Overwhelmed beginner - potting mix... What to use?


SunSoftBliss

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I want to grow strawberries indoors. I have a table next to my window and grow lamps above it, and I have pots. I know what varieties I want to grow.
The problem is the potting mix.
I am finding so many different suggestions everywhere, varying so wildly, I have no clue what to go with.
I know drainage is a big problem indoors. You need to be able to flush out the plant with enough water that stuff (salts, I think?) doesn't build up, but not get a water-logged plant. That is what I understand from what I've read.
I have looked at soilless options, and options with potting mix, but I can't find what is specifically good for growing indoors. Some potting mix suggestions say to use, for example, 50% coconut coir, 30% perlite, and 20% compost. But our compost is outside, and I am pretty sure I can't use that indoors, though I can't find an answer on that either!
I just am getting more and more confused the more I search.

I guess the bottom line is,
what potting mixture can I buy or preferably make that is good for indoor potted strawberries?

I might try blueberries and tomatoes if the strawberries turn out okay.

I'm so sorry for the long post. I've never grown anything besides a spider plant before, though my mom does lots of outdoor gardening. I have been researching for months but keep finding such varying info, and I don't want to mess it all up.
I have no clue what fertilizer to use either, should it be liquid or slow release? I've read it should be 10-10-10.....
So sorry...thank you to anyone who has any advice!!
 
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The only difference between growing stuff indoors and outdoors is the light. What is the difference in growing strawberries outside in a pot and inside in a pot? Of course you can use compost that has been outside. The only thing about homemade compost and growing plants is to make sure that the compost is composted completely. Personally I never use perlite. Perlite doesn't do a thing for a plant. About all it does is help with a little aeration and moisture retention. All you need is a GOOD quality potting soil/mix and GOOD compost. Always go with organic fertilizers. There is NO mineral salts buildup with organic fertilizers. With potted plants it is usually easier to fertilize with a water soluble or liquid fertilizer. Two come to mind but there are many others. A good soluble is Jobe's and a good liquid is HastaGro. Unlike chemical fertilizers it is hard to mess up so you will not damage your plants if you over fertilize. About all you will do is waste it. Do not worry about the low NPK numbers on organic fertilizers as they don't mean much in organic vegetable gardening. And please update your profile as to where you live.
 

SunSoftBliss

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Thank you! I was unsure about the compost because I thought maybe bugs or pests would get in it an be brought indoors. You're right - the only difference indoors and outdoors is temperature and light, neither of which affect what type of soil/mix is needed....I hadn't thought of it that way! Thanks so much :) and thank you for all of the info and suggestions! Much appreciated:)
 
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Thank you! I was unsure about the compost because I thought maybe bugs or pests would get in it an be brought indoors. You're right - the only difference indoors and outdoors is temperature and light, neither of which affect what type of soil/mix is needed....I hadn't thought of it that way! Thanks so much :) and thank you for all of the info and suggestions! Much appreciated:)
Take some of your compost and put it in a casserole dish and observe it. If no bugs no worry. If bugs just put it in the oven @160-180F for 20 minutes and no more bugs.
 
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Agree with Chuck. If you want to use compost FROM outdoors, best is to sterilise it. You don't want to have slug/snail eggs in your outdoor compost or compost gnats flying around! Believe me, this happened to me. I bought some highly recommended compost and I potted up my 100 days' old acer seedlings. Before I knew, there were all sorts growing in the compost indoors - mould, gnats .. For peace of mind, best is to sterilise the compost. This is especially true for very tender and fussy plants such as streptocarpus.
 
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