Best soil- no compost/wood products etc?

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There are some seemingly reputable Youtubers who advocate strongly against soil containing compost/bark, especially for container gardening. They promote soil made mostly of sand/perlite/peat moss. Just wondering what other people think about this and/or what they've experienced. I'm going to experiment with a more sandy mix with some maple saplings this week.
 

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You can find just about anything on Youtube and the 'net these days. Most of it is "garbage" IMO and should all be viewed with a degree of skepticism and tempered by one's own hands-on experience.

I'd encourage you to read through this thread which represents some of my hands-on experience.


I would also most eagerly test my "No N-P-K required" container soil against any and all mixtures with peat moss and perlite:


 
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Thanks for the links, I'll check them out. True about the need to be skeptical, which is why I thought I'd ask here. Never heard of Hugelkulture so I'm looking forward to learning about that too- Cheers!
 
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Wood has its good parts and bad parts when it comes to container growing. Wood helps with drainage and keeps the substrate from compacting. Also with the wood gets saturated with water, it will hold it longer. One downside is wood will tie up nitrogen. I use wood mixes outdoors only with large pots. The main reason is the wood mixes are cheap and lightweight. Using peat outdoors is very tricky and can dry out and compact and lose water fast. Anything in peat has to be shaded and watched closely.

Potting soil problems
Most potting soils contain peat moss and other organic ingredients that decompose over time. This causes the soil to lose its aeration and water retention capacities, making it detrimental for any potted plant. Google
 
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There are some seemingly reputable Youtubers who advocate strongly against soil containing compost/bark, especially for container gardening. They promote soil made mostly of sand/perlite/peat moss. Just wondering what other people think about this and/or what they've experienced. I'm going to experiment with a more sandy mix with some maple saplings this week.
Drainage may be more important than any other issue around a plant. It is so fundamental that it is often treated as a mathmatical given, something you work with or towards as a standard expectation. However, most people including myself start without knowing and some get lucky because of their soil or they are buying a growing medium in a bag that was made by someone who does know about such things. The whole idea that roots breathe is a bit weird right?

And that is the pro side to the mix you mentioned.

The con side is you have to water like crazy. There are changes made to that mix for water retention purposes.

And all of this really gets impacted by your microclimate. The humidity levels, heat, rainfall etc. One thing about the internet is that it overcommunicates as if there is only one perfect way to do things when the reality is very far away and as varied as the grow zones, elevations,soil types, winds and climate.
 
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Peat is a limited resource. Peat bogs are home to things not found elsewhere. I don't use it.
 
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Peat is a limited resource. Peat bogs are home to things not found elsewhere. I don't use it.
That is a misconception and a rumor that the Coco Coir people started trying to break into the market. The truth be known peat is a constantly growing resource that's abundant in Canada. There's no shortage of peat in Canada. Check out these web sites for the truth.

https://theecologist.org/2013/jan/25/truth-about-peat-moss#:~:text=The decayed and dried sphagnum,most distincti

 

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Wood has its good parts and bad parts when it comes to container growing. Wood helps with drainage and keeps the substrate from compacting. Also with the wood gets saturated with water, it will hold it longer. One downside is wood will tie up nitrogen. ...
I think you have left out arguably the best part of using wood in a container...it significantly reduces the amount of topsoil required. This saves money/effort, significantly reduces weight enabling portability, and minimizes the amount of nutrients that have to be replenished. These are significant items each one.

Also, I have found that by using well-rotted wood in the bottom layer, the nitrogen tie up just isn't a problem. My containers I have down to 1 seven-inch layer of super homemade garden soil, 1 seven-inch layer of compost, and 1 seven-inch layer of well-rotted wood. Drainage isn't a problem. This set-up works as well as or better than my garden soil in terms of production. On many types of veggies, it works much better than open garden soil. These containers have become an integral part of my gardening routine.
 

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No N-P-K required" What does n-p-k stand for?
When I use that expression, "No N-P-K required" it means more than just Nitrogen, Phosphorus. and Potassium (K). It means that soil tests have determined that the soil does not need any amendments of the critical nutrients prior to growing veggies. Most all soil test labs make a recommendation on how to "fix" your soil...in this case the recommendation is nothing is required.

I take it as a badge of honor to receive a soil test report back on soil that has had zero synthetic additions, only organic, that states "No N-P-K required". It's like getting an "A+" on your report card. :cool:
 
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When I use that expression, "No N-P-K required" it means more than just Nitrogen, Phosphorus. and Potassium (K). It means that soil tests have determined that the soil does not need any amendments of the critical nutrients prior to growing veggies. Most all soil test labs make a recommendation on how to "fix" your soil...in this case the recommendation is nothing is required.

I take it as a badge of honor to receive a soil test report back on soil that has had zero synthetic additions, only organic, that states "No N-P-K required". It's like getting an "A+" on your report card. :cool:
LOL Cool Breeze!
 
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Ok thanks if I get my soil test back and say for instance I do need NPK what fertilizer should I use or what do you recommend I do? Is the regular old bag fertilizer ok? Want to stay away from all the chemicals I can
 

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Ok thanks if I get my soil test back and say for instance I do need NPK what fertilizer should I use or what do you recommend I do? Is the regular old bag fertilizer ok? Want to stay away from all the chemicals I can
Your soil test lab will most likely recommend a specific fertilizer mix of N-P-K and an amount per sq. ft to apply or something similar. My lab recommends a mix for synthetic and another mix for organic fertilizers.

The best time to take the soil test for next spring's planting would be after you have turned in the cover crops and they have been assimilated into the soil prior to next spring's planting.
 

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