Irises forum: Best planting mix for potting new rhizomes?

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caitlinsgarden
Jul 25, 2016 9:02 AM CST
If I were buying potting soil, do you think a mix for cactus and succulents would be better? Or should I just add something to help drainage with the aged compost I have available?
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 25, 2016 2:23 PM CST
A lot of growers suggest MiracleGro potting mix. See the Let's Talk Dirt thread because there is potting discussions on it.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jul 25, 2016 5:47 PM CST
I have used Miracle Gro (or any other type potting soil) mixed with perlite. I use about 2/3 potting soil to 1/3 perlite. I don't measure Whistling so I could even be around 1/2 and 1/2 or just a little less perlite. Vermiculite would do the same thing by letting the pots drain if you don't like the white material in your potting soil.
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cuzz4short
Jul 25, 2016 8:24 PM CST
This..
1 bag of this
Thumb of 2016-07-26/Cuzz4short/bfde1d
1 cubic yard of Garden Pro top soil from Lowe's, $1.50 per bag.
25lbs of playbox sand.
Quarter bag of MG perlite
1.5 cups alpha
NO SPHAGNUM MOSS, just don't need it.
And mix it all with my bulb auger and mist with water to sponge out the alpha pellets. Then mix again. Then I'll add a tablespoon of bone meal.

I don't know small mix increments or rations so I go until I'm out and do it exactly the same. My new potted ones with the addition of daily watering took days(5ish) to hold solid. Roots were still fresh though. This is how I'll do my remaining incoming ones I can't fit in the garden.

Ps. My potted rhizomes are sitting high and not buried at all. Squirrels and rabbits don't mess with my pots.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
[Last edited by Cuzz4short - Jul 25, 2016 8:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jul 26, 2016 2:09 AM CST
How did you decide on that ratio, Gabe? And what is alpha?
Wow.. A buck and a half for a sack of soil.. I'm paying nearly ten..

I just use straight potting soil that I pick up at t he nursery. The type I get has perlite in it, and I've never had a drainage problem. I'm mixing about a teaspoon of bone meal in the soil just below where I spread the roots.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cuzz4short
Jul 26, 2016 4:49 AM CST
Lol "Alfalfa" pellets. I just try different stuff every year. It's honestly just trial. Last year the spagnum just made it to dry too quick. I figured more nutritious soil with good drainage from other sources, if that make any sense at all.
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Cuzz4short
Jul 26, 2016 5:01 AM CST
The soil is already equipped with spagnum, low natural dose nitrogen, other random stuff. It's like a shot of fertilizer already.
Thumb of 2016-07-26/Cuzz4short/691481

Gimme it and I'll grow it!

caitlinsgarden
Jul 26, 2016 8:27 AM CST
Thanks for the recipe, is alpha alfalfa?


Cuzz4short said:This..
1 bag of this
Thumb of 2016-07-26/Cuzz4short/bfde1d
1 cubic yard of Garden Pro top soil from Lowe's, $1.50 per bag.
25lbs of playbox sand.
Quarter bag of MG perlite
1.5 cups alpha
NO SPHAGNUM MOSS, just don't need it.
And mix it all with my bulb auger and mist with water to sponge out the alpha pellets. Then mix again. Then I'll add a tablespoon of bone meal.

I don't know small mix increments or rations so I go until I'm out and do it exactly the same. My new potted ones with the addition of daily watering took days(5ish) to hold solid. Roots were still fresh though. This is how I'll do my remaining incoming ones I can't fit in the garden.

Ps. My potted rhizomes are sitting high and not buried at all. Squirrels and rabbits don't mess with my pots.


Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Jul 26, 2016 8:37 AM CST
A cubic yard is a lot of bags of topsoil (at 2 cubic feet per bag).

I am impressed with the recipe, but why only a tablespoon of bone meal? I usually work the bone meal into the soil at planting. I make a mound for the rhizome to sit on first so it never touches the bone meal - only the roots do.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies
Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Cuzz4short
Jul 26, 2016 10:42 AM CST
My mixture was able to make 11 3gal pots full. It equaled to approx. $15 for total usage per 11 pots.

I sponged and mixed the alfalfa, but I just always sprinkle the meal over the top. It's always broken down good when watering, so I've just stuck with it. Last year my misstep was applying alfalfa on top...and then having to undo it because it sponged up covering the rhizome. D'Oh!

My next batch I'll try some bone meal in the mixture for the science of it and see I guess.
How much should I add per pot you think? @lestv
Gimme it and I'll grow it!

Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jul 26, 2016 11:33 AM CST
Years ago I potted some Iris in straight potting soil and some in straight potting soil mixed with perlite. The potting soil mixed with perlite rhizomes were in much better shape when I planted them.
Plus the potting soil went a lot further. Whistling
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Jul 26, 2016 11:57 AM CST
Gabe - I think I would only add bone meal if they were going to stay in the pots for awhile. If they will be put in the ground in the next few months I would just wait as bone meal takes a while to break down and provide nutrients.

That said, I have never measured out the bone meal. After I make the center mound for the rhizome the roots are spread out in the depressions on both side of the mound, so I mix into the soil a pinch or so of bone meal in each depression before I place the roots. Then fill in each depression. That way the bone meal is down near the roots that need it and well away from the rhizome.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

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