Organic Gardening – Basic Potting Mix For Container Gardening

Container planting is a little different method of gardening than the traditional garden. The soil in your containers isn’t the same, it needs to be of a lightweight potting mix. Soil from your garden can not be used because it will not drain fast enough, this will result in too little air for the plants root system. The ideal container medium needs to be of a porous material, one that drains well but high enough in organic matter to retain moisture. Plant root systems require both air and water, some of the packaged potting soil available from the local garden centers can make a good container medium if it is not too high in organic matter. Soilless mixes like peat or perlite mix are generally too light for container vegetable gardening by not offering enough support for the plants to anchor there root system. Containers themselves can also be a problem if they are lightweight, a strong wind can blow the plants over and damage them.

The ideal mix for your container gardening is a combination of both soilless and organic. The soilless potting media are sterile and don’t contain any insects, diseases or weeds. There is a downside to the soilless media, they have no trace elements available for good plant growth and need to be added. For large container gardens it can be costly to use prepackaged mixes. Mixing your own potting soil is simple to do and cost effective. For an enriched soil mix that will have your tomatoes thriving I mix

An ideal growing medium for containers is usually referred to as soil-less, because it does not actually contain any soil. Regular soil is heavy. When used in containers, it can trap water and prevent air from reaching a plant’s roots. It also makes containers hard to lift. A loose, porous growing medium allows water and food to move quickly to a plant’s roots. It is also lighter, which makes it easier to move containers around the garden.

There are many soil-less mixes sold in garden centers and nurseries as “container mix” or “premium potting mix”. Many home gardeners prefer to make their own potting mix so that they can design it to there specific needs of the specific plants they are growing.

There are many container mix recipes floating around out there. most of them consist of a blend of peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, compost or composted manure and sand. Some of these mixes also contain sulfur to lower the pH level or lime to raise it and other mixes can contain some type of slow release organic fertilizer.

A basic recipe that can get you started and can be adjusted to your specific needs is 2 1/2 gallons of peat moss, 2 1/2 gallons of perlite or vermiculite, 1 1/2 gallon of compost or composted manure and 1 pint of sand.

Container plants need to be fertilized on a regular bases, this is because nutrients leach out of the containers every time you water. Use a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks or add pelleted slow-release organic fertilizer to your soil-less potting mix.

A environment friendly and healthy way of gardening. Organic Gardening is away of gardening in harmony with nature. Growing a healthy and productive crop in a way that is healthier for both you and the environment.

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