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Tired of potting mixes...

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Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Admin on 17th February 2010, 23:21

I've been trying a number of different potting mixes this year with cuttings and seedlings and am pretty unhappy with the lot of them... too much woody material in all of them so far (bags ranging from the cheapie ones right up to nearly $20 a bag). Best mix I've used (not for roses) is the AmGrow native plant mix for my correa cuttings and banksia seedlings. My soil around here is red dirt... Really fertile (they say you could grow a baby in it) and based on clay but really well drained... I'm going to repot all my cuttings and seedlings starting from this weekend into a mix including 50:50 potting mix and my red dirt... because as soon as the roses are put in the ground they take off but they always look sickly in the pots despite doing as Bruce does and letting the grass grow up around them to keep them cool, fertilising, keeping the water up.... I was talking to a nursery friend of mine the other day who has been in the nursery trade since the 70's and he was telling me there seems to be a trend BACK towards mixing in more soil into these soil-less mixes. Anyone just use their own dirt in their pots? I know they tell us not to do this because of drainage issues and I guess it depends what your soil is like... but I wonder REALLY just how important it is. I've been buying bearded iris rhizomes and instead of planting them straight in the ground I've been putting them into large pots filled with my red dirt just to get them established and they seem to love it and a native sub-alpine westringia I transplanted from Mt Wellington spent the first few months in a large pot of plain red dirt garden soil and it too loved it. I'm beginning to wonder whether all my potted plants would do better in just plain old red dirt??? It doesnt' dry out as fast... being clay-based but friable means it is loaded with trace elements and other goodies, it's not black so it resists heating up in the sun... it has weed seeds in it and other nasties might be in it... roots seem to grow nicely in it... maybe a mix of perlite and red dirt would work... Hmmmm


Last edited by Simon on 17th February 2010, 23:29; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Guest on 17th February 2010, 23:25

Hi Simon,
Regardless of the state of the potting mix I add the same volume of soil from my garden so my roses in pots all grow in 50:50.

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Guest on 17th February 2010, 23:27

LOL @ my Hi BTW...like I haven\'t been chatting to you already tonight! Rolling Eyes Laughing

As for weed seeds, I never use the topmost soil from where I am collecting it from & I don\'t get too many weeds...just a few!


Last edited by Damo on 17th February 2010, 23:34; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Admin on 17th February 2010, 23:31

G'Day Damian Wink

Oh... there's a Tasmanian mob that are making a really good seed raising mix that I like also... it's the general purpose potting mixes I'm unhappy with... think I might sow my seeds in a similar potting mix/soil mix this year too.

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Guest on 17th February 2010, 23:37

I use the same 50:50 mix for my rose seeds but have since learnt that any added fertilizer might cause them harm. This year I am going to plant my rose seeds in a mix of proper seed raising mix & garden soil.

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Ozeboy on 18th February 2010, 07:30

Simon, if I were living in Tassie would look at the following options:-

Try the soil, sand and pottting mix sellers that use different base materials for their garden products. Pick from these and which is most suitable to add to your Soil 50/50, I pay $70 per cubic metre.

Go to a couple of large nurseries and see if they will let you have used potting mix that is discarded when potting up plants into larger pots.
There is nothing wrong with this for the reason it's discarded is the cost of labour to weed the pots. Usually free, just have to collect yourself. Weeding is not a big problem when you only have 100 odd pots particularly if you do it regularly and don't let the weeds mature.

Try the Hydroponic vegetable growers ( Tomatoes) for the bags that are being discarded. This is as good as gold for there is left over nutrients from the growth solutions. The base material is peat and there is no wood chips. Usually free, might have to collect the bags when being replaced,
seasonal thing. I just love this stuff.

I have spoken to some of the experts in this area and they mention the transfer of viruses is just about nil in once used nursery mixes. No more risk than the unused mixes.

Most times the potting mixes from the garden soil seller is the easiest, they deliver also in this area. The best premium garden soils available here still have a lot of sand added. This is not what you want as you can use your soil. Would be crazy to pay for more sand.

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Balinbear on 18th February 2010, 13:43

If you buy a rose from Penny at Pittsworth (in Qld) you get a rose in a bag of red dirt with crusher dust. She swears by it.
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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 19th February 2010, 06:14

Some of the members here would remember Roy and Helen Rumsey. I for work experience when attending Hawkesbury Ag College a good time ago spent part of it there and Mr Rumsey only used soil on his property at Dural. His reason was it the plants grew in native soils, why would they not grow in it in pots rather than buying potting mix.
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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Ozeboy on 29th October 2010, 18:20

Tas, the potting mix I use does have traces of Hydroponic solution in it.

I am a heavy feeder of all my potted roses. Bantam Eggs, Poultry manure from deep litter sheds, Carp, Seaweed, Harvest (Spraying), Hydroponic solution and spray Thrive now and again

You have seen pix of my Souvenir de Wootton go from budding in April to 8 feet canes by December. These are in 8" pots using the potting mix described previously. It contains a lot of peat and holds water very well.
That woody potting mix is not worth buying as it drains so fast and goes dry while you look at it.

The 50-50 mix would be a good way to go if you can't get a mix heavy with peat. I don't know the exact mix but it is 50 or 60% peat. Look up hydroponic mixes and work it out for yourself.

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Dave on 1st November 2010, 06:20

I've actually had plants die in some of those cheap toxic potting mixes. I remember Don Jerk saying to mix them 50/50 with sand or good soil.

Bruce do you really feed you roses with bantam eggs - lucky roses !

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Guest on 1st November 2010, 07:04

dave , i found that most potting mixes were pretty bad, i have freinds who have a commercial nursery, i get mine from them, it looks completely different from that horrid stuff in the plastic bags which is mostly pine bark mulch

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Re: Tired of potting mixes...

Post by Ozeboy on 1st November 2010, 08:28

Dave, I used to get hundreds of eggs and smach them into the top of pots mostly. Unfortunatly, can't do that anymore as my cattle dogs are back and they will empty the pots roses and all sorting out the egg to eat.

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