My preferred mix for garden beds and container gardening is Mels mix aka 1/3 of each peat moss, compost and vermiculite. Being that vermiculite is rather hard to come across nowadays, I was wondering if anyone just uses 50/50 peat moss and compost? I know I could add perlite as well but was interested to hear what everyone else has tried.
I mix in real dirt (and also often dirt from pots where some plant has died) into my containers. For garden beds, I typically go at least 50% real dirt.
Hope that helps.
I would add more dirt or clay. Maybe 1/3 of each.
It should work just fine, it is a matter of two things: the mechanical composition of the soil and how it affects irrigation/water retention, and the PH level of the soil that it affects how plants can uptake nutrients. Both are usually within the ballpark but if you want to fine tune things it would be a matter of addressing those.
As an example; recently I was watering hops I planted last year, both on a mix of 50% compost 50% native soil (AKA gravel). One received a fat cap of green tree chips, the other well, I did not get around to be nice to it. It is funny how on the mulched one I can irrigate for a loooooong time and it just keeps soaking water. On the more bare one the top is dry and hydrophobic, it takes forever to wait for it to absorb water or else it all just runs off. As you can see the soil alone is just one factor.
I usually use a mix of very old wood chips or pine bark, peat moss, compost, perlite, optisorb, sometimes actual dirt/topsoil, really whatever is reading available.
Depending on the species the mix might be a more important factor (pH, drainage, water retention, etc) so consider things like that for the mix you end up with.
Osmocote and hollytone are decent for potted plants, again based on what you have, but I’m confident other fertilizers would do just fine.
Greenhouse megastore for vermiculite
I can see the issue of the peat retaining too much water if it is just peat moss and nutrients. When I had my mulberry in pure peat I watered it in December and it still was high on moisture in July.
I have a tendency to go overboard with the fish/kelp through the early season. my current veggie beds are mostly aged horse manure with a little leaf litter, compost and then potting soil/promix on top. pine straw under it all.
this year is the first year I’ve gone so heavy on aged manure alone. I did throw perlite into it too try to break it up a little. I bet with just peat it would get pretty soggy