The Q&A Archives: Potting Medium Recommendations

Question: I have never been sure as to the proper mediums to use for growing container flowers. Please advise

Answer: Plants need a potting soil that gets wet fast, but drains quickly, too, retains air space for the roots, and is free of weeds and disease pathogens. You can use a commercially prepared potting soil. Most contain compost, peatmoss, and perlite (or vermiculite), in a lightweight, sterile mixture. Or you can mix your own: use 1/2 cubic yard of peat moss, 1/2 cubic yard of vermiculite, 1 pound of superphosphate, and 2 pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer. Mix everything together and add warm water to lightly moisten the material. Then fill your containers and store the remainder in buckets with lids or in plastic bags (to help retain the moisture). If the mixture dries out before you use it, moisten it with warm water. (Dry peat moss tends to repel water, so expect to soak the mixture overnight to thoroughly moisten it.)

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