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Re: Potting Mixes

  • Subject: Re: Potting Mixes
  • From: maria guzman mirror@3RIVERS.NET
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 09:16:18 -0700

I agree with Marge Talt about [not] adding clay.  I put very small amounts
of our local clay soil in my cactus pots but mixed with lots of tufa  and
perlite plus a little standard commercial mix.  Our black clay silt looks
fluffy where the gophers toss it up around their burrows but turns to
concrete in a pot.

If you have compost it is an ideal addition to Scotts or whatever brand
bagged stuff you use.  I stopped making compost when we moved to Montana
almost 5 years ago, but last spring began simply tossing kitchen garbage
and discarded potting soil on the windblown strip outside the door, which
shortly made a visible difference in the several wind-blown, parched plants
already growing there.

I've never been much for precise measurements, however considering the need
to balance leafiness with flowers I'd guess a heaping handful of  compost
per average-sized pot (4") would be effective to start with.    I can't be
more precise than that because I grew everything BUT pellies in California!
Now that growing conditions are less than ideal I'm still adjusting my own
techniques.  Currently I grow in Schultz potting
mix-with-added-hydrating-crystals in the hope my pots won't immediately dry
out in our hot-air heating system (doesn't seem to help though), and use
1/4 tsp. Peter's 20/20/20 fertilizer each watering except in darkest winter
(our winter days are short).  Not all the pellies are at their best this
time of year although nearly all the miniatures and dwarfs are in bloom.
It's a real test of their ability to adapt to local circumstances!


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