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Varying Results with Different Potting Soils

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Varying Results with Different Potting Soils

Postby packrat79 » May 15, 2008 6:49 pm

I planted a large number of Marigolds last month, of several different varieties. Most are doing well but varying types of potting soil seems to be causing some trouble. I'll use the Durango Red Marigolds as an example. I planted 18 to a 5x7" tray (just until they're large enough to transplant), five trays of these in all. I used the last of my best soil, with a rather light and fluffy texture, in only one of these trays. A heavier soil with larger particles of twigs etc. (compost, probably) had to do for the other four. Not surprisingly, the plants in the lighter soil are nearly twice the size of the others. All other growing conditions (light, heat, etc.) were the same so I know the soil is to blame. Unfortunately, I don't travel much and I had someone else buy the soil for me, and of course the better stuff is almost impossible to find.
Why doesn't the heavy soil work as well as the light stuff? If it has to do with its ability (or lack thereof) to absorb air, could I perhaps improve the other soil by poking it with a fork, or perhaps adding something to it prior to use?
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Postby Pansy » May 15, 2008 11:25 pm

I ran into the same problem this year.the first bag or soil was

great,but when I needed more we bought 1 called Green

Seeding Mix.It was horrible...real heavy...the seedlings

germinated but then stalled.I ended up repoting in good

soil as soon as they got their first set of true leaves.As a

result they are really set back....hoping they will catch up in

a couple of weeks. :?
Zone 5 B
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Postby dlb » May 16, 2008 12:16 am

I bought several bags of seeding and potting mix when I was potting up tomato seedlings and probably used some old stuff too. Unfortunately I never kept notes and I should have because there was one batch that ended up with a nitrogen deficiency.

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Postby Eeyore » May 16, 2008 12:23 am

Add some vermiculite to the heavier soil to increase it's porosity.
AB, Zone 3A
“Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” ` James Arthur Baldwin"
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