Contgardenewbie
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Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie pots

HI! I am brand new to container gardening. I thought I did my research first, but it looks like I've messed up. I bought an inexpensive potting soil because The only other potting soil the store had contained miracle gro fertilizer and I want to grow my plants organically. I certainly will buy soil at a different store next time, i have lots of options near me. I have 3 red bell pepper plants and two tomato plants. The plants were in small, maybe 2.5 inch pots, which is how I bought them. I began to fill my 4 gallon pots with soil and a few of the bags were especially wet and mucky. I continued planting, mixing my organic veggie fertilizer into the soil. I probably should have stopped and gotten different soil but i so wanted to get them transplanted! When I watered them I noticed water sitting on top of the soil, draining VERY slowly. The bottom of the pots have good drainage holes but I am concerned my roots are not going to get enough air. So I researched last night and I am thinking perlite would be good to mix into that soil. How and or when should I mix the perlite into the soil? I don't want to traumatize the plant again too soon, as I just transplanted it yesterday. I would really appreciate some help! Would love some thoughts on the situation. Thank you!!
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Northernfox
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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

How long ago did you plant your starts ?

The optimal mix according to the square food gardening method is 1/3 peat 1/3 vermiculite (or perlite ) 1/3 compost. I use a 1/2 compost (if store bought it is two type any two types will do just to get a well balanced compost ) 1/2 peat based potting mix. I also mix in there a wide spectrum trace mineral called Gia green glacial rock dust. You can replace that with azomite in the US. Or my garden I find that mix in just regular pots works best. If it is self watering I change it.

The reason I ask is if you just plants them you have a fair chance you can re-pot them. I have a video on potting on my YouTube channel below.

From the looks of it that is a tomato and you can plant it deep as well :) (tomorrow's video will show that)

Good luck my friend
Stephen

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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

Thanks. I just transplanted them into the big pots yesterday. Unfortunately the potting soil bag does not say what the composition is, at all. It seems to be mostly peat, based on what I have researched online, it was very heavy for the size of the bag. Also the company is" gummer's peat co." Man i am upset they have it labeled as potting soil, it would seem that it is pure peat!! So do you think I should take the plant out and mix a bunch or perlite ( or vermiculite) and compost in it ASAP? I have attached a picture of the back of the bag of fertilizer I used, it has bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi and Archea (not sure what that is). So I wonder if you still recommend compost since I think this contains things that compost contains. Also If you can't see the ingredients it says feather meal, bone meal, composted poultry manure, sulfate of potash. It says on the front "Vegetable and Tomato granular fertilizer". Thanks so much for your help
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

Now is the time to fix it! You are right, your plant is likely to die in a mix that doesn't drain much.

But if you just put it in the pot yesterday, it isn't rooted in at all yet, so won't be bothered if you dig it out and re-mix the soil. Dump what you have in a wheelbarrow and add a bunch of perlite or vermiculite, and something like mushroom compost, leaf mould, worm castings, etc for nutrients, maybe some coarse sand or potting mix for cactus.
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Contgardenewbie
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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

Thank you both so much! Off to the stores again to buy supplies to remix the soil.. I think it may have been cheaper to just buy these tomatoes and peppers as needed from my local farmer...LOL oh well. Having fun and learning.

Northernfox
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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

Lots of times yes your right it might be cheaper to get your produce from the farmer. There is however nothing like eating food from your own garden.

You have some good direction on the soil mix stuff now planting peppers make sure you sink then an extra inch or two. Tomatoes you can plant really deep. Just make sure to clip off the branches that will be under ground and leave all that are above. My tomatoes I plant 2/3 under ground. They are a little slow to begin with buy the better root system will pay off !!

Have fun and keep us posted !!
Stephen

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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

Thanks for the info about sinking them both, I had no idea

Northernfox
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Re: Worried about soil quality in newly transplanted veggie

It's why this form is here. :)
Stephen

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