now come with slow-release fertilizers incorporated into the medium, and in these cases, the fertilizer analysis is usually included on the bag’s label.
Most commercial mixes have ample lime added, so the pH should remain fairly stable over time. Soilless media perform well at a slightly acidic pH, so the lime requirements for these mixes are not as critical as for native garden soils. When in doubt about the fertility of a soilless mix, a soil test may be useful, but be sure to indicate that you have an artificial or greenhouse medium when submitting your samples.
One positive trend in soilless media products is improved labeling on the bags. Many products now list all the ingredients and additives on the package (mixes with systemic insecticides added are always clearly labeled). If you have an understanding of what components do in a mix, then choosing the right product for your container gardening needs has never been easier.
Why don’t native soils belong in pots?
Field soils can be appropriate for growing plants in the garden, but these soils are unsuited for growing plants in containers. In most cases, the texture of field soils is simply too fine to ensure adequate aeration in containers, and pots or planters of any size are generally too shallow to permit proper drainage. Soilless media have larger particles, which form bigger spaces or pores to hold air in the medium, while still retaining enough water for plants to survive. Adding too much water-absorbing material, which expands greatly when moistened, can knock your plants out of their container.
Use crystal polymers to help retain moisture
Many soilless mixes have either liquid surfactants or gel-forming granules added to help them retain moisture. If you have trouble keeping containers well watered in hot weather or in sunny locations, you may want to consider adding one of these products to your mix before you plant. As with fertilizers, follow the label directions and don’t overapply. Soilless mixes that already have extra wetting agents typically indicate this on the label.
A good growing medium will ensure that your plants get a healthy balance of water and air