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Potting compost

Hello All,

i an a newbie to gardening but we have just moved house and I finally have the space to do container vegetable gardening, I am recycling about 10 of 64 litres storage plastic boxes for this (really useful archive box). I believe they are food grade.? I also have some wilko potatoes grow bags; all the containers have drainage holes which I did myself. My dilemma now is the recipe I need for the potting compost. I have 150 litres of screened spent mushroom compost, 100 litres of wickes top soil, 150litres of sharp sand, and 350 litres of multi purpose compost. I also about 75 litres of composted bark which I think is good for mulching and 100 litres of vermiculite.

I intend to grow the usual vegetables, peas, carrots, aubergine, brocolli, cauliflower,sweetcorn, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries and salad. Also, I have an old wicket laundry basked I intend to turn to herbs basket. 

Could I please have advice on how to mix the potting compost.

Thank you 

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,281

    I just grow mine in the ground with added garden compost to enrich the soil as needed.   The only things I have grown in pots have been herbs so I can shelter them over winter.

    I think you need to go to the library and get yourself a book on container vegetable gardening as different crops have different requirements.  EG carrots do best in lighter soils which allow them to grow straight roots.  Beans need plenty of moisture retentive material in their growing medium.   Brassicas need lime to counteract club root so will enjoy a compost mix enriched with mushroom compost as this is usually alkaline.

    Herbs also have different requirements.  Rosemary, sage, thyme all need good drainage.   Chervil and parsley need to have some shade.  Basil and mint need more moisture but don't want to be water-logged.

    Any container full of holes - eg wicker - will need lining with plastic to retain the compost but don't forget holes for drainage and set the containers where you want them to be before filling and planting as afterwards they may be too heavy or fragile to move with a  full load..

    Last edited: 13 February 2017 10:39:04

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532

    Hi,Seyfades. I've got no idea, I always buy Mpc for everything. You could Google it.image

  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146

    It's the google research that is confusing me. Most of the comments states to dig it in the soil ground which is not suitable for me, any advise is welcome.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,281

    I googled "compost mix for vegetables in containers" and got these results for starters but I still think a book is a good starting point.

    http://www.almanac.com/blog/gardening-blog/make-your-own-potting-mixes 

    http://www.finegardening.com/soil-containers-should-be-good-mix

    https://extension.illinois.edu/containergardening/soil.cfm

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Obelixx I've been following this post with interest, as I seem to spend a small fortune on compost for my container plants, but have never known what to use as an alternative.

    Thought those articles you attached were really helpful - thanks!

  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146

    Obelixx- thank you

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,281

    Glad it helped.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 72,085
    seyfades says:

    It's the google research that is confusing me. Most of the comments states to dig it in the soil ground which is not suitable for me, any advise is welcome.

    See original post

     

    It can be confusing. There are two separate meanings for the word 'compost'. 

    One is 'garden compost' which Gardeners 'make' in compost heaps or bins from decaying vegetable matter. This is usually dug into the soil as a soil conditioner or used as a mulch. 

    The other is 'potting compost' which can be bought as proprietary branded mixes with various ingredients and added fertilisers etc.

     Some Gardeners make their own potting compost, usually from varying proportions of loam, grit, leaf mould etc. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146

    Dovefromabov: thank you for the clarification, I am getting somewhere now

  • I've been thinking about this thread a lot since I first read it, (yes I'm that sad). I've got one of those black plastic home composter bins that we use for kitchen waste, fallen leaves, garden cuttings and some cardboard. At the end of last year I was really pleased with the results and used it to dig into a bare area of the garden into which I sowed grass seed and planted bulbs, which have grown really well.

    Thinking ahead, I'm not sure what I will be able to use this year's batch for. I know I can't use it as seed compost but was planning to use it in containers once plants are a bit larger. Would this work, would I need to add something to it, or should I just use it to spread on the grass as a feed? If it is the latter I'm not sure what to do, do you just rake it very thinly over the lawn at the beginning of spring? I'm a little worried whether it would attract undesirable visitors to the garden. If last year is anything to go by there'll be too much to just sprinkle over the top of existing container plants.

    nb: I live in a flat with a shared garden, which is why I'm growing most things in pots rather planting a full on flower bed or border.

    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
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