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Old 09-14-2006, 07:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
Northern Tropics
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Location: Muncie, Indiana zone 5
Zone: zone 5
Name: Sandy
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

ProMix HP is the best one I've found so far. It already has the increased perlite levels in it, so it drains well and doesn't hold too much moisture. It's balanced, doesn't compact easily over time, and it has a small starter charge of fertilizer, and ph balanced. The only complaint I have with it is that it's lightweight, so plants tend to get top heavy and tip easily.

Even with it, be careful how much you water a potted banana in the winter! and don't overpot, keep the roots crowded for winter so they dry out faster.

I agree that Miracle gro soil is worthless for aeration of roots. Once you wet it out, if you live in a humid climate, or have it in a humid greenhouse, it takes FOREVER to dry out. It's fine here for mid-summer potting of containers that are in full sun, but don't even think about using it in the fall or winter in Indiana unless you cut it 50/50 with perlite. Don't cut it with bark and then pot it up for a long term plant, because that changes the ph of your mix over time as the bark decomposes, it ties up the nitrogen and you'll end up with very light green, spindly thin weak growth, unless you change the ph of your watering/fertilizing water. If you have a lot of plants, unless you mixed all the soil at the same ratio with bark, then you have a lot of different ph levels to adjust. Too much work!

And I would love to go organic in my greenhouse. Just give me the name of a fertilizer that won't run off the customers with the smell, that I can apply in a convenient way (and that I can actually afford-that would be a nice bonus!), a soil that drains properly for long term production, and some pesticides that actually kill more bugs than leaves.

My 2 cents worth!
Sandy @ Northern Tropics
Sandy Burrell

Northern Tropics Greenhouse
1501 East Fuson Road
Muncie, IN 47302

specializing in bananas, heirloom tomatoes and water gardening plants~
check out our new online store at our website!
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