• Dear Guest,

    We've been using a forum format called vBulletin for over seven years and the program is no longer being developed, so that means no more updates or security patches. vBulletin has never been compatible with search engine optimization and it does not support the multitude of various devices most people use to access the internet, so it's time to say goodbye to vBulletin.

    For these reasons we have moved our forum to a new format that will support and encourage growth for the next generation of grower and DIY tobacco users.

    So please post any issues you're having with using the new site.

    As usual, you may login with your old password.

Northwood seeds

How much sunshine mix do i need?

Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,209
Likes
676
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#1
I'm transplanting my 200 seedlings into 200 #300 series pots that are 0.7gal each. They will be in these pots for a month in my greenhouse while I am in vacation before I plant them in the field and gardens. It's too early to plant them in the ground right now. I plan on using sunshine mix from HD, and supplement with an appropriate measurement of Gaia all purpose organic powder fertilizer which I will mix in. I think it's 4.4.4. The sunshine mix comes in 3.8 cubic foot bales that are compressed tightly. How many bales do you think I need? To save money, do you have alternatives that you would suggest?

Thanks
 

ProfessorPangloss

Amateur Kentuckian
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
485
Likes
37
Points
0
Location
The Bluegrass
#2
Is that #300 series pot what you'd call a 1-gallon in the nursery business? The container size/volume thing is very confusing. (A so-called 5-gallon pot in the US holds about 3 gallons of soil. Clear as mud, right?)

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1409172/understanding-container-sizes-and-their-volumes

In theory, 3.8 cubic feet would fill about 30 of those .7 gallon containers, but that seems low to me. I'd probably guess two or three bales. If you don't use it, it will keep, so it's not exactly wasted money. At the nursery, we would just dump the big bags into the potting bench and soak them down as needed, because at the end of the day, it didn't matter how many bags we used - pots had to be filled regardless. I seem to remember a "big" bag of ProMix (like 10l or so) filling a lot of pots. Let us know what you find out.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,209
Likes
676
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#3
Well,
Yes, they were quote "1 gallon " pots. Here's the result.

Two 3.8 cubic foot bales (two parts) , mixed with one part compost, and one part dirt from the garden was perfect for two hundred #300 pots.
 

Knucklehead

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
8,792
Likes
394
Points
0
Location
NE Alabama
#5
Well,
Yes, they were quote "1 gallon " pots. Here's the result.

Two 3.8 cubic foot bales (two parts) , mixed with one part compost, and one part dirt from the garden was perfect for two hundred #300 pots.
So two 3.8 cubic foot bales would yield about 150 gallons of soil. Would this be good to add to the patch? Economical? I'm fairly heavy on clay.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,209
Likes
676
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#6
I would call it not economical. Sunshine mix is essentially peat moss and perlite. Peat bales are less than half the cost, so i might add peat moss to the bed, but not the mix.
 

ProfessorPangloss

Amateur Kentuckian
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
485
Likes
37
Points
0
Location
The Bluegrass
#7
I second that about the peat moss bales. You'd have to till in a huge volume of it to actually change the properties of your soil, though.

If you have clay, the goal would be to incorporate enough organic material to make the soil loose and loamy. Sand will help, but you still need something to decay. Bulk manure works great (and is cheap). Best thing would be compost. If you don't already, I'd make a compost bin out of some pallets and check out the Rodale Book of Compost from the library. You can basically turn everything (even junk mail, newspaper, and cardboard) into free fully-composted dirt which will hold moisture (which is why you'd add peat moss anyway). Do you have a moisture retention problem or is it more that your soil is not easily workable because it's clay?

Also, I used to live and landscape near Nashville. The clay there was pretty unreal, so we used a bagged product called Soil Conditioner, which is shredded pine bark mixed with a little sand (I've had a hard time finding it in Kentucky). You blend it into the soil at something like half and half if the clay is really sticky, and it decays and breaks up the soil by incorporating organic material. Bonus points if you add equal amount of manure or topsoil to the mix. Barky Beaver is one brand, made in Alabama, we used to order by the truckload. I have to say that I never lost a tree where we prepared the soil in that manner.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,209
Likes
676
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#8
The best thing that every happened to my compost is my new mulching, bagging lawnmower. Mow the grass when it's a little wet, give it a day, and is steaming like a mofo. All my leaf raking and food scraps never really took off before. The leaves are even better compost now because the mower really breaks them up. Oh, and the decades of spruce needles under my blue spruce. In one year, all dirt. That pile eats through raspberry stems too.
 

ProfessorPangloss

Amateur Kentuckian
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
485
Likes
37
Points
0
Location
The Bluegrass
#9
I'm not a hardcore composter just yet (give it a year) but there's a "greens and browns" principle you have to balance to get it to cook. If I'm not mistaken, the grass is a green (chuckle) and the needles are a brown, so in proportion you get a good cook. I've heard of people adding sawdust over food scraps - that might help the reaction. Just conjecture, though. I'm about to have that problem myself.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,209
Likes
676
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#10
I'm not a hardcore composter just yet (give it a year) but there's a "greens and browns" principle you have to balance to get it to cook. If I'm not mistaken, the grass is a green (chuckle) and the needles are a brown, so in proportion you get a good cook. I've heard of people adding sawdust over food scraps - that might help the reaction. Just conjecture, though. I'm about to have that problem myself.
Let me know how the sawdust comes along. I suspect it'll break down fast. I know where I chainsaw logs in my yard, the first while there's dust and mushrooms (Bolbitius vitellinus to be precise), but after a couple months, it all disappears, unless I saw some more.
 
Top