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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

Soil & Planting Medium TIps

Hello Everyone!

This year I hope to pay more attention to the soil/planting medium needs of the herbs and veggies I grow on my balcony. That being said, does anyone have a good resource for what herbs/veggies/fruits need or like in their pot for growing medium without me having to bug you all with each and every single one? For example, I now know that Rosemary prefers something sandier than regular ol' potting mix (along the lines of cactus medium). Is there a chart or something out there floating around or should I just consult a gardening book?

Thanks!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Soil & Planting Medium TIps

tell us what you want to grow and we can help. But I don't think you have to over complicate. Rosemary and some of the other mediterranean herbs (sage, lavender, thyme) like sandy soil. Most everything else can be grown in basic potting soil. But I would look carefully at what you buy and be sure it does not say "Moisture Control." The moisture control stuff is very hard to work with, tends to stay too wet for too long.

There's a few flowers and fruits that need soil pretty acid, but if you want to grow acid lovers, you can probably still start with basic potting soil and just use a fertilizer that is designed for acid lovers (e.g. Hollytone).

I make my own potting soil, described here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 48&t=60534

I do that for two reasons, mainly to be more eco-friendly. The perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss in commercial potting soils is mined, and in the case of the minerals, heated to very high temperatures, and shipped halfway around the world. My ingredients are all agricultural by products with no mining, heating, etc. Secondarily, it turns out when you are using a lot, that it is cheaper to make your own. Happy bonus of being eco-friendly! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Soil & Planting Medium TIps

It also depends on your pot. I use the same mix for most of my plants and it is a mix on the dry side. For cactus, succulents and drought resistant plants, I add more perlite and I plant them in clay pots since they breathe and plastic does not.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Aya
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Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:05 am
Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

Re: Soil & Planting Medium TIps

So this year I figure I'll keep mostly to herbs and small space/vertical plants. I'd like to grow:

Rosemary
Lavender (Culinary and Regular)
Thyme
Basil
Oregano
Mint (Catnip, and Chocolate Varieties)
Parsley
Cilantro
Pineapple Sage
Lettuce
Peas/Green Beans
Strawberries?
Maybe one small tomato and I just discovered purple sweet potatoes, which I think are gorgeous! Are they suitable for pots?

I currently have only plastic pots, although most of them are the biodegradeable bamboo type. I've considered terra cotta, which is pretty, but don't they get pretty heavy? (I'm on the third floor) I have no roof/cover/shade over my balcony, but I'd love to transform it into something like in the images; I already have the cats :D ... any ideas?
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garden.jpg

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Soil & Planting Medium TIps

herbs are a diverse group of plants with multiple habitats

The herbs with gray-green leaves and usually fuzzy leaves prefer drier conditions a well drained soil and do not require a lot of water. They would be the rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, marjorram, dil, pineapple sage,l and Mexican oregano

Leaves that are large and bright or dark green usualy like a soil that is more evenly moist and if they grow fast they also like a little bit more fertilizer. Parsley, square stemmed herbs (mints, basil, lemon balm)

Most of the tropical herbs and spices prefer regular water and compost enriched soil. Ginger, turmeric, culantro, coriander, fenugreek, anise, curry tree and Mexican tarragon.

Lettuce is a water hog, peas and beans like regular water. Strawberries like to be evenly moist.

For me Lettuce grows best in the cooler months as they will tip burn and bolt in the heat of summer. Peas in the cooler months and Beans, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant like warmer weather. I keep strawberries in baskets. In the cooler months they can be in full sun, but in warmer months I move them to morning sun. Birds, snails, and slugs will eat all of the strawberries so I have to keep moving it to keep the berries out of their reach too.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Aya
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:05 am
Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

Re: Soil & Planting Medium TIps

Thanks for the help! To conserve on space, can any of those things be companion planted? Would something like the picture actually work or is everything best in it's own container?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Soil & Planting Medium TIps

Not much of that looks ideal for companion planting, but you could do some succession planting. Lettuce and peas (and spinach if you wanted to do some) are cold weather crops. In zone 8, you should probably be planting them now. They will be over and done quickly and then you can use the space to plant warm weather stuff like beans, sweet potato, peppers.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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