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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Coir base Potting Mix made from Coconut Husks
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DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Coir-Based Potting <ix

Made from shredded coconut husks, coir is sold either loose or in blocks; the latter need to be soaked for about 20 minutes before use. Since coir has no nutrients, it is generally mixed with multipurpose potting mix (one-third coir to two-thirds additional potting mix). Use it for annual displays in pots and containers where a light weight potting mix is needed, such as windowboxes and wall pots, or on balconies. It dries out quickly and plants will need to be watered frequently.

Advantages
- Inexpensive.
- Lightweight.

Disadvantages
- Not entirely "green": peat-free, but it uses up thousands of air miles.
- Not for permanent displays.
- Plant performance can be variable.

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