There are so many garden blogs, clubs, and book recommendations on the “best” type of soil to use for growing vegetables. I recommend using a potting mix that retains moisture well but still allows for oxygen to get to the roots. There are many varieties of potting mixes that will give you a great result but it’s important to never buy bags labeled “garden soil.” Garden soil is too dense and will make it challenging for your plants to thrive in a container garden.
Here’s what we use:
For the last 2 years, we have grown using the Pro-Mix brand with the combination of slow release Osmocote fertilizer. That combo has done well in our trials. We wanted to see what could grow in the GreenStalk system so we used that soil mixture as the base for all of our plantings.
This year, we are doing something a bit different. Instead of using a base potting mix of Pro-Mix, we are using Happy Frog brand potting mix. Here’s a step-by-step of how we have started planting this year:
I start by filling each tier half full with Happy Frog Potting Mix. Then I add a cup of Epsoma Tomato Tone. Next I add a cup of Osmocote slow release fertilizer.
Lastly, I add the final layer of Happy Frog potting mix to top it off. I make sure to overfill because the mix will settle quite a bit with watering. After seeding, I leave pots unstacked and let the spring rains do the watering until plants are about 4” tall.
I enjoy testing different methods, brands, and organic options. Hopefully, this method will result in healthier happier plants. Follow our blog for updates on how my plants are growing this season with the Happy Frog mix.
If you are a new gardener looking to start a simple garden with GreenStalk, I would recommend you start with a good ready to use soil like Happy Frog, or Pro-Mix and 14-14-14 fertilizer. If you add slow release fertilizer you should be good just adding water until harvest. Gardening doesn’t have to be complicated or challenging. Local nurseries are great resources for seeds, starter plants, potting mix, and getting your questions answered about what to grow in your area.
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SUBJECT: Ask Jack
*All opinions are mine. GreenStalk nor I receive any compensation for brands mentioned.