Anyone in the Midwest use Al's Gritty Mix?

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Anyone in the Midwest use Al's Gritty Mix?

Postby Schattenfreude » Mar 15, 2013 10:42 pm

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone here in the Midwest has used Al's Gritty Mix in their containers? What have you planted in the medium? Have you amended his original 'recipe' to accommodate our heat and humidity? I've read numerous posts on the GardenWeb forums, but have no idea if anyone posting there lives in the Midwest.

Kevin in KC
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Anyone in the Midwest use Al's Gritty Mix?

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Re: Anyone in the Midwest use Al's Gritty Mix?

Postby Chris_W » Mar 27, 2013 12:24 pm

I looked it up (hadn't heard of it before) and it sounds interesting. As with any soilless mix you will need to supplement nutrients, but the idea of providing good aeration for overwintering is something I always recommend.

We use a peat based mix (like a pro-mix, we use Sunshine Mix #1) that contains peat and coarse perlite. To that we add pine bark mulch, about 1/4" to 1/2" (and sometimes a little bigger) little nuggets. I don't use bark fines as it compacts too much over time. The ratios come out to about 50 to 60% peat moss, 10% perlite, 30 to 40% pine bark (give or take). This has been a great mix for us, and is easy to get all the ingredients around here. We also mix in a slow release (heat activated) fertilizer to the mix and that helps to feed a long time.
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Re: Anyone in the Midwest use Al's Gritty Mix?

Postby Schattenfreude » Apr 02, 2013 2:50 pm

Chris,

What is the heat-activated slow release fertilizer that you use? I've never really fertilized my hostas much, but am considering it this year. Do you want one with a high nitrogen number or low?

I ended up repotting most of my Japanese maples in a mixture similar to what you described, altho' instead of peat I used dirt from my yard and some coco coir. So many of my trees had tons of earthworms in the pots AND I just couldn't see myself fertilizing the trees every week like I should. I"m hoping that the bark fines will help keep the soil loose enough for better drainage and aeration. I did, however, have to pot up a few in the gritty mix alone, just to experiment. I also root-pruned every tree before repotting it. Time will tell....

Kevin in KC
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