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All About Soil

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For the purposes of this post, I’ve made two key assumptions. You’ll be growing a salad garden, propagating your transplants from seed and using the My Garden Post for your vertical gardening needs. I know there are many gardening enthusiasts in the frost-free states who are setting up their My Garden Post (MGP) for the first time and all are anxious to get started. At risk of offending those who have been gardening for years and know their stuff, I want to make sure you use the best growing mediums for seed propagation and the planters. Today’s post is all about the soil. You’ll need a few quarts of germinating mix and 30 quarts of container mix. Thirty quarts will fill all five planters on My Garden Post. Expect to pay $20 or less for both growing mediums.

About the Soil

Visit your favorite garden center or home store to buy growing mediums that meet the criteria listed below. Read the labels carefully. Here are the characteristics you want in your germinating mix:

  • Ph of 6.3 – 6.8
  • Mycorrhizae expand primary and secondary root development which enables the plant to take up more nutrients. Expect more flowers and fruit
  • Humic Acid to increase micro nutrient uptake
  • Ingredients
    • Peat moss
    • Horticultural perlite
    • Earthworm castings
    • Granite dust
  • I’ve always added a biological fungicide with iron and humic acid to my growing mediums as a safeguard.

The growing medium used in the planters is slightly more coarse and heavier than the germinating mix described above. Most good quality container mixes have these ingredients in common:

  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Dolomitic limestone

If the mycorrhizae, humic acid and worm castings are not already in the germinating mix and growing medium, they can be purchased separately and added to your mixes. A little goes a long way.

24 Cell Propagation TrayUse a heat mat to maintain a temp. of 70 – 75 degrees F

Clear plastic domeRemove when plants develop first set of true leaves

Propagation From Seed

Starting plants from seed is my favorite part of gardening. I’m like a child waiting for the first signs of germination. Kids think it’s magical and I can see no reason to disagree. For the benefit of the FFF, frost free followers, please see the propagation tray pictured. I have the tray on a heat mat, but with night time temperatures of 70 degrees, you won’t need bottom heat. Next week I’ll write about the seeds selected and how to water them properly. Thanks for reading. Your questions and comments are always welcome.

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