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Potting mix trials

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Potting mix trials

Post  SQWIB on 1/11/2019, 7:18 am

Testing a new potting mix for my indoor garden. The Bio-char is being added for water retention and nutrient retention and to reduces soil acidity decreasing liming needs.
If this works out, next fall I will be adding my city compost from the recycle center.

Used this mix for the 1 gallon pots and one grow bag, marked w/red tape


  • 2 bucket (3 gallons) peat moss

  • 1 bucket (2 gallons) Perlite

  • 1 bucket (2 gallons) Black Kow composted cow manure

  • 1 bucket (2 gallons) Coffee grounds

  • 1 bucket (2 gallons) Bio-char

  • 1 cup pelleted time-release fertilizer (osmocote plus) (6 scoops)

  • 1/4 cup of Blood Meal

  • 1 cup lime (to counter the acid of peat and keep the pH level near neutral

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Re: Potting mix trials

Post  OhioGardener on 1/11/2019, 9:47 am

Interested to see results, SQWIB.  That seems like a lot of Biochar - about 22%?  Is that charged Biochar or raw Biochar?
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Re: Potting mix trials

Post  SQWIB on 1/11/2019, 11:12 am

@OhioGardener wrote:Interested to see results, SQWIB.  That seems like a lot of Biochar - about 22%?  Is that charged Biochar or raw Biochar?

Bio char percentage is subjective due to size, this was very coarse pea- marble size.
Char was not charged per/se, but sat out in rainwater for a month
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Re: Potting mix trials

Post  Dan in Ct on 1/11/2019, 1:52 pm

SQWIB, what is your formula for the control mix? And is your indoor garden most greens? Pulverized eggshells also have a liming effect.
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Re: Potting mix trials

Post  SQWIB on 1/11/2019, 2:33 pm

@Dan in Ct wrote:SQWIB, what is your formula for the control mix? And is your indoor garden most greens? Pulverized eggshells also have a liming effect.


This trial is going to test if the plants survive or not in the new mix, it won't be a comparison to what was planted in the original mix. There is just no room for a proper test. This is a "Sink or Swim" test, lol


Let me clarify, I have a few extra plants that germinated and all of these "extras" will go into 1 gallon pots with the new mix, but to be fair, they won't receive the same lighting as my original planting of the "keepers". They will be placed on the outermost part of the Led lighting which means they will be receiving less light than the "keepers". These extra plants are, Listada Di Gandia Eggplant, Black Beauty Eggplant, Totem F-1 Tomato, Abe Lincoln tomato, Jetstar Tomato and a Jimmy Nardello pepper and are all "expendable".


The "Keeper" plants are in 3 gallon and 2 gallon grow bags with the original mix mentioned below, the "keepers" will receive the required lighting, although I may have two grow-bags with the new mix but I will mark these with red tape.



I'll pop up some pictures when I get a bit more organized.



Original mix


  • 1 bucket (2 gallons) peat moss
  • 1 bucket (2 gallons) Perlite
  • 1/2 bucket (1 gallons) Black Kow composted cow manure
  • 1 cup pelleted time-release fertilizer (osmocote plus)
  • 1/4 cup of Blood Meal
  • ½ cup lime (to counter the acid of peat and keep the pH level near neutral)






Oh, BTW the beets to the left are planted in some crazy mix I came up with but are not part of the trial.









I'm sort of expecting the few plants I put in the new mix yesterday to be dead when I get home, we will see.
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Re: Potting mix trials

Post  SQWIB on 1/14/2019, 8:23 am

My new potting mix hasn't killed anything yet.



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Re: Potting mix trials

Post  SQWIB on 1/18/2019, 7:11 am

The new potting mix seems to be fine so far.










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