Gardening question about soil mixture.?

Gardening question about soil mixture.?

Postby haden » March 4th, 2014, 5:49 am

First, a little information:
Growing a small indoor plant in a small ceramic pot on one of those plastic drainage pans, on a pot stand to keep it elevated off the ground from the cold air.
I am using some Miracle Grow Potting Mix and had been told it was good to use pearlite for drainage, and that you ideally want approximately 20% drainage. I have always been told you don't want to over-water your plants because you can drown them.
So I was wondering if it would aid drainage and prevent over-saturating the soil if, instead of putting a layer of pearlite on the bottom of the pot, followed by the soil, I instead mixed 1 scoop of pearlite to 2 scoops potting mix and mix it up well.
Also, kind of a secondary question:
Would it be a good idea to put a little soil into the drainage pan to help give it a medium to be absorbed into the pot-soil through? (The pan has "fins" that keep the pot from sitting directly on the bottom of the pan (and therefore sometimes keeps the opening in the pot above the water)
Are these good ideas? Thanks!
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Gardening question about soil mixture.?

Postby barron » March 4th, 2014, 5:50 am

News Flash: There is something far better than Pearlite which does help drainage but does not *retain or *release moisture AND let the root system breathe.

Large plant and seed supply shores should have Tyrface MVP which you can mix 50/50 with premium potting soil mix. New seeds will do just fine with a few drops of water twice per week.

Nowadays, expensive Bonsai plant mix has been blown out of the water with 100% Turface MVP.
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Gardening question about soil mixture.?

Postby alured99 » March 4th, 2014, 5:59 am

They already figure that out when they make the soil, don't muck with it. I think their potting mix uses forest floor products meaning it'll be fine now but soon it'll decompose, compact the soil, stop drainage and suffocate the roots. If the label does say that, return it if you can and get one that's primarily bark or peat. Probably bark b/c it's cheaper and still great. If you can't return it, you may want to gently break it up and unclump the surface every month or so.

For watering you want to keep it barely moist. Water deeply each time, doesn't matter if it drips or not as long as it soaks a bit of the soil. But don't water again until you dig 1/4" under the surface with your finger and it's still dry there. Otherwise you'll drown the roots.
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Gardening question about soil mixture.?

Postby gavino » March 4th, 2014, 6:13 am

Miracle Gro Potting mix has perlite in it and it drains just fine. I think you are over thinking this which is normal for people. They either don't think or over think. It means you are normal either way. I am very happy that you understand that over watering is bad. So what is the real solution. Go to a garden center and get a moisture meter. I've been using one for over 25 years as I am not a good guesser. You put it in soil and it tells you what the moisture content of soil is and you needn't guess either. As to drainage, I have 20" pots and I just fill with good potting soil and I have no problems with drainage. In the old days I think it was a big deal owing to people making their own mixes but nowadays with modern soils I don't think it is an issue anymore.
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