Soil mixtures


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I tried the best here. If there is anything else you want me to adjust in relation to taking the pictures, please let me know. I took some full shots and some shots of just the bottom so you could see the sand better.
 

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I tried the best here. If there is anything else you want me to adjust in relation to taking the pictures, please let me know. I took some full shots and some shots of just the bottom so you could see the sand better.
Your pictures do not show the lines of the sand, silt and clay because you are taking the pictures on the floor. The floor is pinkish red and that transfers to your pictures. Take the pictures somewhere like on a table or a sidewalk outside. If you can't do this get a ruler and measure each line of the sand, silt and clay. The silt and clay are probably about the same color and the way you tell the difference is in the textures. The silt will be of larger particles than the clay and will look slightly different. Also the clay will have a slicker look to it.
 
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Okay. If I move the jar, the layers will not mix, right? Also, for the ruler method, you want me to measure the thickness of each layer right?
 
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Okay. If I move the jar, the layers will not mix, right? Also, for the ruler method, you want me to measure the thickness of each layer right?
Yes, measure each layer and from that measurement we will get a percentage of each of the three. After that is done we will know what to add to that soil. And just move the jar gently and don't shake it enough to mix everything up again. How many of those 5 gallon bags are you going to use so you will know the volume of soil you will need. And how much of that soil that you tested are you going to use? Also, take another Ph test with the water in that jar.
 
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I brought the jar to a different location, and used a flashlight. I can clearly see the sand at the bottom. Can't seem to distinguish the silt and the clay. The orange fluid is the water right?
 

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I brought the jar to a different location, and used a flashlight. I can clearly see the sand at the bottom. Can't seem to distinguish the silt and the clay.
It's hard to see but the clay is about the top 1/4 inch. This isn't a bad soil at all. The sand is about 33%, the silt about 55% and the clay about 11%. It could have more clay for better water retention and there could be a little less silt but it is what it is. This can be easily fixed. All you really need to do is add a GOOD garden soil and compost. NOT potting soil or top soil. How much soil in total will you need for all of your containers and how much of the soil you tested do you have? And the orange fluid is the water.
 
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Yay! In all of my containers combined, the total volume is 40 gallons. I already have 20 gallons of the soil tested (It's okay if I don't need to use all of it, I can buy something else). So I have 20 gallons of empty space. I already have 15 gallons of vermiculite (yes I know it's too much).
  1. For pH, would I scoop out the top layer of organic matter, and then test the water?
  2. Coconut coir wouldn't be an appropriate replacement for garden soil I suppose, but will I need any coconut coir?
  3. For compost, if both are available, which is better, and if one is not available, is the other okay? https://www.acehardware.com/departm...fKOAaHhcon6HFd3K1ahoCrWgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds or https://www.acehardware.com/departm...MZDyVdgpK3nl_PjwSbBoCb80QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds (it won't burn the roots even though it is manure right?)
  4. Is this gardening soil okay? https://www.acehardware.com/departm...gardening/flower-and-plant-fertilizer/7504053 or this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kellogg...EnuhfUwX7vyi1FVtRFhoC7tMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
  5. What proportions of my tested soil, new gardening soil, compost, vermiculite, and coconut coir?
  6. Am I missing anything else?
 
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Yay! In all of my containers combined, the total volume is 40 gallons. I already have 20 gallons of the soil tested. So I have 20 gallons of empty space. I already have 15 gallons of vermiculite (yes I know it's too much).
  1. For pH, would I scoop out the top layer of organic matter, and then test the water?
  2. Coconut coir wouldn't be an appropriate replacement for garden soil I suppose, but will I need any coconut coir?
  3. For compost, if both are available, which is better, and if one is not available, is the other okay? https://www.acehardware.com/departm...fKOAaHhcon6HFd3K1ahoCrWgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds or https://www.acehardware.com/departm...MZDyVdgpK3nl_PjwSbBoCb80QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds (it won't burn the roots even though it is manure right?)
  4. Is this gardening soil okay? https://www.acehardware.com/departm...gardening/flower-and-plant-fertilizer/7504053
  5. What proportions of my tested soil, new gardening soil, compost, vermiculite, and coconut coir?
  6. Am I missing anything else?
The easiest way to test for Ph is to get a soda stray and just take a little of the water and put it on the test strip. Or you can remove the organic matter and dip the test strip into the water. Forget coir, you won't need any. You need both compost and garden soil. The manure would be nice but you don't really need it. It is very low in nutrition and ends up doing the same thing as the compost blend. If you want to use it, do so, as I am trying to save you money. All 3 of those products are good but none of them provides near enough nutrients for vegetables. You MUST use a good organic fertilizer in addition. Get a pelleted form and mix into the final mix right before you put the mix into the container.
Now for the mixing it all together. I don't know how to translate gallons into percentages, you will have to do that by trial and error. Here is how I would do it. I would mix compost and garden soil together at 50/50 by volume. Then I would mix this 50/50 with your tested soil. This is your base gardening soil mix. I guess the easiest way to add the fertilizer properly would be to fill each container with the base mix and after everything is filled dump a container into a wheelbarrow and add your fertilizer and 2 or 3 pints of vermiculite. We will have to see how much fertilizer to add as each fertilizer is different. Post back with the fertilizer you buy
 
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Okay. The 2-3 pints of vermiculite is per 5 gallon pot right?
 
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