soil for containers - Knowledgebase Question

Water Valley, KY
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Question by dwillett
February 12, 1998
When planting flowers in containers outside, what is the best soil or soil mix to use?

Answer from NGA
February 12, 1998
Use one that will retain moisture but have adequate drainage. Commercial mixes usually contain milled peat moss and vermiculite/perlite (for drainage). Some are enriched with soil or compost as well. If you want to mix your own, try this recipie: 1 part each rich soil, moistened peat moss, and vermiculite/perlite. Mix in some slow-release fertilizer (such as Vitalize, available from Burpee) according to label instructions. You can vary the mix based on the needs of various flowers - some may need more moisture retention or drainage than others in order to perform well. Terra-Sorb (also sold by Burpee) is a soil additive that absorbs water for later use by plants - many gardeners find it useful for planters, since they tend to dry out so quickly in droughty weather. Hope this helps!

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