July 27, 2007, Newsletter Issue #74: Soils and Container Gardening

Tip of the Week

Dirt may be cheap, but sometimes you don't want to go on the cheap. Using just dirt from the driveway is like taking a first date to McDonald's when you're over twenty-one. However, even rich topsoil may not work in container gardening.

GardenGuides.com recommends using compost in your container garden design, since a container garden needs to drain quickly. Compost retains enough moisture in the roots when you're container vegetable gardening, but compost also drains easily without leaking nutrients. Check to see whether you need to add sand--plants such as catnip and pitcher plants, for example, thrive best when you add a sand mixture to the soil. Another container gardening tip from GardenGuides.com:

Use soilless potting mixtures, available from plant shops. No matter what container garden soil you use, leave a two-inch space for mulching. You don't have to break the bank on your container garden soil, just as you don't have to order $400 Beaujolais on your first date. Compost is usually free, and soilless potting mixes are reasonable. It really is the thought that counts--your plants, like your date, will appreciate planning and creativity.

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Jerry Mayo