potting media/dry stall

Shoal Creek Succulents group@shoalcreeksucculents.com
Fri, 09 Aug 2013 05:27:11 PDT
Thanks to everyone for responses and this new chain.

I use a similar mix; although - Monica- yours is much more involved.  If it
wouldn't be too much trouble - would you mind notating each component's

I believe pumice & turface are added for moisture, aeration, CEC and to
reduce soil compaction; so why add the sand?

How big is your mixer, 5 gallon, 10 gallon?  And would you share how much of
each item on your minor mix?

For top dressing my plants, I found crushed granite at our local Farm &
Fleet store for $4.49 for a 50 pound bag. 

As soon as I can locate all of the items in bulk at a low cost; I will start
making my own mix.  I am still using an organic mix and adding to it.  Same
as you; I vary the components based on the individual needs of the plant to
be potted.

Thanks again - very thought provoking.  Until now; I never realized how
expensive my commercially bought mix was - compared to making a better mix
myself at a lower cost.

Best regards, Lisa
-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of Monica Swartz
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 5:30 PM
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [pbs] potting media

I use DryStall as my pumice source. It is cheaper and easier than importing
a truckload of Pumice to Texas. I am often asked about my potting
ingredients. For potting most plants, my basic mix is:
1 part pumice (DryStall),
1 part sand,
1 part Turface MVP (I love this stuff, I also root cuttings in pure
1 part Diatomite (Napa Floor Dry 8822, but other Auto parts chains have
their own brands of the same thing),
1 part organic (usually a locally produced cactus mix).
This all goes into a cheap electric cement mixer along with a scoop of a mix
of my minor ingredients which include Azomite, humic acid, bone meal, blood
meal, cottonseed meal, 9 month osmocote, systemic fungicide, granular
imidacloprid, inoculums, etc.
It takes less than 5 minutes to make a big batch that is stored in big
plastic boxes with lids. When potting I add ingredients to this base to
tailor the mix for the needs of each plant. I use big metal bowls from a
restaurant supply. It's like cooking, a pinch of this and that as I go. The
objective of this potting "personalization" is to have a healthy collection
of plants that can all be watered at the same time no matter where they are
from. It takes no special knowledge about the plants to water them, my
house-sitter can do it, or even my husband. If a plant is in no-water
dormancy, it is moved into the garage, out of range of the hose. This system
has created a surprising amount of freedom to take long worry-free
vacations, and the plants are very happy and embarrassingly fecund. The PBS
BX/SX is one beneficiary.

More information about the pbs mailing list