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Old 01-31-2019, 06:30 PM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
2,003 posts, read 805,745 times
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I mix together...
1 bag of Quality compost
1 bag of Quality potting mix
1 bag of shredded leaves
1/2 bag of shredded pine bark fines
1/2 bag of vermiculite
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,448 posts, read 3,907,783 times
Reputation: 14464
Quote:
Originally Posted by HereOnMars View Post
So interesting. I was watching a youtube video last night about container gardening and the soil mix contained coco coir. After I read what it does, I was impressed and thinking I will use it when I get ready to plant. Anything to retain moisture in this hot dry summer heat.


I can vouch for horse manure. Many years ago in another life, we used an old horse corral to grow a garden. Talk about a bounty! The red onions were the size of a personal watermelon. Potatoes so large, you could feed two or three people from one potato. Everything grew like crazy and really delicious. Can't say enough good things about horse manure.
A friend I know has a neighbor with horses. Her kids planted pumpkin seeds all over an older manure pile. Wow! you should have seen the huge pumpkins those kids grew.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:20 AM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,629 posts, read 6,177,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougStark View Post
Just curious, how many of you make your own potting mix? After not having great results with store-bought bags of the stuff, I've been making my own.

I usually use 1/2 (by volume) peat moss, then 1/4 (by volume) perlite, and maybe 1/4 soil (but my soil here isn't very good.) Additionally, I add a teaspoon of Micromax micronutrients, and some gypsum and a bit of epsom salts.

Anyone else have a good recipe? The amount of peat moss can be reduced if you substitute some of it with ground pine bark (more porous, faster draining.)

The main problem with this soil-less recipe is that it's not very heavy, so potted plants can blow over in a gust of wind.
The bottoms of the pots can be weighted. Any time I'm using the very light weight potting mix that I make up for containers I always put a 2 inch layer of tumbled rocks in the bottoms of the containers for weight. I always use rounded, tumbled river stones rather than rough crushed stone as the rounded stones are gentler for the roots and for the earth worms I include (no abrasive or sharp cutting edges), they provide better and more evenly distributed bottom drainage and are a great deal easier to separate from expired soil to re-use them again.

.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:11 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,429 posts, read 844,246 times
Reputation: 4956
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
If you use horse manure fresh you get many weeds. I never heard of just 3 to 4 weeks to compost. I was always told to leave it compost for a year. So you have good luck with the shorter compost times without getting weeds? My grandmother always preferred cow manure.

I have a little more than a tri-axel of composted straw (from duck bedding) and leaves that I plan on making a new raised bed garden out of this Spring. I have been adding lime and fertilizer to the pile for the last few years. It also makes great potting soil.

Horse manure from a large pile gets amazingly hot-- the pine bedding from the stalls turns to ash, so any oat or weed seeds in there get burnt too.


If the manure is left to compost for a year, it turns to great humus-- fine black dirt BUT the nitrogen out-gasses over time, so it actually has a little less fertility than the fresher stuff....After sitting for just 3-4 weeks, the very fibrous, fresh horse apples have broken down a little bit but are still a little fibrous. That's the big advantage of horse manure as a soil amendment. The fibrous nature allows better aeration and makes water & nutrients more available to the roots than more compacted soil.


I find horse manure 3-4 weeks old looks & feels very much like peat moss.


Cow manure has slightly more nitrogen than horse, but is less fibrous.


Chicken or duck (any bird) droppings have the highest nitrogen content because a bird's renal and GI tracts both empty into the common cloaca for excretion. It's the kidneys that process most of the N for excretion.


Nitrogen is usually the least available nutrient to growing plants and the rate-limiting growth factor. Other nutrients are pretty stable in the soil, but Nitrogen is fixed from the air by soil bacteria and turned initially into ammonia which is very volatile, so a lot of it quickly out gases back into the air before other bacteria can turn it into nitrites, and then into nitrates absorbed by roots.
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,692 posts, read 5,666,300 times
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This year I plan to dig it out of my chicken run. Periodically I line it with pine shavings but most of this fall I dumped my mulched leaf matter from the mower. Now it looks like black dirt.
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,045 posts, read 11,179,349 times
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Thank you for all the information. Back in the 1960's I helped cleaned up for 75 horses and some cows. Usually one local farmer received all the manure and was very satisfied with our waste. But I do not think he worried about potting soil!

With chicken manure the ammonia smell turns many would be receivers off. You need 'space' and even then some will complain.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,425 posts, read 1,640,481 times
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If you use manure of any kind, best to make sure it is well rotted/composted. Fresh Manure tends to be high in salts, not a good thing, and you'll burn your plants.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,425 posts, read 1,640,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
I use 1/3 sand, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 manure and/or leaf mold.
Sounds perfect! You don't add lime to the mix (for calcium, sulfur and magnesium)?
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,425 posts, read 1,640,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
The bottoms of the pots can be weighted. Any time I'm using the very light weight potting mix that I make up for containers I always put a 2 inch layer of tumbled rocks in the bottoms of the containers for weight. I always use rounded, tumbled river stones rather than rough crushed stone as the rounded stones are gentler for the roots and for the earth worms I include (no abrasive or sharp cutting edges), they provide better and more evenly distributed bottom drainage and are a great deal easier to separate from expired soil to re-use them again.

.
Good idea! Thank you. I lost a beautiful potted southern magnolia that blew over while I was out of town during our hot summer. The drippers for the plant weren't able to keep the rootball moist tipped-over, so I lost it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:00 PM
Status: "ready for spring" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Western KY
50 posts, read 18,660 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Pine contains resins that inhibit plant growth, not to mention bacterial & fungal growth...Are you having success with that included? I'm curious.


I agree horse manure is great stuff. Aged more than 3 or 4 weeks, it has good nutrient content and great fibrous qualities that makes water & nutrients most available to roots. I use it straight for all my indoor seed starts....If you don't have your own on-site production system, it's usually available free for the taking at a local stable....just bring a shovel and a few buckets or empty dog/cat food bags....If you dig it out of the inner part of the pile, any stray weed seeds are usually burned up (amazingly hot in there-- a good place to dispose of a difficult to hide corpse, should the need ever arise )
I'm curious about the pine as well.

I was always told never to use it.

We don't have horses, or very many around, so we use cow, goat, sheep, and chicken. Heck, I've even been known to fill bags with deer scat in the woods behind the house and throw it in the compost heap too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
The bottoms of the pots can be weighted. Any time I'm using the very light weight potting mix that I make up for containers I always put a 2 inch layer of tumbled rocks in the bottoms of the containers for weight. I always use rounded, tumbled river stones rather than rough crushed stone as the rounded stones are gentler for the roots and for the earth worms I include (no abrasive or sharp cutting edges), they provide better and more evenly distributed bottom drainage and are a great deal easier to separate from expired soil to re-use them again.
Great tip! Thanks!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Thank you for all the information. Back in the 1960's I helped cleaned up for 75 horses and some cows. Usually one local farmer received all the manure and was very satisfied with our waste. But I do not think he worried about potting soil!

With chicken manure the ammonia smell turns many would be receivers off. You need 'space' and even then some will complain.
I don't care about the smell from the chickens, and neither do our neighbors, but then again, we DO bribe them with fresh eggs and veggies on occasion, lol!


We have a TON of room. This was a Google shot of the day we went to look at the property and fell in love, lol.
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