planters - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by humdingers
June 2, 2010
We are preparing planters
(containers) and want to know the best soil to
use. A freind suggested
miracle grow ptting soil.
Another said we need to add rocks to the bottom of the barrels for drainage. I'd like to do
them with perennials so I
don't have to replant each
year. We are new to gardening so we need help
with this project. I want to do the containers as I
think this would be easy

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2010


Your containers should have drainage holes in the bottom. If they don't, be sure to drill some before adding potting soil. Gravel won't work for drainage. It will be a place where water collects but if it can't drain out it will sour the soil and eventually kill your plants. So, make sure there are drainage holes before filling your containers. Depending upon the sizes of your containers you can use straight potting soil to fill them, or a mixture of garden soil and potting soil. The key here is to provide fast draining soil that will allow some air along with the moisture to keep your perennials healthy and happy. In half wine or half whiskey barrels - or anything large, you can use a mixture of one third garden soil to two thirds potting soil as a growing medium. The garden soil will add weight to keep the container from toppling over in a wind storm and the potting soil will ensure the media drains well. For smaller containers, use a good grade of potting soil without garden soil. Miracle Gro is a good brand to use. Hope this answers all your questions.

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