Landscaping, Hardscaping, Gardening & Curb Appeal Tips

Choosing the Right Potting Mix

There are four basic kinds of potting mix, but how do you know which one you need? Which is the best for long-lived plants? What's the fuss about peat? Are peat-free mixes any good? Here are the pros and cons.

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Loam Based Potting Soil Equipped for Large Plants
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DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Loam-Based Potting Mix

Also called soil-based potting mix, this is made from sterilized loam. It's often available in different recipes or strengths, ranging from formulations for seeds and cuttings to high-fertilizer formulations for long-term, large plants such as shrubs. Loam-based potting mix retains water and nutrients well. Start fertilizing potted plants after three months, when the nutrients run out.

Advantages
- Different blends are formulated for different types of plants.
- Holds water well.
- Contains good supply of nutrients.

Disadvantages
- Bags are heavy.
- Incorporates small quantities of peat.
- Variable quality. Check reviews of brands in the gardening press.

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