specgrade
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Recommend Some Sand

I used "play sand" mixed with dirt/compost in my tomato pots and now the topsoil is like concrete :oops: :o

Please recommend a type of sand to mix with my dirt/compost. Thanks!
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rainbowgardener
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Why do you want to put sand in it?

If you want to lighten your soil and help it drain better, try compost, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite. Or use ready mixed potting soil which is a combination of most of those.

You are right that topsoil & compost that work well in the garden, do not work well in pots, tends to compact and harden up (as you have noticed).
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soil
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yea sand works great in the ground, not so much in pots. try pumice and lots of compost.
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engineeredgarden
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It's according to the results you would like to achieve...

For drainage, add perlite
For moisture retention, add peat moss and vermiculite...

EG

specgrade
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rainbowgardener wrote:Why do you want to put sand in it?

If you want to lighten your soil and help it drain better, try compost, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite. Or use ready mixed potting soil which is a combination of most of those.

You are right that topsoil & compost that work well in the garden, do not work well in pots, tends to compact and harden up (as you have noticed).
Yes I was trying to lighten my soil and I just used what was on hand. I didn't know about peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, ect. Thanks for that!

I should have used potting soil.
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specgrade
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engineeredgarden wrote:It's according to the results you would like to achieve...

For drainage, add perlite
For moisture retention, add peat moss and vermiculite...

EG
Thanks for the good to know info!
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specgrade
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soil wrote:yea sand works great in the ground, not so much in pots. try pumice and lots of compost.
Pumice? If I can find some I'll give it a try.
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lilturtle
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Never use sand in pots..sand will compact and turn rock hard in pots.
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Gary350
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My Grandfather us to aways add wood ash to the soil to loose it up. It keep it loose for a very long time. But you can over do it and get the reverse effect so be careful how much you add. I have about 3 to 4 five gallon buckets of wood ash from my stove every year that I dump in the garden and that is a drop in the bucket but after 20 years my soil is much better.

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You don't want to use too much compost in pots, however, as that can prevent drainage.
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specgrade
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lilturtle wrote:Never use sand in pots..sand will compact and turn rock hard in pots.
I'll say!!

I learned that the hard way...get it..."hard" way? Nevermind :lol:
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specgrade
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garden5 wrote:You don't want to use too much compost in pots, however, as that can prevent drainage.
That's good to know, thanks!
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lilturtle
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LOL...well we are all learning :wink:
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specgrade
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Gary350 wrote:My Grandfather us to aways add wood ash to the soil to loose it up. It keep it loose for a very long time. But you can over do it and get the reverse effect so be careful how much you add. I have about 3 to 4 five gallon buckets of wood ash from my stove every year that I dump in the garden and that is a drop in the bucket but after 20 years my soil is much better.
I've heard about wood ash and I will try it when I get something to burn wood in (outdoor fire pit). Glad to hear your soil is doing better. It took the wife and I a few years of working the ground before it got to where we could keep a garden happy.
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engineeredgarden
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Be very cautious with adding wood ashes to your soil, because it will drive the ph level up in a hurry....

EG

specgrade
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engineeredgarden wrote:Be very cautious with adding wood ashes to your soil, because it will drive the ph level up in a hurry....

EG
I didn't know that. Thank you. I wish there was a home kit to check the soil levels, like you can with a swimming pool. How does one get the correct soil without sending away sample after sample?

I just want to plant a seed and watch it grow 8)
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rainbowgardener
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For $9 you can get a little probe to test soil pH

[url=https://www.testequipmentdepot.com/general/garden/glmm300.htm?ganclickid=00048c539ef6f0b70a146384c08839a9#00034812?ref=gbase]soil tester[/url]

It is questionable how accurate they are, but it will at least give you a ball park to get started.
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specgrade
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rainbowgardener wrote:For $9 you can get a little probe to test soil pH

[url=https://www.testequipmentdepot.com/general/garden/glmm300.htm?ganclickid=00048c539ef6f0b70a146384c08839a9#00034812?ref=gbase]soil tester[/url]

It is questionable how accurate they are, but it will at least give you a ball park to get started.
That's great! I did notice I need to spend $20 total order. Atleast I have something to go buy when I find it outside the net. Thank you!
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applestar
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FWIW, I almost always use sand in my potting mix. I also use medium (1/2") sifted compost with larger bits for smaller containers, and larger sifted compost (1") and pea gravel for larger containers. Very large containers also get larger gravel and bark chips/mulch or decaying wood stump pieces. I've noticed that the mixture has better quality when I use the sand out of the kids' sandpit, that has been weathered rather than new playsand right out of the bag. I usually do this by feel and appearance, but I guess my container mix is about 4:3:2 good garden soil : compost : sand.

I don't like Perlite in the potting soil because they almost always float up eventually. I also dislike the fine dry dust when handling them. I won't use peat moss, primarily for conservation reasons :mrgreen:, and because of the way they behave -- dry out then become hydrophobic. :roll:

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Gary350
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Perlite is sand. Sand is heated to 1600 degrees the heat makes it puff up like popcorn. After the sand puffs up about 20 time is original volume it called perlite. Perlite is used in high temperature industrial furnaces.

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applestar
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I didn't know that! OK. DEFINITELY don't need Perlite. :mrgreen:

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