Potting mix for bench graft apples and pears

I am getting things ready for next spring and wondering what everyone uses for potting bench grafts?
I am looking to make my own because I am cheap, but would consider off the shelf if that is the consensus. I know a lot of you seem to like pro-mix, but it is expensive here.
Thanks for your input


I’ve been using 2 parts ProMixBX, 1 part composted manure and 1 part pine fines, sometimes just 1:1:1 when I’m low on ProMix and both mixes have worked well for me. The pine fines and composted manure seem to help with the nutrients for the plant and drainage, plus they are cheaper so mixing them in reduces the cost. Last year I also put in some of the Floor Dry with the larger diatomaceous earth chunks and I think that is useful to hold a little more water in the mix during the summer heat.

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Thanks for that info. I have never used floor dry. I do have a LOT of vermiculite though. Is that a good substitute?

I think it would be similar, although diatomaceous earth doesn’t compress like I think vermiculite can. I can’t say for sure, since I’ve never used much vermiculite. There is some already in the ProMix, but it is pretty fine.

Thanks for that information. I did some research on the floor dry and it looks like it is readily available at Napa stores. There is a Napa only a few miles from here. I will give it a try this year

Try mixing 2 parts topsoil, one part peat moss and one part vermiculite. Works great! Works good too on big tubs for annuals. Seems nobody uses real soil in their potting mix anymore. While I see the disadvantage to real soil in seedling mixes due to potential dampening off diseases if not sterile, this mix is fine for planting larger plants other than starting seeds or small seedlings in it.

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Do you use bagged topsoil from a garden center? Or just scrape off some native soil?

I suppose bagged topsoil would be fine. Where I work we sell topsoil by the yard or by the bushel. I just bring my bushel of soil home from work as far cheaper than buying it bagged.

I have used this 2-1-1 mix for years. Used it on tubs of annuals on my patio, large pots for peppers ects. Works great. Much cheaper than the soil free mixes I see for sale.

Having soil in the mix makes it heavier so the pots don’t blow over in the wind outside, less issues with micronutrient shortages too.