Medium for containers

How to Grow in Container, Soil mixes, Fertilizers Etc

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Muhammad Arif Khan
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Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » July 26th, 2012, 2:54 pm

Gulzarullah AoA, I hope you are ready for your initiation.
Here is the first one.
There are so many articles and opinions regarding ideal medium for containers that a person like me is totally confused.
We have dry Hot season followed by wet hot, to moderate, cool followed by crisp moderate. The roots are exposed to ambient temperature plus direct heat of sun; during monsoon and winter rains they are exposed to wet conditions.
To my mind;
The ingredients should be easily available. Container soil should have good permeability, drainage and ability to hold water only to a desirable degree.

The PHA Lahore experts recommend BHAL of KHALA as the base if not available Canal Bhal will do, to this they add leaf compost and Cow manure, chemical fertilisers are used at later stage.
Some soils being used in USA;
The John Innes Compost
This is a famous mix of ingredients that come together to make a rich compost potting soil. It is three ingredients that are put together, sieved, and then additional potting soil ingredients are added. The recipe is as follows:
7 parts loam that has been sterilized
3 parts peat moss
2 parts sharp sand
Put these three in a sieve and then add to each bushel of compost potting soil, ¾ of an ounce of ground limestone
Lastly add 4 ounces of 14-14-14 osmocote

Additional Potting Soil Recipes
Soil Mix 1 This potting soil recipe just calls for 1 part peat moss,1 part vermiculite, and 1 part perlite.
Soil Mix 2 The second potting soil recipe requires 1 part peat moss,1 part sand, and 1 part garden soil.
Soil Mix 3 This potting soil recipe calls for 1 part peat moss,1 part sphagnum moss, and 1 part soil.
Soil Mix 4 Only two items in this recipe, calling for 1 part peat moss and 1 part compost that has been sieved.
Soil Mix 5 This recipe needs 1 part perlite, 1 part compost and two parts soil
Soil mix 6
5 part partially-composed pine bark fines (mulch)
1 part sphagnum peat
1 part horticulture grade perlite (coarse size)
1 tbsp per gallon of garden dolomic lime.

Give us your expert opinion and recommend a potting soil suited to our environment.
As mentioned above ingredients which are cheap and easily available is the foremost requirement.

Kaleem
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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Kaleem » July 26th, 2012, 3:34 pm

"Give us your expert opinion and recommend a potting soil suited to our environment.
As mentioned above ingredients which are cheap and easily available is the foremost requirement."

It's an informative thread, I have almost all of my plants in containers.
Brig. Sahib thank you for starting such nice thread.

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Farhan Ahmed » July 26th, 2012, 10:52 pm

Sir i think the solution ......for best medium for containers should have one must quality......"ECONOMY"...:-)

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by KAMasud » July 27th, 2012, 12:25 am

Potting mix. We can only use what we can easily lay our hands on. I will agree with the bhal theory. Bhal is sharp river sand mixed with clay or what ever that river is carrying.
In Pindi/Isloo area we already have clay all over. Various kinds like red, white, black but we have lots of clay. So carting in bhal for me is a bit silly, why do i need more clay? I try to get my hands on the golden sharp Kurri Shehar sand. I part that. one part my own clay and one part manure. This is a general mix.

For Ferns i add in coir, patta ke khad, gel, to some of my general mix. This makes a soft moist cool kind of a mix in which ferns are happy.

For cacti i take one part general mix and add in one part number one crush.

It depends upon the type of plant and what are its needs.

Perlite is volcanic rock which hold water, So what wrong with the wast product khinger of our brick kilns? Some body should give them the idea of making marbles. Good substitute for perlite. As to peat, if the Karachi wallas want they can get their hands on plenty in Halaji lake. pleanty of rotting vegetation making peat for you.
Izhar those compressed blocks of peat you get i aquarium shops. Take a block put in a bucket of water and the peat comes out of the bucket. Is that not cheaper? Its quite acidic. My Neon Tetra breeding tank had a PH of 4.5 due to peat for them to breed.
Regards.

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » July 27th, 2012, 2:11 pm

I am requesting a scientific approach and not an UT SUT.
The knowledge regarding, Permeability, porosity, water holding, air space, which in turn would depend on the size of inorganic and organic solid particles and their ratio.
The next topic once we are through this will be The size of container.

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » July 29th, 2012, 10:02 am

I am sorry I failed to specify, that I meant container soil for permanent plants which are likely to remain in the same pot for many years.

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » July 30th, 2012, 9:56 pm

The thread was initiated to get expert opinion of Mr. Gulzar Ullah and he has yet to chip in.

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » August 4th, 2012, 12:11 pm

Muhammad Arif Khan wrote:The thread was initiated to get expert opinion of Mr. Gulzar Ullah and he has yet to chip in.
Gulzar is not taking the bait.
I have lost many plants due to improper watering of containers by my mallies.
Shallow watering daily results in water reaching only the upper half of the pot, the lower half once bone dry forms a barier and plant is stressed, deep watering in large deep pots leads to waterlogging of lower half while the upper half looks dry.
I hoped to gain a lot from your experience and opinions, to enable me to develop different soils for shallow and deep pots and for different types of plants.

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Farhan Ahmed » August 4th, 2012, 1:36 pm

Sir i heard a local gardener saying here that if you fill the bottom of the pot with crushed Bricks( red one) ....an inch would do........it consumes/drinks all the water......sounds practical to me

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Re: Medium for containers

Post by Muhammad Arif Khan » August 4th, 2012, 8:06 pm

farhan137 wrote:Sir i heard a local gardener saying here that if you fill the bottom of the pot with crushed Bricks( red one) ....an inch would do........it consumes/drinks all the water......sounds practical to me
It is a myth,proved wrong, you are only reducing useable volume of th pot.

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