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Wayne: potting soil question.

Posted by browneyedsusan z7b AL (My Page) on
Thu, May 10, 07 at 16:03

Wayne,

I have been using Miracle Grow potting soil for my container plants but it dries out quickly and is difficult to re-wet.
I got several plants from you at the swap and I noticed that the mix you use drains well and wets easily. What do you use?
Also what medium do you use for rooting cuttings? I have never been able to root anything.

Thanks,
Susan.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

I also have been using the MiracleGro brand and have been disappointed with it. Like you said, it dries out too quickly. It's also a little too chunky to me, I think about half of it seems to be pine bark. It's no better than the "Expert" kind at Wal-Mart (which is cheaper).


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

I have used severl commercial mixes with the same results, BUT, about three years ago it was suggested that I change to PROMIX. I get it from the co-op and it comes in a big black plastic brick. About $24 (for a lot). I now use it exclusively for potting.


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

I too use Pro-Mix. It is great for potting, cheaper too. It is compressed, you have to wet it really good before using (directions on package). It retains water well, but not too well. I don't normally use it for succulents though...


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

look for the addition of a wetting agent listed on bags/blocks of any peat-based potting medium. without that, it is difficult to get it to absorb water.


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

susan--this may sound odd, but for 5 yrs. i have been using
walmart's evergreen cow manure 100% for rooting and potting soil. this medium is cheap and obviously does not have enough
cow manure content to burn. ingredients are listed as---
pine fines, hardwood fines, chicken or cow manure and sand.
no percentages are given. a key to rooting is cutting selected i.e. this years growth. i usually put cuttings in
pots in sept. or oct. , water well, place out back under a
tree and forget about them until spring.

some cuttings i.e. brugmansia, hibiscus etc need to be rooted
differently. i use sandy silt from our lake bottom. i learned
this from terry s. these need to be protected in a
garage, even the back of a carport works, or a greenhouse if
if you are so lucky. keep moist.

wayne


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

susan---one thing i forgot, i often use plastic produce bags
0ver the pot i'm rooting in, especially in the spring. holds
in moisture. hold bag up with sticks. punch three or four
holes with a pencil. fits a gal. pot. leave on two to three
weeks. must be in shade. not for everything. expect no more
than 30-50 % success rate. don't forget, the best way to root
azaleas, hydrangeas etc. is layering and patience. winter and
summer, transpant in fall. i expect someone else in this
forum has different or better methods.

wayne


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

Something that is important to remember when trying to root something is that there needs to be plenty of oxygen at the root formation site. That's why you'll see it recommended that you use pure coarse sand, or pure perlite, or a very coarse potting medium (with added perlite). Those very large pore spaces help insure success. Having to water more often goes with the territory and it's a huge plus for the seedlings or cuttings. The very activity of flushing fresh water through a germination tray, rooting flat or container, or even mature container plants is an act of oxygenation. That water contains more than just water; lots of oxygen, as well!

My rooting mediums are either all perlite or a mixture of perlite and my coarse potting medium. I never worry about over watering (which I KNOW is how some people kill their cuttings) because that's practically impossible in this kind of medium. I also make sure that I never forget to water!


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to help me. This really is a great place to learn. Susan.


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

Rhizo i am gonna try that - rooting in "straight" perlite....thanks!


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RE: Wayne: potting soil question.

Don't forget that you'll have to keep it watered more than a potting mix!


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