Container garden soil

Coolbreeze89

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First time gardener this year. In anticipation, I started composting my goat/chicken/pig poo and bedding last year, so I had plenty of compost. When I filled my containers, I added compost along the bottom til about half full, then topped off with organic potting soil mix. I mixed the layers a bit, then planted. During the summer, I top dressed with a little extra compost. My question is: what do I do for next year? I get some sand in my compost, as we have beach-like soil, and I invariably get some sand with poo collection. My containers are generally large (3’ x 6’) so I won’t be emptying them out before spring. Should I add anything besides new compost in the spring?
 

flowerbug

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First time gardener this year. In anticipation, I started composting my goat/chicken/pig poo and bedding last year, so I had plenty of compost. When I filled my containers, I added compost along the bottom til about half full, then topped off with organic potting soil mix. I mixed the layers a bit, then planted. During the summer, I top dressed with a little extra compost. My question is: what do I do for next year? I get some sand in my compost, as we have beach-like soil, and I invariably get some sand with poo collection. My containers are generally large (3’ x 6’) so I won’t be emptying them out before spring. Should I add anything besides new compost in the spring?

how did they work out for what you planted in them this season?

one thing i've learned is that not all garden veggie plants like the same treatment. here i have plants that i know like a fair amount of nutrients, things like the beefsteak tomatoes and the sweet onions we grow and some of the red peppers. if i were to plant the green peppers we normally grow in that same level of nutrients they wouldn't give nearly as good a crop. more leaves, not as many fruits.

i've found this also applies to some of the beans i grow. some of them do well in poorer soils and others like a more rich nutrient mix.

to me this is a part of learning about what you are growing and your soils in the various gardens.

i don't do much with planters here but some plants don't mind warmer temperatures for their roots (peppers, eggplants, okra...) as long as they don't get fried or you don't forget to water them enough.

with our clay soils i can amend a lot of the gardens just once every few years and then rotate plant through that area for several crops (from the different types of vegetables) before having to amend again. so that lets me plant the tomatoes and onions in some gardens and then i won't be back to plant those in that garden again. since in all gardens i return most of the weeds and plant debris that is a part of the nutrients the future plants will use too
 

ducks4you

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True! Plants like it best when you replicate the conditions that they Like. Just like you don't overwater a cactus, some plants don't do well when the soil is too rich. Other plants, like corn, NEED really rich soil, and you Get that from amending the previous years. Farmers USED to rotate 5 crops and they would plant alfalfa the year before they planted corn. Alfalfa became 3-5 cuttings of livestock hay, you would put cattle out on it in the fall to chew it down, then till it under for the corn the next year. It is rare around year even to see winter wheat, just soybeans, corn, soybeans, corn, over and over again. SOMETIMES I see a field of alfalfa, but not so much.
 

digitS'

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A link to potting soil recipes, I posted a number of times on TEG from the National Center for Appropriate Technology link . It's now defunct. Or, I could just that they edited it down to a few recipes on a pdf file link.

This is that old webpage, archived by the WayBackMachine link and the recipes begin way down in the 3rd appendix.

This may answer no questions by the original poster but it certainly is a resource for a great number of different potting soil recipes. NCAT didn't seem to express preferences or refer to any trails but left it to the reader to decide on most useful.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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A link to potting soil recipes, I posted a number of times on TEG from the National Center for Appropriate Technology link . It's now defunct. Or, I could just that they edited it down to a few recipes on a pdf file link.

This is that old webpage, archived by the WayBackMachine link and the recipes begin way down in the 3rd appendix.

This may answer no questions by the original poster but it certainly is a resource for a great number of different potting soil recipes. NCAT didn't seem to express preferences or refer to any trails but left it to the reader to decide on most useful.

Steve
Could you pls attach the PDF's. I don't know that I Know any of these recipes, but I would like to try them.
 

Prairie Rose

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I don't have big containers, so I typically empty them every fall into the compost bin as long as there was no disease on the plants. My biggest containers usually have a spade or two of garden soil in them, filled the rest of the way with potting soil and compost. In my raised beds, I put a very thin layer of compost on in the fall and cover with paper and mulch for weed control. I have the opposite problem though, not enough compost. Try as I might, I'm just not generating what I need. I am jealous of all your compost!
 
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