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Mix Your Own Soil and Save Money

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Mix Your Own Soil and Save Money

I like container gardening for several reasons: you can get really creative with plants; they are portable; easy to arrange in clusters or alone in your landscaping; and the containers can be decorative or plain, whichever you prefer. I personally grow my vegetables in containers then I can move them into the shade or sun to avoid problems. Potting soil gets expensive and since I have a lot of containers, I’m always looking for ways to save money.

I found a basic recipe for soil in the Farmer’s Almanac that works. I also depend on information from the Kemper Factsheets especially those available under the headings Soil; Containers & Indoor Plants; Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs; and Annuals & Perennials.  Different plants use different soils. The factsheets are a big help with plants and soil mixtures.

Basic Container Mixture:

2 ½ gallons peat moss
2 ½ gallons vermiculite or perlite
1 ½ gallons compost or compost cow manure
2 cups of fine sand
2 cups pellet timed-released fertilizer
½ cup lime (neutralize acid in peat)

Mix thoroughly and store in an air-tight container. It makes enough to fill two 14-inch tubs or five 12-inch hanging baskets.

You can find everything at your local garden center.

A good resource for gardeing information is the Advice, Tips and Resources  page found in Gardening Help. It has detailed information on plants and all the pests that might decide to visit your garden.

Debbie Kirkpatrick, Kemper Horticulture Assistant

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