Container Soils - Water Movement and Retention forum: Detailed Info on components of Tapla Soil Recipes

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Apr 19, 2013 3:31 PM CST
Hello --newbie here. Done a lot of reading of giant threads here and on GW. Wow, what a learning curve. Thank you for the passion for plants!
Trying to figure out what to do about the containers on my deck, which is a micro climate all it's own. I'm in the PNW, but, my deck is like the Sahara for a shortish time in the middle of summer with no shade available. So, plants are treated to long rainy winters and then super dry conditions for about 3 months. My Japanese maple's leaves just shrivel up to a crisp and fall off even though it gets plenty of water.
So, there's lots of info about your soils Mr. Tapla - thank you so much. However, I wish there was a post where detailed size information with pictures and comparisons of materials were available! Or, is there one and I missed it?
Also, on the same page would be diagrams and pictures of the wick remedy. And etc.

People in different parts of the country have access to different brands and products, so, it would be good to be able to print out a page and just take it with you. As it is, the info is spread out everywhere. And I'm still not sure how big the bark can be.
So, here's my question:
what is the range in size for the bark and the granite?
No one here seems to have bark fines.

#2. And another question: If my plants are presently planted in very hummusy composty sort of soil and they need repotting but it's too late to do so, can I just use a claw to loosen roots and remove some soil (say about 2-3" all around) , mix more of the same sort of soil with --what? Perlite? bark? and "pot up" until next year? Insert a wick?
My plants are: arborvitae, a columnar conifer of some sort, a willow, maple, and then smaller perrenials like grasses and euphorbia and herbs and tomatoes and my succulents are truly miserable.

#3: I just got a giant bag of perlite thinking I could re-use some of my soil for tomatoes and veges....but then read you saying that it doesn't do anything for drainage or aeration in spite of it being advertised as such? What is it for?

Thanks for any help!
Apr 22, 2013 9:12 AM CST
I found 2 links that helped me a lot, for anyone happening across this thread, that I missed before:

The links above indicate that Perlite can be substituted for the gravel in the gritty mix.

I still need to do research about exactly how much mixing of different soils in a pot can be done before some sort (what sort?) of problems arise and more thinking about how to apply the principles/ingredients to my situation, which involves extremes. Any guidance for these two issues would still be appreciated.

Thanks once again to Mr. Tapla and all for this information!

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