The Pottery Post Blog

pH Soil Testing


We highly recommend testing your potting soil for pH levels.  You ask why?  Well here are a few tips and the importance of staying on top of it.  When you are planning a potted garden, flowerpots around your home or shrubs and trees in large containers it's important to know if your soil is acidic, neutral or alkaline.  Most plants are neutral but others can be fussy and require a more accurate acidic or alkaline base.

When you bring plant materials home from the local nursery, it's important to know if your potting mix need some help to assure that the correct mix is used in the
 planters  for the best outcome of growth and health.  
Neutral soil will read approximately 6.5 to 7.5
Alkaline above 7
Acidic almost 14

The easiest way to test the soil is by using a probe.  They will come with full instruction and can range around $20.00 These will work for indoor and outdoor containers and potted plants and flowers.  Some require soil being placed into a test tube and adding a powder with water. Others by inserting a probe directly into the soil and get an instant reading.

There are many suggestions on how to amend the soil to get the correct reading on the meter probe so google it for specifics.  Wood Ash, Sulfur, Meal, Vinegar or Baking Soda can all be added to the potting mix for the best results with the garden containers.

Whatever method you decide to follow when planting into pottery, make sure you do a bit of pre-planting to research and adjust the soil to find the perfect blend for you.
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soil testing, potted containers, soil in pots. pH testing, pot, garden soil, dirt in pots, 


Post Last Updated: 8/28/2023 2:54:27 PM 

Soil For Planters!

In order to have successful potted containers in your home or garden areas, there are a few things you must consider.  What you are potting, what size of container you will need, what kind of soil and how much water & sunlight is required for success.  This entry provides a few tips on selecting the best soil to use.

Many of you are tempted to use plain old garden soil for filling the pots you tend to plant into.  However this is not a good idea!  Garden dirt is very dense making it hard for water to flow through it properly. You want soil in your planters to drain well for a number of reasons.

Loose soil lets the plants root system move and expand easier.  it also will let the water you apply - saturate the soil and not just run off the sides.  You can take some garden soil and try mixing it with mulch or peat moss which will help but we recommend starting with a Basic Potting Soil that you can purchase from your local garden center or nursery.

When starting with a good potting mix you have a much greater chance of success with your plants growth.  Many centers have special mixes that serve particular needs.  You want to make sure the one you select matches the types of plants you are going to use.  Also make sure that you purchase enough potting mix to fill the planters that you are going to use.  Don't skimp. Give those roots enough soil to expand in.

If you want to make your own just use equal parts of peat moss, compost and vermiculite.  Mix in a large bucket!   Lastly, you can always add fertilizer to any mix to help insure that your plants do well in the pots you have chosen.
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Post Last Updated: 8/29/2023 2:47:31 PM 

Pot Toppers!


Have you ever heard of "pottery toppers"?  Well, we may have just made it up but we think it's a easy and creative way to top your garden planters and containers.  No only does it add a decorative touch but it also serves a great purpose.
Let's start from the beginning.  When you plant directly in a garden container you finish with a good amount of top soil exposed.  This is not a bad thing. We want you to give your potted plants as much soil as possible so that they can grow and not be crowed.  However, in harsh weather conditions that exposed soil can cause some major damaged to plants and plant root systems.  Sometimes making them even fatal.

What you want to do is provide that exposed soil & plant roots to protection.  Something to keep the water off in case of freezing temperatures, or a layer to provide warmth.  Mulch has been used for generations to keep plants protected during the winter months

We suggest using something a bit more decorative.  Maybe add color with pool balls, Christmas ornaments, filbert nuts, acorns, pine cones, or like the photos show, colorful and fragrant fruit.  Get creative!  Your pots will look fantastic and your plants will be happy for the added protection
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Post Last Updated: 8/29/2023 3:00:20 PM 

Compost Made Of What?


Here are some tips on making compost simple.  Everyone knows that the success of any pottery plants is the foundation or soil used in the pots.  You can purchase high quality potting soil or you can follow some of these easy tips and create your own.  When it comes to successful potted flowers and plants, the soil mix is not the place to skimp.

No frugal gardener would turn down the gift of plant food.  But that is what we do every time we place a bag of yard trimmings at the curb.  Save the cost of store bought fertilizers by turning garden debris into nutrient packed compost.  This is a vital ingredient to successful potted plants and flowers.  The first step is to chop garden clippings by running over them with a mower that has a bag attachment.
Layer or mix green fresh and brown dry materials.  Moisten materials as you add them to make the contents damp, but not soggy.  Once a week blend outer ingredients into the hotter center.  The best compost recipe includes a combo of carbon rich brown materials like dry leaves, plant stalks, pine needles and small twigs with nutrient green materials like coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells and veggie scraps.

Carbon is the spark that starts the composting process.  Nitrogen fuels the microorganisms that decompose materials.  Try to add about 3 times as many brown materials as green materials.  Do not compost meat, bones, animal waste, dairy products, diseased plants, seeded weeds, plants treated with pesticides or any inorganic materials.  Keep adding kitchen scraps during the winter months.  They will decompose when the weather warms again.
Read more.....To Cold for Containers?  NEVER!

Post Last Updated: 9/18/2023 12:50:15 PM 

Pots - Seeds - Bugs


Consider a few tips when potting plants for around your home and garden areas. 
1.  Keep soil clean and correct.  There are different types of soil that can be purchased from your local garden center.  Make sure you match the correct soil with the types of plants, flowers, or veggies that you are going to be potting.  Good garden soil actually can deter pests.

2.  Buy pest and disease seeds.  When buying seeds, search for letters like V.F.N or T after the name of a seed; they indicate the problems to which the seeds is most resistant.  If using grown plants make sure there are no weeds being transferred into the new pot.  They often harbor insects and disease organisms.
3.  Decaying plant matter is prime breeding ground for fungus, insects and disease, so remove faded blooms, fallen leaves and weeds is key.  Every time you visit your garden area or sit next to your potted plants, bring a small bucket and take a minute to tidy up. 

4.  If you find you must use insecticides, try to use natural products.  They will break down quickly in your garden planters when exposed to air and light.  Be sure to read and follow the directions because these products can be harmful if use improperly.
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Post Last Updated: 9/18/2023 2:09:59 PM 

Soil in containers should be good mix


When you grow such robust plants in your garden soil, it would lead you to believe that you could use the same soil with success in your potted planters!  Unfortunately that just isn't the case.
Read more......

Garden soil doesn't offer enough air, water or nutrients to a plant growing in a garden pot to assure success.  Potting soils used in planters are a special mix that can overcome these situations.  It is so important that the soil provide the root systems of your plants and flowers with access to air so that water can drain away from them and not pool on the bottom of the planter, despite drain holes.  The more compact the soil the less water will drain off.   The the ultimate problem will exist: root rot!

By adding loose fill like perlite, and sand to garden soil it helps to keep the soil from clumping and forming hard clots.  The simpliest way to get the right mix is to purchase potting soil from your local garden center that will contain the right amount of ingredients.  But, if you want to mix your own we have a basic formula that works.  This step is so important for great pottery growth.

Mix 2 gallons of each:
Peat moss, perlite, garden soil
Add 1/2 cup of each:
Dolomite, green sand, kelp powder or rock phosphate.

Sift the garden soil and peat moss to remove clumps.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix with hands or shovel.

What you are looking for basically, is a positive environment for the plants root system so that you grow the most healthy plants and flowers possible.  Keep the soil in the planters loose and crumbly.  Once it gets packed down at the end of the season you need to re-sift it or replace it. The health of your garden depends on it.

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 1:56:43 PM 

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