Blueberry Bushes
Q.

Soil mix

Zone Indianapolis, IN | Rrusher added on April 12, 2017 | Answered

I am planting my second garden. Last year was my first and it was a disaster. I used plain composted cow manure in 5 gal. Buckets I thought the compost had enough nutrients to grow in, I was wrong. This year I repoted my blueberries in to 5 gal buckts using 50% peat, 50% of last years manure. To this I added about 1/4 C.of blood meal, about the same amount of bone meal, a handful of epsom salt, anf about 1/2 cup of Azomite. I mixed this all well and planted my berries. I am thinking of using this mix for my whole container garden which will be watermelons, cucumber, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Is this to ricb a blend for my containers? If so what do you suggest?

A.
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maggierezac
Answered on April 13, 2017

Rrusher, Wow! You've got quite the complex soil medium for container gardens & that is wherein my concern lies. What do you have for adequate drainage of your containers? Many would recommend sand or the UGLY nasty perlite as a lightening additive to your mix. I don't. The sand can turn to concrete & the perlite is...well...ugly & floats to the top doing absolutely no good.
Vermiculite is okay, but again, not my favourite. So, what to use as both a drainage additive & a soil lightener? From the sound of your planned plants, I'm assuming the containers are large & no doubt 'raised'? Tiny pea rock would be great! For new plantings, I also add a few handfuls of smashed terra cotta pots that are very sharp & assist the new roots in splitting off & increasing the potential success!
I grew up on a farm in the 60's & seeing the words 'cow manure' brought back fond memories! Yay! My dad was 'organic' before it was a thing!
That would be my final caution to all! These 'new' soil mixes sold...everywhere that have {specifically} the time released osmocote incorporated within, are nasty! First of all, that stuff burns your hands, if not wearing protective wear! So what is it doing to the delicate feeder roots?
Then comes the added 'fertilizing' we all do & oops, your plants have been over-fertilized! Namaste fellow Dirt Diggers!

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