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Old 06-25-2015, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,812 posts, read 5,172,043 times
Reputation: 3983

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I must admit up front I am completely ignorant to most things involving gardening. My wife bought one of those half wine barrel pots and a little dwarf evergreen tree and a couple of herbs to plant in it. So, to get it all taken care of for her I went to the store to get soil- I picked up a bag of Amend organic garden soil:
Kellogg Garden Organics 2 cu. ft. Amend Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables-672 - The Home Depot

I thought it looked good, the bag said it was garden soil for flowers, vegetables, etc., it even stated that it was enough soil for 2 5 gallon pots, which was roughly the size of our pot. It was not too expensive so I picked it up. I filled the pot with this and planted the items for her. Later on that night I happened to read something online about this stuff being more for mixing with actual soil. So my question is, is it OK to use it this way- or am I going to need to dig the items out of this pot and remove this "soil" and replace it with regular potting soil? The bag doesn't really mention that this stuff HAS to be mixed with other soil.

The only thing I have noticed is that when we water the items in the pot a good amount of water does drain out of the bottom, so it doesn't retain water as well as regular soil likely would- but if that's the only problem with this we certainly wouldn't mind just watering a little more often than we would otherwise. I just want to know if this soil all by itself is not good for the health of the plants. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,794 posts, read 4,473,364 times
Reputation: 3653
jm,
Gardening in the ground in SOIL is totally diffferent from gardening in a container of any sort.
Gardening in the ground is planting a plant, shrub or tree right into natures earth, and the medium
is regarded to as SOIL. The plants get to root into the nice cool earth, spread their roots out as they
like, if they are trees, the root as deep as they want, no restrictions, (sort of speaking), and when they
need water, they can grow their roots out more to collect it from a different area if need be.
OK, now, gardening in a pot, the plant is going to be effected by drainage. The potting mix must drain
well, to allow air to get to the roots, no worms in a pot. So, you need a good draining potting mix.
The plants can't stretch their roots hardly at all, they can't search for water at all, you must always
remember to water them. They can't absorb the natural nutrients from the ground soil, you must feed
them.
In a container, they are forced to depend on you to do everything for them.
The Garden SOIL you bought in the bag, is for garden soil gardening, in the ground. Some people
are not patient with their veggie gardening, or they want marigolds that grow faster, so the garden
companies provide this dirt, with extra fertilizer in it for the impatient gardener.
You would take that bag, mix it with the soil or dirt in your backyard real good when you are planting
your veggy bed.
Take it out of the pot, go back to the home center store, and buy yourself some POTTING MIX
for a pot.
I'm not being condescending, I wanted you to understand about the potting mix so you know in the
future what to buy.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,812 posts, read 5,172,043 times
Reputation: 3983
No worries at all- thanks, I appreciate the response! I did a bunch of reading about this last night so I understand the different types of soil and when to use certain kinds, so I think I am pretty clear on that now. But what I couldn't get a real answer on was whether or not this amend soil would actually be harmful to my little tree and plants in the pot if left to grow just in it. I then asked a coworker who is a professional gardener and he told me that we'd be fine leaving it as is, that we would just want to make sure the plants are getting watered often enough (or not too much) since drainage could be a bit different with this soil.

So in your opinion, is there another issue besides drainage I should be concerned about? It's probably a 10 gallon pot, not looking forward to digging all of that out unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,794 posts, read 4,473,364 times
Reputation: 3653
jm,
The plants will eventually die if they aren't planted in the right potting mix.
It is a pot after all, right? So, they need potting mix.
The drainage issue will kill them.
It's that simple.
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