Mama's Container Growing Soils for Pots and Raised Beds

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

GardenMama’s Container Growing Mix About 30 gallons: Start with 1 big bag potting soil/planting mix. Dump all of it into a wheelbarrow & use the empty bag to measure: ½ bag ground bark or leaf mold,  ½ bag compost (yours or store bought), ½ bag manure - if pots will be outdoors all year, ¼ bag sharp sand (‘play’ sand is ok), 1 cup granular garden fertilizer if potting soil has none, 1 cup garden lime (not hydrated). Mix all ingredients together well. § Store indefinitely in covered plastic trash can. Tailor the mix to your needs: add more bark for orchids, more sharp sand for cacti and succulents, more compost for ferns and bog plants, etc.Raised Bed Growing Mix For a raised bed, start by digging a shovel’s depth of the native soil where the bed will be. If the bed will be on a hard surface, it needs to be 18” deep and will need proportionally more bark and manure. Turn the native soil over and dump in a 6” layer of planting mix. You can get this bagged or visit a local nursery that mixes their own to make enough for a larger bed. They’ll sell it to you by the cu. yd. and dump it into your pickup truck. When I do this, I mix the other ingredients with the planting mix in the truck bed.You want to add 2/3 as much of a mix of other organic matters such as: 5 bags ground bark, 2 bags compost or leaf mold and 2 bags manure - if pots will be outdoors all year.  There is usually sand and lime in the planting mix, but if not put in 2-3 bags of sand and 1cup garden lime (not hydrated) for each 3 sq. ft. of raised bed. Add 1 cup granular garden fertilizer for each 3 sq. ft. of raised bed.  Mix all ingredients together well and fill bed or incorporate with native soil. 

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