Containers forum: Confused about potting soil

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Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
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Brinybay
May 30, 2017 11:01 AM CST
All the sources I've seen so far are fairly adamant that potting soil is for containers, dirt is for the ground, and never the two should switch places or mix together. I hardly ever read instructions on bags of dirt and other material, but for some reason I read the verbiage on a bag of potting soil, which says you CAN mix dirt and PS together. So now I'm confused.

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Tisha
May 30, 2017 3:00 PM CST
Different plants require diff mixes. Whether it is inground or containerized. Soil mixing absolutely!
Name: tarev
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tarev
May 30, 2017 3:06 PM CST
As you can see on the instruction, the sub heading says 'In-ground planting', so it is quite clear in that aspect, mixing it in with the native soil in the garden, for planting into the ground directly.

Now for container gardening use, the potting soil itself and you can further add pumice or perlite to help keep it well aerated, roots able to breathe below soil level.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 2, 2017 4:47 PM CST
Yes, that is an instruction for installing plants in the ground. Mixing potting soil with native soil helps the newly installed plant find its way from potting soil (where it grew up) to native soil (where it will end up). Rather than forcing the plant to make a hard transition, the mix you use to refill the hole gives it a sort of bridge to its endpoint.
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
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CarolHB
Jun 3, 2017 12:53 PM CST
I do nothing but container gardening. If your plant is going in a pot use potting soil only. There are additives you can use like perlite, etc., but I've never found them necessary. I do use a starter fertilizer for cuttings and seeds. Fertilizer every six months or once a year depending on the plant. The good potting soil or potting mix will have lots of stuff in it, but no dirt from the actual ground - not ever. Actual ground soil will just clog up the works.
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jun 29, 2017 6:19 AM CST
I make a potting soil blend each year from peat, perlite, vermiculite and compost. A trashcan full each year. I seem to use it up each year. But that is for containers and seed cells.
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jul 1, 2017 10:33 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Yes, that is an instruction for installing plants in the ground. Mixing potting soil with native soil helps the newly installed plant find its way from potting soil (where it grew up) to native soil (where it will end up). Rather than forcing the plant to make a hard transition, the mix you use to refill the hole gives it a sort of bridge to its endpoint.


Best explanation. Now I understand. FWIW, I'm doing mostly container gardening because the soil on our property is poor. Some spots I have revitalized with amendments, but containers are easier for me because the plants thrive in them. Well, mostly.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jul 22, 2017 1:48 PM CST
Brinybay said:

Best explanation. Now I understand. FWIW, I'm doing mostly container gardening because the soil on our property is poor. Some spots I have revitalized with amendments, but containers are easier for me because the plants thrive in them. Well, mostly.


Let me put it another way. Potting soil is essentially sterile and you add some dilute fertilizer after the seeds have sprouted inside in it. Soil is microbial active with stuff that can harm a small seed but is beneficial to a growing plant.

Does that help any?

Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jul 29, 2017 1:43 PM CST
Yardenman said:

Let me put it another way. Potting soil is essentially sterile and you add some dilute fertilizer after the seeds have sprouted inside in it. Soil is microbial active with stuff that can harm a small seed but is beneficial to a growing plant.

Does that help any?



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