Friday, February 5, 2010

Potting soil...

It’s snowing again. At least another two inches have fallen since last night, on top of the snow that hadn’t melted from last time. That makes whopping 17” for the winter. Is that some sort of record for this part of North Carolina?

(Whose woods these are I think I know...)

One of my loyal readers asked what kind of potting soil I used for outdoor pots and for starting seeds. And where all the manure I hauled home in my van comes into all of this. My preferred potting soil is Scott’s Premium Potting Soil. I buy it at Home Depot. (Disclaimer: I receive no remuneration from either Scott’s or Home Depot. But that wouldn’t be a bad idea.) I have tried a number of other brands, but I always come back to that particular one.

I use it in pots, both indoors and out. For larger outside pots (I wouldn’t do this indoors), I fill the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 with mulch/wood chips, which costs me basically nothing. This does 2 things. First, it fills up space so I don’t have to use as much potting soil (also known as Very Expensive Dirt). And second, it both improves drainage and helps hold moisture. I’ve noticed, too, that earthworms like to live in it. I do make sure I press it down as much as I can before I put the potting soil on top of it. Both the mulch and the potting soil will sink over time, but you can always top off the pot with more potting soil.

For starting larger seeds in pots, I also use this potting soil. If I am starting small to tiny seeds, I use a seed starting soil. I don’t remember which brand it is, but it is much finer than the potting soil, so that makes it easier for the little, bitty seeds to come up.

And the manure…. Well, those particular loads of manure were thoroughly composted and I used it to build a new garden bed. It is to become my hummingbird garden. In general, though, you can use composted manure to work into existing soil to increase the organic matter. Or you can use it to top-dress around plants. That is what I prefer, since I like to build raised beds rather than trying to improve the clay that I have. It is important not to use fresh manure around plants because it will burn them. Some say that manure brings in lots of weeds. Personally, my garden has so many weeds anyway that I wouldn’t be able to tell which came from the manure and which were here already. As a plus, though, the manure makes a nice, soft soil, so the weeds are easier to pull out!

Have a beautiful day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my question in a post, Ruth!