Help picking a Potting Soil

PepperGuy222(5)April 16, 2013

So I live in a town where we have Home Depot and Walmart. I wanted to buy Fafard 52 mix but the total cost of everything shipped to me would be $70, thats insane. So, Ive got two options left, literally and they arent very promising. I cant seem to make my mind up of terrible soils to buy from either place....Can you guys and gals provide some help? Just need to know the best option from those two places.

-Steve

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Sugi_C(9a)

Well, what will you be growing? And where are you?

Grace

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 3:42AM
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Sugi_C(9a)

Habj gives a great suggestion for peppers in the thread below (where I see you commented) with orchid bark -- and all of the pepper photos of his have been awesome. To my knowledge, all of it is a available at HD...not sure what they have at Walmart.

I've been using 5:1:1 -- tons of info on this forum re: that mix. But I hesitate to recommend it unless your HD carries the right bark; I know mine doesn't. The MG Orchid bark was okay but depending on how much you're needing, it can get costly very quickly, I'd imagine.

Grace

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil for Peppers

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 3:52AM
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PepperGuy222(5)

Well I live in NW ohio and will be growing:

Naga Viper
Charleston Pepper
Yatzy Pepper
Regular Bell Pepper
Cayenne Long Red

Im gonna scatter around where ive been talking to people and backtrack as well. But man, ill tell ya, it was really depressing seeing $40 shipping for that 52 mix lol.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 11:01AM
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don555(3a)

At the risk of offending purists, I just use ordinary "potting soil", the cheaper the better. You are growing Charleston so I'm including a pic of Charleston I grew last year in pots. The potting soil used was from Home Depot, don't remember the brand, it was the cheapest they had. (Note that I say potting soil, not "garden soil" or "top soil"). The pot in the pic is 15" diameter.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 11:49AM
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esox07

don55, I applaud you. That is an awesome looking charleston and I also applaud the fact that you grew it in probably $3 worth of potting soil. Great job. I think I finally have found a source for 5-1-1 bark and all the other stuff but after all that, I still have to sift and mix and it is just becoming a bit overwhelming and with my bad back, it is becoming nearly a non starter. I would much rather just dump a bag of cheap store bought potting mix into a 5 gallon bucket and pot up for the summer.
Good luck again this year.
Bruce

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 5:51PM
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don555(3a)

Thanks, Bruce!

Hey, you should try a plant or two in cheapo-potting soil this summer to see how it compares to your regular mix. If mixing is becoming an issue, you might find the simpler route works okay for you too.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:33AM
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Sugi_C(9a)

Bruce, peppers existed looo--ooong before we used bark or perlite. Given the availability of these items, I find the experience fun and the results better than what *I* used to get -- but the previous results were good also. :-)

Worth trying -- absolutely!
At the expense of your back -- absolutely not!!

Grace

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 2:27AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I am with Don on this one. I choose very ordinary cheap potting soil from Walmart. I may amend with some composted manure if I have any, and I have good pepper production each year. Of course I fertilize every second week and I also sprinkle a bit of pelleted fertilizer on the soil after potting up.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:21AM
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esox07

Well, I have 15-2cf bags of bark to sift through this year and if the 5-1-1 doesn't give me a noticeable boost in production, I will just go the easy route. I may have to anyway unless I can con my daughter into helping out....But she won't be home much longer anyway.

Don555: I do notice that although your Charleston is very lush and productive, it is also that yellowish color like mine always were. They always looked "sickly" compared to my other plants although they grew and produced fine. I just thought there was a problem developing with them all the time. Maybe it is their natural color though.
Bruce

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:24PM
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don555(3a)

Bruce, I recall reading somewhere that Charleston's do naturally have very yellow leaves, but I still found it quite disturbing and they were more yellow in real life than shows up in the photo. And that was with hitting them with some high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer (plus some 20-20-20)every week or two late in the season. If I skipped the nitrogen, the leaves would soon turn more yellow than green!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:00PM
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esox07

Don555: Yep, my charleston leaves were either a pale green or banana pepper yellow. never the nice green of most peppers. I too was continually trying to "fix" them. Lucky I didn't kill them.
Bruce

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:06PM
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PepperGuy222(5)

wow, is that one charleston plant?!?!?!? I have a pot about 9 inches across and if thats one plant i might have to step it up a little. Thanks for all the help, Ill probably go wih a potting soil from home depot and mix a little maneur and of course the fert. Also, from pepper joe i bought Myco Blast which should help as well. Ill post a picture of potted plants here shortly.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:54AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Nice plant Don.

This season we got a lot of good potting soil it is cheap and pretty good. I added some perlite/expanded clay.

The potting soil I have bought:

Basic material: Sphagnum 35%
35% wood fibers
Composted plant 30%
Liming agent: approx. 2.0 kg/m3
pH 6.2 to 7.0
Nutrients added

The soil is watered yesterday, no water retention.

When I check the pH level after I mixed perlite/expanded clay is around 6 too. This is my first time soil I have found this pH level.

Rocoto De Seda a bit stress due to the sunlight.

Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend Yellow, seed source from www.peperlover.com.

Caelian

This post was edited by chilliwin on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 12:48

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:42PM
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esox07

Chiliwin: Looks like you have a good thing going there.
Bruce

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:29PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Bruce, I think I have found something good here.

I love this soil look at the roots. This seedling is Ghost Yellow, the seed source is www.peperlover.com.

I have asked to many chili growers in EU about their potting soil for chili. They told me they use available potting soil (peat moss based) in their markets normally and some of them they mix perlite too. Their plants are still better than my plants. Their seedling leaves are dark green and big.

Caelian

This post was edited by chilliwin on Fri, Apr 19, 13 at 14:47

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:27AM
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PepperGuy222(5)

okay so a potting mix with peat moss and pearlite based. Ill take a look at home depot and walmart but might have to mix the two if i cant find a combination ready to put in a pot.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Sugi_C(9a)

Caelian, while your soil photo LOOKS like it would hold water for an eternity(!) unless it is blow-dried, your plants kind of speak for themselves. They all look very nice, and you're right -- nice root growth!

How often do you water that cup, for example?

Thanks for sharing. I love seeing photos!!

Grace

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 3:55PM
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lorabell NC(8)

Do you have any mom+pop garden nurserys near by?

There is absolutely no way I can sift through bark this year as i have over 200 five gallon containers. I decided on using BAACTO that I am getting at a small local nursery. (I had to ask - they don't sell it up front) It is costing 16.00 for a 2.8 bag and that will fill 5 containers. Not bad as it was costing me almost as much to buy bark, peat, pearlite, etc...and then spending HOURS sifting and preparing the stuff.

So far I'm thrilled with how the container plants are doing. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:02PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Grace, minimum twice a week for small pots like this one, but it depends on the weather and the skewers I use to monitor the soil hydration. According to the weather condition sometimes I water more than two times. I always check the soil before I water. This soil dries faster than the other potting soil I use. I like this soil for chili plants. I do not have to worry for regular fertilization because the soil is added nutrients; especially they made this soil for particular vegetables including chili. It is imported from Germany. They do not say it is potting soil, it called âÂÂplants sackâ one bag is for three plants, tomato, chili and other, just cut the plastic and plant it. I keep this soil in the bag outside in the snow without opening, it never frozen like other soil I use. It is selling like hot cakes here now.

I love to see photos too. When I read the posts I give first priority to the subject with pictures I never skip any post with pictures.

I think I am not hijacking this subject :) just I share my experiences.

Thank you all for this subject and the posts.

Caelian

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:53PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

It amazes me that none of those posters who talked about their potting mix, did do a follow up on their choices and the outcome.

I am very much interested in this "POTTING MIX MEDIUM" subject because I am planning to do a bit of container planting, mostly peppers next year. .

I have been over the "Container Gardening" and doing a lot of reading. As you know there is a mix called 511, developed by a fellow GWer (Al) that seems to have got big popularity. What it is : is basically 5 parts pine bark, 1 part Perlite and 1 part peat moss.

So I want to hear from you guys out there , as what do you use as potting medium ? Are there any significant difference between the traditional soil less potting mix and 511 ?

This post was edited by seysonn on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 0:09

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 4:40AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

RE: Help picking a Potting Soil (!!!)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 12:12AM
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pepperdave

I have used 75% Promix 25% Perlite add 1/25th worm castings Ill never use anything else 20 years never had bad luck also add 1 cup lime/ cu ft. In pots I fertilize every 10 days using a organic liquid ment for hydro

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 10:51AM
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tsheets(5)

I don't think I posted to this thread earlier, but, I have used a 5-1-1 for the past two years. The first year I had serious difficulties. The second year I had great success. I think I had too much sap wood and the first year it was decomposing / sucking up all the nitrogen. I used the same exact medium the second year (freshened it up with lime and a CRF) and screened a lot the smallest particles out as I had it too water retentive for my location. I had it a little too free draining this year, had to water pretty much every day.

This post was edited by tsheets on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 18:43

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 6:42PM
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loweride

I use Fafard 3B and it is working awesome. I can't believe y'all use mostly bark. I'm a noob, though.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 10:58PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have not used 5 1 1. But it is 5 parts pine fine, 1 part peat moss. and 1 part perlite I do think that it has too much bark. I could be wrong. But I will try it alongside some variations, like, 5 3 2. and 4 2 1.

511 is over 71 % pine bark. 5 3 2 can reduce it to 50% and increase moss and perlite percentages.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 12:03AM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Pretty lucky here that i've found Fox Farms Ocean Forest and Happy Frog potting soils for $10 per jumbo bag, so i'll stick with that while my supply lasts.

I tend to mix in some coco choir, extra perlite, Azomite and extra myco's. After the plants have grown a bit i add balanced ferts.

It's the best i've used by far, I know the squirrels agree. But in all fairness i haven't created many mixes from scratch, so i'm sure someone can replicate or surpass it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fox Farms Products

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:51AM
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kuvaszlvr

I love Fafard 52 mix, I've also used Promix and like it too.
Pam

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:06PM
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