Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Potting soil recipes for troughs

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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Apr 22, 2016 8:55 AM CST
I have been looking for a 'recipe' for semp troughs and couldn't find one so I sort of picked this thread to ask for help. Thanks for any redirection you can offer. Thank You!
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Apr 22, 2016 9:18 AM CST

Moderator

Hi Stella.
You mean you want to make hypertufa? Or just plant semp troughs?
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 22, 2016 2:46 PM CST
Oh not the troughs themselves just the soil mix that goes in them. Then plant the semps that I have
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Apr 22, 2016 6:59 PM CST

Moderator

Got it.
You will need fast draining soil that does not become soggy.
This link will give you lots of information to read through for potting mixes.
The thread "Best Soil and Pots for Mother Hen Semps" in Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum

Let me know if this helps.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 22, 2016 7:38 PM CST
Thanks so much. Don't know how I missed this. I did the wild card search in the semp forum for anything having to do with soil.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Apr 23, 2016 12:07 AM CST

Moderator

Let me know if it gives you the information you need. I would love to see how you plant your trough.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 23, 2016 8:02 AM CST
Trough? Hilarious! At this point I don't have a real trough although I have the instructions from one of our botanical garden rock garden people on how to build one from cement. Not sure I am up for that but will look for a 'store-bought' one. I only have 13 small plant types (some I have several of one type) so not sure if I should plant them together. I need to go back and see how large they will grow. The vendor provided the neatest plant tags. 1/2" x 4" clear plastic of some sort with black label (from one of those extruded label makers) with the name. Very unobtrusive.

When we put in the new troughs (well, I took pictures and accessioned after they were built and planted) at the Alaska Botanical Garden) there was a discussion of the type of labeling. We didn't want a 'label garden' and some of the troughs were small and some of the plants smaller so it was decided to put a small stick (can't remember what it is made of) that looks metallic with a number on it, then outside of the trough is a tidy little sign showing the # then the name of the plant and its actual accession number. Looks very nice and handled our winter very well. The moose and bear cannot (or do not choose to) step in these toughs as they are set high on a lovely bed with side slabs filled with large gravel.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Apr 23, 2016 9:19 PM CST

Moderator

Mary that sounds wonderful. Do you have any photos of it. I would love to see that.
Really like the way the names were handled.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 24, 2016 4:02 PM CST
I do and will post them today.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Apr 24, 2016 6:38 PM CST
Mary I wasn't able to respond to your question until now...I finally found the right mix (for me, and I do think it is a personal thing) one has to find a balance between quick draining and retaining enough moisture that you don't have to water every day in the summer! And this is different for each of our microclimates.
I use 40% topsoil, 35% pumice and 25% chicken grit (size #1) I mix the heck out of this so it is well mixed! I use a top dressing of the chicken grit - this seems to work great! The top dressing keeps weeds down, and keeps the semps little new roots able to move through it yet drains very fast!
Hope that helps! Can't wait to see the photos I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 25, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Well shoot. Just lost my message. I went up to copy/paste your soil recipe into notepad and then when I came back just closed the thread. I thought I had already sent my reply. Thanks for the recipe. I am printed several suggestions then I will go on a hunt today for ingredients.

Anyhoooo, I haven't mixed up my soil but will today. Question: I have some clay pots from 6" to 12" across the tops. I was thinking of putting the soil mix in there and burying them in the garden spot I have chosen to the rims. Do you think that would be okay? I hate to have them above ground as it would put the semps up in the air in the winter and risk having sufficient snow to protect them. I have looked for planters but the ones at Lowe's that are shallow look like the dishes you put under the pots and don't hold a lot of soil plus they are crazy expensive. I would love to build my own troughs but that isn't in the cards right now. Maybe later this summer.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Michael
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Sempervivums Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Region: Europe Garden Ideas: Level 1
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parttimegardener
Apr 25, 2016 12:02 PM CST
Thumb of 2015-08-26/parttimegardener/20a2d3

Hi Mary Stella,
those shallow planters actually work just fine for small and middle sized semps. Best if you already have a drainage hole -otherwise you have to cut it on your own. The planter in the foto (taken last summer) has about 14" in diameter at a height of about 1.5". Obviously my plants do not get as big as they could with lots of space and nutrients, but they look healthy, grow and just start multiplying after winter dormancy..
[Last edited by parttimegardener - Apr 25, 2016 12:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Apr 25, 2016 1:17 PM CST
Hi Mary Stella, I'm the wrong person to ask about winter weather, I've lived in Seattle too long, and so when my temps get into the 20's (rarely - a couple times in the middle of the night each year) it feels SOOO cold Smiling
I grew up in Detroit where our daytime temps often didn't reach 26 - which would have felt so nice out today! Smiling
I would think the pot in the ground would be much better than the shallow pot, since those would be far more likely to die in a sustained bout of freeze.
Maybe @Goldfinch4 would have an idea
I tip my hat to you. Good luck though!

Looks good Michael! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 25, 2016 5:02 PM CST
Thanks to you both. I found some clay pots that aren't so deep, although still a good 6" but they would allow for maybe slightly larger semps. I may also play around with partially filling my regular clay pots with rock then putting the soil on top. Certainly would provide great drainage.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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goldfinch4
Apr 26, 2016 4:48 AM CST

Moderator

Sorry I'm so late in responding....

Mary, if you're going to bury the pots in the gardens, is there any reason you don't just plant right in the ground? If you're concerned about providing the optimum planting mix for them, I have found that I can just amend small sections in the ground where I want to plant. That being said, I see no reason why it wouldn't work to bury pots. I would go with the deeper pots rather than the shallow ones though. Keep in mind that terracotta pots will crack if left outside in the winter. The freeze/thaw cycles seem to be really hard on them.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 26, 2016 9:38 AM CST
Oh shoot. I forgot about that. Yes, I have had ceramic pieces crack, literally fall apart, when I forgot and left them out. And pots with soil are even worse. I empty those and put them upside down in my shed over winter. Hmmmm. So no matter what if I put them in ceramic posts I couldn't leave them out over winter. Drat. I would only have two fairly small ones so I could being them inside for winter if they would tolerate the change in temp and humidity. We are bone dry up here in winter. Hilarious! But they like dry so that would work okay.

Thanks for the reminder. I would have been pretty bummed to have the pots shatter over winter. They are cheap but still. Thank You!
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Apr 26, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Mary I want to repeat Chris's question - is there a reason you don't want to plant in the ground? These are alpine succulents, they are ok with the cold - they don't like too wet, but they don't like dry either, and I have had no success trying to grow them indoors, so if you mean bringing them into your house for the winter, I don't recommend that with these...they will need more humidity. I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 26, 2016 2:26 PM CST
oh. Well I have all sorts of ingredients to mix up a good batch of soil. If I dug out the soil in one area where I think they would do okay, maybe edge with small rock then put the new mix in I guess that would work okay. I just didn't know how to constrain the special soil mix from migrating outward to the rest of that bed.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
Image
gg5
Apr 26, 2016 7:56 PM CST
That is a problem, but if you mix it in good I find it stays long enough for the semps to get settled in and once they are established they do fine! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 27, 2016 8:42 AM CST
Great. I will do so. I will read up all I can on what they like as to sun and such to pick a good spot. I have one in mind that has great drainage (some Lewisia's are growing there now among some short columbine). I will use the two pots I bought for more herb planters. Hilarious!
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

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