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An Easy Test for Your Container Soil

You can do your best to provide just the right amount and frequency of watering in your container garden, but your potting mix could be working against you. The right mix will make container gardening so much easier! Take a minute this week to do this quick and easy test on your potting soil.

container garden

Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries, shared some insight on potting mixes and their relationship to watering with us:

“If your plants get too much water or too little water, the results are the same; root hairs, which bring in water and minerals, die and the plants wilt until they regenerate. Soil texture is key to proper watering. Most soil mixes I’ve seen have particles that are too small.”

Dan explained a simple test that you can do to check the texture of the potting mix you’re using in your containers. Moisten the mix thoroughly by watering as you generally do. But then, instead of walking away, water it again. If the water puddles up and sits atop the mix, the drainage is not good enough.

Dan recommends using a mix with plenty of pumice, bark or perlite to provide the best drainage. These are easy to add to your favorite bagged mix at planting time in your container garden.

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