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Urban Container Gardening ~ From Seed to Harvest The Soils are the Secret

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For the purposes of this post, I’ve made two key assumptions. #1, you’ll be growing your garden on a My Garden Post and #2, you’ll be starting your plants from seed. The growing medium (soil) you use is critically important to your success in germinating the seeds and growing the transplants to harvest. I encourage you to visit Gardener’s Supply Company online to source a germinating mix and potting mix that meets the criteria listed in the following paragraphs. The 9 quart bag of Germinating Mix will be all most folks need. The 20 quart bag of Potting Mix just happens to fill all 5 planters on My Garden Post.

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 potting mix used in the planters is slightly coarser and a little heavier than the germinating mix described. Most good quality container mixes have these ingredients in common, insist on them.

  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Dolomitic limestone

The mycorrhizae, humic acid and worm castings can be purchased separately and added to your growing mediums. A little goes a long way.

The GSC soils are my favorites for a few more reasons that I haven’t yet mentioned.

  • They wick well. This is especially important for bottom watering germinating trays.
  • They retain water and dry out evenly, while avoiding any risk of overwatering.
  • The GSC Potting Mix drains well. My Garden Post planters have 2 drain holes in the smaller planters and 4 drains in the two large planters. The combination of a soil that drains well and a planter with adequate drain holes eliminates the risk of root rot, even when using the MGP fully automated drip irrigation system.
  • Gardener’s Supply Company’s soils are packaged dry. You’ll appreciate it the minute you pick up a bag. A 20 qt. bag can be easily lifted with one hand by gardeners of any age or ability. You’ll need both hands and a strong back to lift a 20 qt. soil packaged by most other brands.

My Garden Post, the vertical gardening system for balconies, decks and patios, and

Gardener’s Supply Company’s potting mix make a great pair for growing vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruit.

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