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Fertlizer & soil

Hi Sandy,
Last week I red your mail on the list about fertlizer & soil, but only now I have time to tell you my experience.
I have few space and therefore I have to grow up many Pelargonium in little pots, even if they are not miniature.
I buy peaty loam in the Italian garden shop and I add to it few  clayey soil that I take from fields.
Before to mix the clayey soil with the peat I disinfect it in my oven.
This procedure in order to avoid weeds and diseases.
The clay prevent the soil to dry fast under the sun. The soil with the clay absorb  in a better way the water  if it become dry.
I add also some earthworm humus like manure and some perlite for farming which lighten and air loam better than sand. It also absorb the excess of water.
I prefer to use  terracotta pot which keep more fresh the roots with sun. The also leave the excess of water to evaporate.
At the bottom of the pots I put a plastic net with small mesh and a layer with  balls of expanded clay.
The net keeps free the draining hole. The roots have always a dry layer to breathe.
During the good season  I add two o three times tomato fertilizer with slow transfer or other fertlizer with high quantity of potassium (like  N9P6K15 with micro-elements).
Every year towards the end of winter I change the pots to avoid to have too much salts in the soil and I prune the plants.
Regards Catia
from north of Italy 

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