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Purchasing Compressed vs Loose Soil

Discussion in 'Tools & Supplies' started by SprigOfTheLivingDead, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Feb 18, 2019
    SprigOfTheLivingDead

    SprigOfTheLivingDead Deeply Rooted

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    I've always bought bags of loose soil, and have generally stuck with Fox Farm as a brand, but now that I need to fill a lot of pots I'm looking around at What my best financially smart options are and I'm seeing compressed bales of soil. Seems like a 3.8cu bale is truly 7cu of soil

    Does anyone have experience purchasing those? What issues or frustrations have you had dealing with them.

    Example
     
  2. Feb 18, 2019
    so lucky

    so lucky Garden Master

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    I haven't seen compressed soil, but we used to see compressed peat moss in bales. Using peat moss for potting soil would be a mistake, I think. It was impossible to get wet down, and shrunk up as it dried out, making problems for the seedlings.
    I just now looked at the example you linked. Of course Pro-Mix is a well known brand, but even with this, I would want to see what is in it. In the past I have purchased soil intended for seed starting, and found it was too fine and powdery for my liking.
     
    SprigOfTheLivingDead likes this.
  3. Feb 18, 2019
    so lucky

    so lucky Garden Master

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    If you are going to use this soil for pots of varying sizes, I think one of the Pro-mix bales labeled "general purpose" would make you happier. If you are planning to use it only for seed starting and plugs, then this is what you want.
     
    SprigOfTheLivingDead likes this.
  4. Feb 18, 2019
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    Are you starting seeds or is this the growing medium for your trees? Not sure i'd be comfortable with it long term for trees. It says it is peat based, that explains how you can compress dirt. It's not really dirt.
     
  5. Feb 18, 2019
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    I use pro mix compressed bales. I have always thought you get a lot more for your money. Not scientifically calculated.You say you are filling a lot of pots, for your own use or resale? I buy a truckload of composted soil mix to fill pots for selling my daylilies. A local feed store makes there own. The is certainly the only way it would be affordable for me. Off hand I fill around 600 2 gallon pots a year.I add vermiculite to it as I fill the pots.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    if it is potting soil and you are going to be doing a lot of that it is better bought in bulk by the pallet - that's what the greenhouse people do. i'm sure the big box stores will deliver for a fee, but that is worth it for several pallets. or use that trailer, but then you have to move it off the trailer somehow...

    if you are talking just general top soil for trees because you are going to be selling trees and need to replace the root ball soil then i would talk to a landscape or excavating company to bring it in by the truck load as otherwise you're going to pay too much a bag at a time.
     
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  7. Feb 18, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    I have used Promix bales for containers and I've been very happy with it.

    But as Cat said, your best option for large scale potting will probably be a good quality compost mix, delivered by the truckload, then add your perlite, or vermiculite to lighten it up for good drainage.

    On the other hand it's easier to store the baled product.
     
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  8. Feb 18, 2019
    SprigOfTheLivingDead

    SprigOfTheLivingDead Deeply Rooted

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    Haha. I wish I had a big bay I could store a bunch of compost in. As it is I will be having 14 tons of gravel delivered for a gravel bed to temporarily plant the trees in and I'm just going to have that dumped in the driveway and will get it moved with some help by friends over a weekend or so.

    This is to be mixed with soil from the holes I'll drill for the pots to then go in the pots for the 150 or so trees.

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone!!!
     
  9. Feb 18, 2019
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    Yes. You definitely need a place to store a giant load of dirt. But I don't think the price for bags can compare to a truckload.
     
  10. Feb 18, 2019
    SprigOfTheLivingDead

    SprigOfTheLivingDead Deeply Rooted

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    Yeah, that's what sucks :(. Being a one person operation I won't plant these all at once, and my wife will absolutely give me that look - you know the one - if I had a giant pile of dirt dumped in the driveway and then let it sit there for a month or two as I plant trees
     
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