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ImageGreenfield
Feb 18, 2010 10:11 PM CST
Name: Diana
Willamette Valley
Oregon Zone 8a
Just found this cubit today, Al, you are a fountain of knowledge!

I have long been disappointed in the packaged potting soil mixes sold at the big box stores. They are generally composted municipal yard waste, as far as I can tell by the slivers of wood I have found in them. They are too dense, and you are absolutely right about most potted plants expiring from lack of drainage & rotted roots.

Your data above all makes sense and all these years I thought sand was the only thing to add to the potting soil mix to provide extra drainage. We do have easy access to Fir bark in our area and I had never heard of Turface until today, but I am going to give it a try. I'm not sure of a source for crushed granite, but we do have the medium grit cherry stone at our local feed store.

Do you feel that the granite has some micronutrients that are in a small enough form that the plants could take it up, if a person could find crushed granite? I don't have any experience with that, but I do know of people who have used powdered rock dust to feed micronutients to plants.

There was at one time a plant to the south of us that produced Glacial rock powder, I believe it was sold under the name of McKenzie rock dust. I lived and gardened in N. Calif. for many, many years and I knew of organic farmers down there that swore by that stuff. They had it brought in by the truck loads and broadcast it all over their fields. This powder was so fine that it appeared to dissolve in water. I'm thinking maybe rock material any coarser than powder that the nutrients may be locked up in the rock and that the plants could not utilize them, but I could be wrong. I'd be interested in your opinion on that subject.

Also what organic fertilizers would you recommend? I have mainly used liquid fish emulsion and seaweed, but I know there are powdered products such as greensand, rock phosphate, etc. as well. Do you like any of those products?

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