I had always snobbishly regarded potting soil as something marketed to apartment dwellers or people who didn't understand gardening.
Now have to re-evaluate.
I made a rectangular planter in wood shop years ago. About twice the size of the redwood planters sold in stores. Today gardener helped me get it back on wheels (from which a (*&^%#%&* person had removed it -- don't ask!!). Very heavy.
He said it was because I was using ordinary garden soil; said potting soil would be much lighter. Said it would work just as well.
QUESTIONS: a. Is potting soil just as good as garden soil (assuming garden soil
b. Is it worth replacing x% of garden soil with potting?
c. Or remove and replace all?
d. Leave it alone.
I am NOT looking for work!!! Planter is back on wheels and can be moved, with some difficulty. For now, just asking if anyone agrees with gardener's opinion re: potting soil vs garden.
Higgs Boson wrote:
how big is this planter and what is going to
be growing in it?
if you aren't growing things that need depth
you can fill the bottom of the planter with
lighter materials (or use empty milk and juice
jugs with the tops put back on to take up some
of the space).
to me, garden soil is something i grow and
potting soil is something i make or buy for
Potting mix is often lighter as light components are added (eg expanded
minerals) and many contain quantities of shredded bark etc which is also
less dense than garden soil.
Whether potting mix or garden soil are equally suitable depends on the
quality of both and what you are trying to grow. I would expect some garden
soil (with a good amount of clay and organic matter) would hold both water
and nutrients better than potting mix which is often low on clay and
confected to be light and very free draining. In principle the garden soil
would require less watering and feeding but this may not be an issue.
If you are going to be moving the tub frequently and the weight is a real
issue then consider replacement. Otherwise provided the drainage is
adequate and the plants are doing well don't bother.
On Friday, July 5, 2013 4:08:42 PM UTC-7, David Hare-Scott wrote:
Helpful replies from you and Songbird. I wouldn't have thought of filling the bottom with space-holding materials, e.g. Also David I didn't know what actually goes into making commercial potting mix.
OK, what's in the planter is just flowers (marigold at the moment) and maybe perennials in future. Nothing portentous that would need great depth.
Drainage is good.
I was mainly curious about an unknown (to me) quantity like potting mix as a LONG TERM solution. My gut sort of told me to stay with my own mixture. Planter is back on wheels and can be moved in the unlikely case...
As to size, Songbird, I said it was about twice the size of the redwood planters sold in garden stores.
some folks just put pots full of soil/mix into larger
containers and use wood chips/mulch/whatever to fill in
around them and then over them too so that it all looks
uniform. makes changing plants in and out very quick.
just scrape aside mulch, lift out pot, put new pot in
with replacement plants, put mulch back. done.
The *real* reason is cheating-cheapness. It's extremely stupid to use
a larger pot and fill it with a false bottom... then WTF bother... it
doesn't fool the plant, you probably think your heavily padded bra
How is it that you can be constructive and civil for weeks and then you have
another outbreak where you have to insult people for no good reason? Is it
when you stop taking your pills or when you fall off the wagon and start on
the cheap flagon wine?
There is often a difference in water retention, which affects drainage.
In the garden, roots can spread to find water; and excess water will
either run off or soak deeper. In a container, roots are constrained,
and they will either drown because excess water cannot drain away
quickly enough or else they will dry because the soil does not retain
sufficient moisture between being watered.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html for a
do-it-yourself potting mix.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
I almost always use potting soil in pots. There are several reason for
this. Firstly, when I've used either my home made compost or soil, I get
growth of other things in addition to what I really want to grow. For
instance, at the moment I am growing some ginger in a pot in my sun room and
since I found the ginger sprouting healthily IN my compost heap, I just
potted it up using the compost in which it was growing and put the pot in
our sun room (although I think I added some potting mix, I know that it has
a lot of compost and it's a big pot). In that same pot, I now also have 3
gorgeous looking tomato plants as well (it's mid winter here so they are
quite confused). I also have some dill and a couple of other things that
I'd need to go and look at to refresh my mind about what they are - all have
come up from seeds in the compost. I cant' make a hot compost to save
myself but then I dont' mind these sorts of volunteer plants.
Another reason why I use potting mix is the weight factor that you have
mentioned. As a 60+ aged female with no paid help in a large garden I have
to be able to move quite big pots around by myself. I have a stair climber
type trolley but that is the only lifting device I have other than my own
muscles with have held up so far (touch wood). I'm reasonably strong for a
woman of my age, but I'd rather not tempt fate too often because as one
ages, an injury is harder to recover from.
"Potting Soil" is actually a misnomer considering that it contains
little if any actual soil... most don't contain organic matter either.
What's sold as potting soil would be more honestly sold as inorganic
On Saturday, July 6, 2013 6:12:30 AM UTC-7, Farm1 wrote:
Great story, Farm 1 !!
(I gather you are in the same hemisphere as David Hare-Scott? I spent the
summer of [censored] in EnZed and OZ, and would LOVE to go Down Under agai
n. Whatta fab trip!
OT: Uluru is fine, if glitzy, but I got to Ayers Rock before they demolish
ed that great old Wild West center right near the Rock. ISTR there was sti
ll a bullet hole behind the bar where somebody had crashed into the bar on
(Wrenches self away from Memory Lane)
You're right that garden soil can bring volunteers with it -- some desirabl
e, some less so. But the big planter (not pot) I'm talking about has been
there so long that I have pretty much got rid of most noxious weeds; need o
nly pull the occasional pop-up after watering.
Happy gardening! Give my regards to (where are you exactly -- if not intru
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