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Combination Container Potting Mix

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 7:00am

Picking up potting media at the local garden center doesn’t have to be confusing today on Southern Gardening. 

Garden soil, this really means any bag that has the word soil on it is good for in-ground plants, but growing plants in containers requires a totally different kind of mix. Bagged mixes for container plants are often called potting or containers mixes. They are found under a variety of trade names but are similar in their basic recipe. They are composed of organic components like peat moss, coir fiber, or bark. Both vermiculite and perlite are inorganic components that are produced by heating mica or pumice. Potting mixes for containers need to be light and airy and drain well. All potting mixes provide these four basic requirements plant roots need: air, water, fertilization, and support. The basic potting mix recipe can change depending on the type of plant being grown. There are even certified organic potting mixes. Many potting mixes have some fertilizer mixed in. This addition of nutrition is perfect for getting your plants off to a fantastic start. There are even bagged potting mixes that help to retain water and lower water usage. Before using any bagged potting mix it should be moistened. Fluff the mix a little before filling any containers and leave about one inch between the mix and top of pot.  This will provide space and make watering easier. Never press the potting mix after planting; it will settle naturally when you water. 

When growing plants in containers, you don’t have to use a commercial mix. But remember these potting mixes are engineered so you can be successful with your container gardening. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening. 

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