Medium for containers

How to Grow in Container, Soil mixes, Fertilizers Etc

Moderator: Izhar

AhmadIrfan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 624
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:40 pm
Country: Pakistan
City: Lahore

Re: Medium for containers

Post by AhmadIrfan » August 26th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Arif sb the canal behind your cafe at thokar is shut down in December for cleaning purposes. the bhal that is deposited on the side walls of the canal have it removed dried for a few days and seived through a fine metal net. Mix it with 1 part manure 1 part leave compost and 2 part of the seived bhal try this medium it works best for me.

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4319
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » August 27th, 2012, 11:05 am

What you think is best for you may not be so.

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4319
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » August 27th, 2012, 1:47 pm

AoA,
Container Gardening

Following is the gist of my research on the subject;
based mostly on Kenneth Joergensen writings and others.

When you apply a little science and physics basics to growing plants, you see that Mother Nature in the garden is a totally different environment than we can provide and maintain within the confined spaces of pots.

Container gardening is of two types.
Annuals in pots; where the pot soil gets replaced/replenished twice a year.
Permanent plants in pots; where the soil is partly replenished on re potting.

Total Porosity; is the volume in a container not occupied by the solids (pore space available for the water and air). Ideal medium should have at least 50% total porosity.
Air Porosity; is the volume available for gases after the excess water has drained out. For proper gas exchange Air porosity should be at least 15%-35%.

Porosity is dependent on size of the particles in a medium;
Large particles, large pore space, large air porosity, less water holding.
Small particles, small pores, small air porosity, large % of water holding. When you mix large particles with small, the small particles fill the large pores and air porosity is reduced while the water holding is increased.

Soil less growing media is preferred over garden soil for the reason that it has higher % of total and air porosity. Potting soils and garden soil packs down too much, stay wet and limit air porosity.

Whereas adding manure and compost in medium for annuals is OK, it is to be avoided in containers for permanent plants. They break down quickly and the resultant particles are so fine that they alter the porosity considerably.

Therefore, any fine or quickly decaying matter is saved for organic use within gardens... while maintaining a more controllable inorganic environment within pot, (use Chemical fertilisers).
To be continued

aykhan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 2285
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 6:30 pm
Country: Pakistan
City: Lahore
Location: Lahore

Re: Medium for containers

Post by aykhan » August 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm

GOes to further my argument.....if you are not concerned about cost the varying degrees of peatmoss and perlite is the way to go.....

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4319
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » August 27th, 2012, 7:27 pm

aykhan wrote:GOes to further my argument.....if you are not concerned about cost the varying degrees of peatmoss and perlite is the way to go.....
You are absolutly right, but there are many a ways to skin a cat. My objective is how to achieve the same results at much lower cost. :?:

gulzarullah
Posts: 20
Joined: July 24th, 2012, 11:39 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Peshawar

Re: Medium for containers

Post by gulzarullah » August 28th, 2012, 11:18 am

Assalam u alaikum to all frndzz...
I am really sorry to say that I wz bzy in my research so hvn't been online...
About the medium there is a vast area of interest,plant species,container type and the location of its placement etc....one can use organic or inorganic media,both have merits and demerits,like organic soil is can be reused next season,it has microbial agents,inorganic can not be reused after one season,but it provides sterile environment,rich fertilizing agents,humas,peat etc,But in general one needs an economic potting media,,so generally canal silt is mixed with farmyard manure and garden soil but chances of diseases and pests etc are more in this media,,,much more in my mind now but will try to share later

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4319
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » August 28th, 2012, 9:03 pm

gulzarullah wrote:Assalam u alaikum to all frndzz...
I am really sorry to say that I wz bzy in my research so hvn't been online...
About the medium there is a vast area of interest,plant species,container type and the location of its placement etc....one can use organic or inorganic media,both have merits and demerits,like organic soil is can be reused next season,it has microbial agents,inorganic can not be reused after one season,but it provides sterile environment,rich fertilizing agents,humas,peat etc,But in general one needs an economic potting media,,so generally canal silt is mixed with farmyard manure and garden soil but chances of diseases and pests etc are more in this media,,,much more in my mind now but will try to share later
If this post is in reply to my 27th August post then I feel insulted, this is not the Level of discussion expected from someone as highly qualified as you.

gulzarullah
Posts: 20
Joined: July 24th, 2012, 11:39 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Peshawar

Re: Medium for containers

Post by gulzarullah » August 29th, 2012, 10:06 am

Haha.,.,sorry to say that i was just goin through this thread find the word "economical" so i gave ya the simplest suggestion . . .

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4319
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » September 1st, 2012, 10:22 am

Food for thought; Extract from Kenneth Jorgensen’s writings.
The faster the growing media dries and the more often you water, the better off the plants are.
The growing media should be thoroughly soaked and then allowed to drain.
Regards
Arif

Muhammad Arif Khan
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4319
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » January 2nd, 2013, 7:59 pm

Here we are again.
My container soil used to be same as the garden soil, I encountered following problems,
In deep pots, frequent shallow watering kept the upper third of pot moist while the lower portion of soil remained bone dry, on the other hand deep watering would result in Water logging of the lower soil even when the top looked just moist.
I was totally confused by the information on the net.
In USA, base is crushed pine bark and other materials not available cheaply to us.
Far east the base is Coconut husk, where they grow rice it is rice husk and rice husk charcoal.
Karachi it is the yellow sand and in Lahore Bhal is considered the best.
The basic rule remains,
Container Gardening

Following is the gist of my research on the subject;
based mostly on Kenneth Joergensen writings and others.

When you apply a little science and physics basics to growing plants, you see that Mother Nature in the garden is a totally different environment than we can provide and maintain within the confined spaces of pots.

Container gardening is of two types.
Annuals in pots; where the pot soil gets replaced/replenished twice a year.
Permanent plants in pots; where the soil is partly replenished on re potting.

Total Porosity; is the volume in a container not occupied by the solids (pore space available for the water and air). Ideal medium should have at least 50% total porosity.
Air Porosity; is the volume available for gases after the excess water has drained out. For proper gas exchange Air porosity should be at least 15%-35%.

Porosity is dependent on size of the particles in a medium;
Large particles, large pore space, large air porosity, less water holding.
Small particles, small pores, small air porosity, large % of water holding. When you mix large particles with small, the small particles fill the large pores and air porosity is reduced while the water holding is increased.

Soil less growing media is preferred over garden soil for the reason that it has higher % of total and air porosity. Potting soils and gardensoil packs down too much, stay wet and limit air porosity.

Whereas adding manure and compost in medium for annuals is OK, it is to be avoided in containers for permanent plants. They break down quickly and the resultant particles are so fine that they alter the porosity considerably.

Therefore, any fine or quickly decaying matter is saved for organic use within gardens... while maintaining a more controllable inorganic environment within pot, (use Chemical fertilisers).

Since my last post I tried a few combinations.
Bhall, sand, saw dust + c manure == Failure
Kairy (broken bricks) 2-4mm, Wood chips, compost + chemical fertilisers, Very good for Amaryllis.
One mm size Kairy, leaf compost, excellent for seed sowing and seedlings.
River sand one part, Bhal or old container soil one part, leaf mold one part, NPK 20-20-20, gave Excellent result.
There are many a ways to skin a cat, do it any way you like Keeping in view the basic requirements.
Concluded
Arif

Post Reply

Return to “Container Gardening Articles”