All Things Gardening forum: Walmart soil for a couple bucks? Has anyone tried it?

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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 24, 2017 12:50 AM CST
I went to Walmart and they had $1.94 potting soil, but the gardening section was closed and I wasn't sure if that was the price per lb or the actual price. Has anyone bought soil from them?
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Jan 24, 2017 6:44 AM CST
"Potting Soil: is mostly loess. If it has fertility it is chemically added.

It is also a major source of damping off. I don;t use it,
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 24, 2017 5:59 PM CST
Ok great thanks for the infomation! I bought soil from the dollar store before which currently is in 3 of my plants. It just seems to be soil and twigs. I will get some miracle gro next week when i get to the store and transfer them out to something more rich in nutrients for them :)
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 24, 2017 10:41 PM CST
Have not tried that soil RenaeC, I usually get mine from HD. But I have learned to add pumice or perlite in whatever soil I get, just to make sure media gets good drainage, whether I am planting a tropical or succulent plant.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Jan 24, 2017 11:09 PM CST
I usually look for Shultz on sale and grab a big bag when I need true potting soil. I personally stay away from anything that has fertilizers or moistening agents in them - e.g. Scotts. I like to control both of these things myself. If you want your soil to be a bit more moisture retentive, add some coir. For fertility, I use a general purpose fertilizer.

I have never bought potting soil at Walmart, but I do buy a lot of top soil, humus, manure etc from them.
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 24, 2017 11:27 PM CST
I need something thats still affordable for me that wont break my pocket. I will go next week to see what they have. I dont know what i will buy, but i will take your guys advice when i go. I cant buy a huge bag right now since i have no where to put it and dont want the bugs getting inside it
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Jan 25, 2017 11:23 AM CST
Coppice said:"Potting Soil: is mostly loess. If it has fertility it is chemically added.

It is also a major source of damping off. I don;t use it,


Actually - Loess is a special type of soil and is only found in a very few places in the world. One place is ~ 30 miles NW of me. My Master Naturalist group is called Loess Hills Master Naturalist. Loess would never, ever be found in any type of gardening soil.

I am wondering - did you mean sphagnum peat moss? That is the major constituent in most potting soils, though many higher quality (and priced) mixes are going to coir and eliminating peat.

Higher quality potting soils like Happy Frog and FoxFarm have natural ingredients that provide fertility - they have no "chemicals".

Most quality potting soils are sterilized and do not contribute to damping off. If damping off is causing you problems, start your seeds/water with a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide - 1/2 cup to a gallon of water.

Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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Azgarden
Jan 25, 2017 12:07 PM CST
@DavidLMo Thank You! for the reminder on peroxide.i learned that from you. I pre-soak all of my larger seeds in an H2O2 solution, water and mist plants with a solution also. Great results. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Feb 1, 2017 6:57 PM CST
I bought Miracle Gro's potting soil for indoor/outdoor plants that feeds the plants for 6 months. It was only $4 on sale and all the other brands didnt have a logo on them they just said potting soil. They had Scott's potting soil, but they were too high up for me or anyone to reach them, so i just went with the one i got :)
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 1, 2017 7:08 PM CST
I use Miracle Gro potting soil (not the moisture control type) for starting my seeds, without any problem; I always try to buy bags that have been stored indoors (and thus are much dryer and lighter) rather than the ones that are left out in the rain. And I've learned to always use a new bag for seed starting because I have had some problems with opened bags that had been sitting around in my greenhouse for a while. I generally buy it at Walmart; one time they were out of MG so I picked up a big bag of Sam's potting soil, and for whatever reason did not have very good luck with my seeds that time. Might have been the potting soil, or might have been some other factors. Shrug!
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Feb 1, 2017 7:52 PM CST
Ok that's good to know. Yea, the one i grabbed was indoors all the other's i know they leave out in the rain, but they only had maybe 5 or 6 bags inside of different kinds. Tomorrow i should be able to plant my cuttings in the fresh soil and then in 2 weeks transfer them to a bigger pot. I didnt have time to check out the seeds today or the new plants they put out, but tomorrow i should be able to go back and see what they have and also get my laptop charger. Hopefully they have it!
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Feb 5, 2017 6:42 AM CST
I mix my own starter soil. I made a 2'x3' sifter with 2x4s and 1/2" hardware cloth. It sits above a plastic bin the same size.

I mix peat, LeafGro, perlite, sand and vermiculite in a trash can, dump and sift it a few times back and forth, and it is great. It is sterile enough and I water the seedlings with dilute 1-1-1 stuff I mix myself as they grow. Seriously good germination and seedling health.

I don't trust commercial mixes, and the starter soil sold is way too expensive anyway. I start each seson with a 50 gallon trash bin of my mix and it just lasts the Spring. Best mix and cheaper too. And fun to make!
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 5, 2017 7:44 AM CST
I mix as I go.............LOL 50 gallons wouldn't get me very far, but then, I'm potting/repotting plants the size of my Mini Cooper. Rolling on the floor laughing
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Feb 5, 2017 2:01 PM CST
Whats the difference between potting soil and starter soil? Miracle gro potting soil over here for a little bag is $5 and then for a big bag it's about $8
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Feb 5, 2017 10:11 PM CST
Depending on the brand, potting soil can have all kinds of stuff in it - perhaps as many as 20 different things. Starter is typically just highly refined peat and/or coir and sometimes vermiculite. Never anything like humus or forest floor material or compost or manure etc that might be in potting soil.

Starter is just for starting seeds - once they are up they need to be transplanted to potting soil.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Feb 5, 2017 10:30 PM CST
So then is it cheaper to make potting soil and starter?
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Feb 6, 2017 7:49 PM CST
Some folks say so. I simply do not waste the time and energy. Thumbs up
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Feb 6, 2017 10:44 PM CST
DavidLMO said:Some folks say so. I simply do not waste the time and energy. Thumbs up


I'm in the same camp as David on this one, unless it comes down to something with really specific needs, or if you need a truckload of the stuff.
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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 7, 2017 3:40 AM CST
I would go broke if i had to buy potting mix. Much, much cheaper to make my own.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Feb 7, 2017 4:09 AM CST
I'll definitely look into it and check out some recipes on YouTube for it :)

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