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Re: Potting soils

  • Subject: Re: Potting soils
  • From: Bill Nash <raffi@sympatico.ca>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 10:52:45 -0400

Dan & Lu etc...

I ain't a professional, just an amateur hosta hobby grower however,

Thought I should tell y'all: that the manufacturer of Pro Mix (Premiere of Quebec province?) has a new growing medium on the market called PRO MIX NCX; and this product, is said to be a professional medium ideal for pot growing?  I was just given a free sample of this product to try out, but I've not used any yet.  The interesting thing about this growing medium product, is that, it's 45 to 55 percent shredded pine bark, with peat moss and perlite also, but no vermiculite!  I suppose, there is wetting agent and so on "Whatever?" also in it, but I've not even read the bag ingredients yet, since it just came to me yesterday.

There are probably professional soil-making businesses all around us, and I'm thinking, that they would likely mix whatever formula of growing medium we want?

Just for the sake of discussion and by way of explanation:  I stopped using Pro Mix BX this year, because the price became to expensive to use.  It seems to me, that the competition from those mega-growers around us; does mean perhaps, that we cannot compete with them -- unless we can come up with a growing medium, which is rather cheap?  As an example, shredded pine bark, sells for 40 dollars a cubic yard in Canada; and this is, the cheapest priced mixture anyone will do. 

I would like to see a professional formula for outdoor potting however, I do tend to shy away from using any unsterilized soil, composted manure and so on, due to resulting weed seed sprouting.  Plus, it's unusable for indoor applications of production ie.. not a sterile product, and much of my work is done maturing plants indoors.  Just wanted to tell you about the new ProMix NCX product, which might help, if the price is right, which I doubt very much?

If and whenever, anyone would like to share a specific growing medium formula, I would certainly like to see it?  I would suggest that some of the soil ingredients might possibly be: finely shredded pine bark (as high as 50%?), with peat moss, perlite and wetting agent added; and with, possibly other slow release fertilizers and other soil amending components.  TOTALLY SOIL-LESS!...maybe?

The cost factor, on my using Pro Mix BX exclusively on all of my potting (until this year, that is?): has been almost 4 dollars per cubic foot just to buy this growing medium.  Then I see, that my competition, cuts their pricing down to $2.50 per gallon pot (Across the board!..on all their hosta items?) -- then the question becomes: How can one compete on a wholesale level, supplying Nurseries, with this kind of marketing around = ONE CAN NOT! 

Making one's own soil, would definately help, so Yes?...we need the formula to start with?

hope you find the growing formula answers?

Bill Nash
At 08:17 AM 07/11/2002, you wrote:

Lu and I are going to start selling hostas next spring and we are going to start digging and potting up soon.
We would love some feedback on potting soils. I can get 70 cubic yards of ground pine bark for $850 delivered. It is available fine ground and 1/2 inch ground. Which to use? Add compost and sand? or not?
I'm looking to the professions growers on this list for some feedback. We will be potting into one and two gallon pots.
Any tips on pH testing of potting soils, lime, gypsum and pH of irrigation water would be greatly appreciated.
We promise we won't run anyone out of business!
Dan & Lu Nelson
Pixie Forrest
Auburn GA

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