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Soil for potted plants

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Hello,

I am looking for bagged soil for potted vegetables.

I have sphagnum peat substrate for nursery available but afaik it's not so suitable for growing plants.

So where in Bangkok can I buy either ready mixed soil or ingredients to blend with the peat substrate.

I found one recommendation mixing coconut dust, coconut husk and compost in 2:2:1 ratio.

Is it good?

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Recommendation doesn't look bad. To much compost is to heavy.

Check for big garden centre and they will have 'good soil' no doubt. The more expensive the better. For soil that is hahaha.

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Recommendation doesn't look bad. To much compost is to heavy.

Check for big garden centre and they will have 'good soil' no doubt. The more expensive the better. For soil that is hahaha.

"Check for big garden centre ..."

Assuming you can't read the Thai writing on the different sacks, take a fistful of dirt from some potted plant and explain you want that. I have on occasion come home with something entirely different from what I thought I had bought. In one case I suppose a closer look at the sack with a drawing of a steer on it would have forewarned me that I was getting a sack of dried cow manure, but I wrongly assumed the clerk and I had reached an accord on what was wanted. It was put to good use anyway, but not what I was aiming for at the time.

s-l300.jpg

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Ok, thanks for the info, but I can talk Thai and can let the people know what I want. In case this doesn't work I use my stand-in...the wife.

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What I have found here in most garden centers and garden markets of bagged soil is junk and will get plants starting to grow but after that they don't want to. I have tried the bags marked with the "flower" its more of a sandy soil with coconut by product and the "Train" much the same content but has rice hull filler added. While it looks sort of ok it has no nutrients in it to sustain plant growth. I then found a bag of what they call composted soil at Thai Watsadu while it looks good with much darker soil with rice husks it to falls short. The only bag stuff that I found will grow well it contains more organics with leaves and stick wood product and a heavier clay soil. But it's full of unwanted seeds and will grow a garden of its own with out you adding seed to it. blink.png

I now find myself mixing all three together after screening it. Adding worm castings some EM, steer manure and 15-15-15 will it only then let plants to grow. It allows water to penetrate good but drys out a bit quick so maybe needs some coir or peat moss added. I have found small bags of peat but scared to buy it only to open it and find out its not what you call peat moss. Much like the potting soil they try to sell its like opening the Christmas gift containing that sweater you don't want to wear.bah.gif Guess I might need to bite the bullet and buy it. So the soil is still work in progress. It seams to be the never ending battle here in Thailand with soil. Much like I have been reading here with soil samples comming back piss poor and needing major work and time to get it back into shape.

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What I have found here in most garden centers and garden markets of bagged soil is junk and will get plants starting to grow but after that they don't want to. I have tried the bags marked with the "flower" its more of a sandy soil with coconut by product and the "Train" much the same content but has rice hull filler added. While it looks sort of ok it has no nutrients in it to sustain plant growth. I then found a bag of what they call composted soil at Thai Watsadu while it looks good with much darker soil with rice husks it to falls short. The only bag stuff that I found will grow well it contains more organics with leaves and stick wood product and a heavier clay soil. But it's full of unwanted seeds and will grow a garden of its own with out you adding seed to it. blink.png

I now find myself mixing all three together after screening it. Adding worm castings some EM, steer manure and 15-15-15 will it only then let plants to grow. It allows water to penetrate good but drys out a bit quick so maybe needs some coir or peat moss added. I have found small bags of peat but scared to buy it only to open it and find out its not what you call peat moss. Much like the potting soil they try to sell its like opening the Christmas gift containing that sweater you don't want to wear.bah.gif Guess I might need to bite the bullet and buy it. So the soil is still work in progress. It seams to be the never ending battle here in Thailand with soil. Much like I have been reading here with soil samples comming back piss poor and needing major work and time to get it back into shape.

Good Post .

Could i add my bit about potting/soil medium mixes . I usually use what is known as a John Innes mix developed in 1880's i think in Kew. Basically it is 50% peat and 50% sharp sand and then the percentages are varied according to requirements . A Succulent mix would be 10/90 for example. Then i use slow release fertiliser and organic /fish /manure teas or other as a foliar fertiliser . A general all purpose mix that i would 40% coconut coir /peat , 50 % sharp sand and 10% organics such as compost .

About 12 months ago i attended a seminar on potting mixes and soil mixes , with some of the leading soil scientists in Australia speaking , and it was interesting and it certainly challenged my thinking , but they said that the current thinking is to keep organic mater in the growing medium to about 10 % . Various reasons for this but a lot of it was to do with the calcium ratios and how they affect the chemical balances.

Just another comment, i think you will find it difficult to find true peat or peat moss marketed anywhere in the world now or if you do, it will be incredibly expensive . This is because of the environmental damage done to eco systems , not only in the peat moss bog or swamp but in surrounding areas plus downstream and in catchment areas upstream . Peat moss bogs act as filter systems for water and if removed it will have consequences. Nowadays most nurseries and Parks and Gardens have moved to Coconut Coir which is a renewable resource and , if anything can be slightly more water retentive than real peat or peat moss . This is one reason i am amazed at the quality of purchased potting mixes in Thailand as it is either high in coconut coir giving poor drainage and is ready available as a by product in the South.

Incidentally by Sharp Sand i mean that it has a angular grain and is better if more than 0.2 mm dia . It has a lot of different names - but sharp sand is what i know it as. You can always tell a pile of sharp sand as it will be cat shit free unlike beach sand. It is not common in the nursery industry as the building industry uses it in concrete mixes. Look for it there.

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I just posted a method for rejuvenating your spoil into soil in the pH and fertility thread. Perhaps should have been here. Take a look.

My point is testing is expensive and most things you need, you can get easily and cheaply. Just needs a bit of elbow grease (or willing worker) and an appreciation that if the biology and the organic matter is present, the soil will heal itself.

Worked for me.

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Thank you so much to all who contributed to this thread.

Seems it is of great interest.

xen, your idea is correct. Normal soil just contains 5-10% organic matter. However, you have to consider that potted plants are confined in a very small space compared to field planting.

This restricts them from reactions and movements that happen in normal soil.

It would be interesting to see some research on this topic.

I agree with you, peat is not sustainable. But I got it as a gift so I will use it up. After that switch to coconut products.

I also looked on the internet for the mixture of commercially available soil. Basically they all consist of 2/3 peat or coconut, the rest is sand, perlite, compost, soil amendments etc.

So I think this should be a good mixture.

I put some soil together for transplanting the seedlings from the nursery tray. It is only temporary until I can move them into the final size pots.

My mixture contains 1/3 coconut, 1/3 peat, the remaining filled up with sand and perlite. It looks almost like the bagged soil I bought once. For the final transplanting I will reduce the sand and add some real soil and compost/manure.

9fcc1ffa4dfdb2321abde669012bf4bc.jpg

I want to try with the EM. I have some rabbit manure also. Can I include this in some EM mixture? Or better make some compost from that? I am completely new to this EM topic.

I understand how to make this compost tea, is this already EM?

PS: Where in Bangkok I can find molasses?

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A few quick points.

If you can't get molasses (usually at a feed shop) then get some unrefined brown sugar from the supermarket it will feed the microbes just as well. Substitute 1kg of sugar for 1 litre of molasses. Mix the sugar in warm water, let it cool to room temp then add the EM.

Second, use the extended EM at the right strength. 1 in 25 to 50 parts water (none chlorinated) that is 1 litre of EM purchased makes up to 500 to 1000 litres as used. If you are using tap water then fill a bucket and let it stand for 24 hours for the chlorine to dissipate.

In containers, I would suggest you add the EM when ever you water the plant at the 1::1000 rate. A hand sprayer to do the foliage (especially the underside of the leaves).

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Thank you so much to all who contributed to this thread.

Seems it is of great interest.

xen, your idea is correct. Normal soil just contains 5-10% organic matter. However, you have to consider that potted plants are confined in a very small space compared to field planting.

This restricts them from reactions and movements that happen in normal soil.

It would be interesting to see some research on this topic.

I agree with you, peat is not sustainable. But I got it as a gift so I will use it up. After that switch to coconut products.

I also looked on the internet for the mixture of commercially available soil. Basically they all consist of 2/3 peat or coconut, the rest is sand, perlite, compost, soil amendments etc.

So I think this should be a good mixture.

I put some soil together for transplanting the seedlings from the nursery tray. It is only temporary until I can move them into the final size pots.

My mixture contains 1/3 coconut, 1/3 peat, the remaining filled up with sand and perlite. It looks almost like the bagged soil I bought once. For the final transplanting I will reduce the sand and add some real soil and compost/manure.

9fcc1ffa4dfdb2321abde669012bf4bc.jpg

I want to try with the EM. I have some rabbit manure also. Can I include this in some EM mixture? Or better make some compost from that? I am completely new to this EM topic.

I understand how to make this compost tea, is this already EM?

PS: Where in Bangkok I can find molasses?

Peat is acidic and tends to hold onto moisture quite tenaciously. Coconut coir is alkaline, permits drainage while at the same time retaining moisture. Some plants are very particular about the pH value of the soil they are growing in, orchids for instance.

We recently bought a few hybrid tea roses and they seemed to have been rooted in 100% rice husks. Worth a try if you can give a liquid feed every week. I will be composting rice husks and cow manure in equal volumes soon, that should be a mighty mixture, maybe some sand or even clay willneed to be added at some stage.

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Thank you so much to all who contributed to this thread.

Seems it is of great interest.

xen, your idea is correct. Normal soil just contains 5-10% organic matter. However, you have to consider that potted plants are confined in a very small space compared to field planting.

This restricts them from reactions and movements that happen in normal soil.

It would be interesting to see some research on this topic.

I agree with you, peat is not sustainable. But I got it as a gift so I will use it up. After that switch to coconut products.

I also looked on the internet for the mixture of commercially available soil. Basically they all consist of 2/3 peat or coconut, the rest is sand, perlite, compost, soil amendments etc.

So I think this should be a good mixture.

I put some soil together for transplanting the seedlings from the nursery tray. It is only temporary until I can move them into the final size pots.

My mixture contains 1/3 coconut, 1/3 peat, the remaining filled up with sand and perlite. It looks almost like the bagged soil I bought once. For the final transplanting I will reduce the sand and add some real soil and compost/manure.

9fcc1ffa4dfdb2321abde669012bf4bc.jpg

I want to try with the EM. I have some rabbit manure also. Can I include this in some EM mixture? Or better make some compost from that? I am completely new to this EM topic.

I understand how to make this compost tea, is this already EM?

PS: Where in Bangkok I can find molasses?

Peat is acidic and tends to hold onto moisture quite tenaciously. Coconut coir is alkaline, permits drainage while at the same time retaining moisture. Some plants are very particular about the pH value of the soil they are growing in, orchids for instance.

We recently bought a few hybrid tea roses and they seemed to have been rooted in 100% rice husks. Worth a try if you can give a liquid feed every week. I will be composting rice husks and cow manure in equal volumes soon, that should be a mighty mixture, maybe some sand or even clay willneed to be added at some stage.

Sorry my fault, I was not precise enough. The bagged soil I'm using in the mix is Kekkilä nursery soil. It's made from peat but already adjusted pH with lime and base fertilizer+TE added.

For nursery (seedlings) it's a good soil but in the second batch of my potted soil I reduced the amount and increased the coarse coconut husk. Because it did keep the moisture too much in my opinion.

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