If you are new to the gardening business, and are not really sure where to start, it is always good to consult an expert florist first. You may ask your local florist or a close friend who has had a good and managed garden over the years. Usually, florists tell you to prepare the basic. Like flowers, pots, potting mix and the basic tools you would need to take care of your flowers. Of course, choosing a flower or plant should be easy. It is usually the type of potting mix that most beginner florists have a difficult time in choosing. Read on below to know more about the potting mixes available, and how they came to be.
The importance of soil
Plants, no matter what type they are, need soil to live. Well, most of them anyway. Where else would their roots get water from? Of course, as modern time progresses, so will soil, apparently. This may come as a surprise to you, but not soil is soil. They may look like the dirt or brown earth you usually see, but there is a high possibility that these soils or the plants are potted with something else.
What is Potting Mix?
Created in the year 1960’s, these types of soil are known as artificial soil. It is widely popular not only because it is lightweight but also because it can be used for any plant, and even has weed-free properties. Of course, there is nothing wrong with using the soil from your own backyard for your indoor plants, but it has been proven that potting mix is a better choice.
Who came up with potting mix?
There is no record as to who invented this, but there has been one that has always stood out from the rest. The Cornell Mix. It was invented in the year 1960’s by a man named James Boodley and his team. Because of this invention at Cornell University, the houseplant industry was catapulted into life.
Most of the potting mix today uses the Cornell Mix as the basis. It is one of the most lightweight media that is also weed-free and has allowed a lot large-scale production. Not only food crops, but any crop in general. It may be quite obvious now how helpful this potting mix is.
What is usually in it?
So, what is usually in a potting mix? There are many types of potting mixes and some of them are good for specific plants as they are made for those specific plants. Like orchids for example, they have their own kind of potting mix that help them thrive well indoors. The general components of a potting mix are perlite, compost and peat. Other types of potting mix include vermiculite, sand, wood chips and other materials.
Here is a breakdown of the components and what they are for:
- Perlite – this type of component aids in water control and aeration. They come in the form of white pebbles that are very light. You can easily find these in gardening stores and you can even ask your florists how or where to find the best kinds. If you are planning to create your own type of potting mix.
- Peat – this is the most generally used component in every mix and it usually comes in high proportions. They are sponge like and helps hold water. This is good for plants that need a lot of water as peat helps store them properly.
- Compost – a very common component as even outdoor soil has them. It smells earthy and is rich in nutrients that can aid in plant growth. It is also rich in microbe matter which can definitely help your plant thrive.
- Vermiculite – this type of compost comes in the color of yellow or brown. It is used as a moisture-retentive medium or insulation to help in the growth of your plants.
- Wood chips – this is a material that can aid in drainage. It is usually a decaying organic matter. It provides macronutrients and can be used as sponge just like Peat, although it is a lot denser than peat and is more recommended for plants that need good drainage.
- Rocks – very cheap material. This is usually found in cheaper types of mixes, although they can provide a little trickle of micronutrients. Although it is a little heavier than other materials which makes it unappealing to a lot of florists.
Why is it much better than outdoor soil?
Potting mix is definitely different and somehow better than outdoor soil. Especially for your indoor plants. Of course, you should choose a potting mix that goes well with the type of plant you have. You have to consider a lot of factors like what are the plants preferred moisture, nutrition balance, and air. Of course, the outdoor soil would be much preferred by your outdoor plants.
There is a lot of potting soil you can choose from that is recommended for your indoor plants. You should do your research first before choosing the type of potting mix to avoid placing your plant in the wrong type of artificial soil. You can do this by researching the plant itself and it is needs or asking about the potting mix available in your market and what its benefits are. Find one that is the most suitable ad within your budget.