Soil And Soil Mixtures For Indoor Plants

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Soil And Soil Mixtures For Indoor Plants
Soil And Soil Mixtures For Indoor Plants
Video: Soil And Soil Mixtures For Indoor Plants
Video: Potting Soil Mixture for Indoor Plants : Make Your Own! 2023, February

I do not want to give my plants any trouble in nutrition, gas exchange, and I always add this component when preparing the soil.


This is how this nutrient soil looks after cooking.


But I have not seen such coarse-grained river sand in stores in Moscow, there is only fine, quarry at a price higher than granulated sugar.

A very controversial question, which soil is better - purchased or home-made, peat in the soil - is it good or bad, why do plants grow better on some mixtures containing peat, on others - do they die? Is it convenient to grow plants on a hydrogel and why is pH so important. These and other issues are discussed in this review article, compiled on the basis of the forum.

How to prepare the land

A. M. Zaitsev (Alex):

Peat is the most valuable natural biological material. Improves the structure of the soil, its water-air properties. Being the basis of the habitat of any plant and a moisture regulator, it provides optimal conditions for growing plants.

Not being rich in the presence of macro and microelements, it contains unique components: humic acids, stimulants of growth and development; aAmino acids - necessary for converting some nutrients into the form available for the plant. Possesses bactericidal properties, great gas absorption capacity, is equally necessary for any type of soil.

Peat is conventionally divided into two groups:

  • Light (or light) - peat of the top layer of the deposit with a degree of decomposition up to 15%. This young, poorly decomposed peat is characterized by a low specific gravity - from 150 to 250 kg / m3, a high gas and water absorption capacity, but a lower content of humic and amino acids, due to the incomplete decomposition processes;
  • Heavy (or dark) - peat of the lower layers, with a degree of decomposition of more than 15%. This is more "mature" peat, with a specific gravity of 350 kg / m3, high humus content, but less gas and water retention properties than light peat.

In floriculture, peat is used in its pure form, as an improver in the structure of the cultivated soil, for the accumulation and long-term retention of moisture, as well as an environment that promotes an increase in oxygen exchange processes.

I do not want to give my plants any trouble in nutrition, gas exchange, and I always add this component when preparing the soil.

I prepare the soil from equal parts: low-lying peat ventilated in the air for 2-3 years, leaf humus from under centuries-old lindens, horse manure humus, garden soil, turf soil, coarse sand from springs with the addition of a small amount of ash, alder wood, crushed coals hardwood.

I flipped through several books on citrus growing and found only positive reviews about peat everywhere. I will quote from the book by I.S. Konashkova "Citrus fruits near Moscow" 1954 "Peat freshly removed from the swamp has a high acidity and therefore not only is not suitable as an organic fertilizer, but even has a harmful effect on the yield and growth of plants. But if the peat is prepared in advance, it will be the strongest, effective and the cheapest fertilizer. It ennobles the soil, improves its structure, makes the soil hygroscopic, which is very important for indoor citrus crops …"

To collect complete, nutritious soil outside the city you need:

1. Remove a layer of soil no more than 5 cm under old linden or birch trees, it is advisable to sift the soil, ie. to separate large and not rotted clods of earth and twigs - this is leafy earth. By the way, take the land more carefully from mixed forests, if coniferous humus predominates, then the reaction of the soil is acidic, it is still advisable to collect the soil from under deciduous trees, except for oaks, beware of willow, it also has a lot of tannins.

2. Remove the top layer of soil from the clover meadows with a thickness of 10 cm and cover the soil between the roots of the grasses, then sift - this is sod land.

3. All kinds of humus can be found at livestock farms and stables. Animal feed is brought and stored in the same places. Small particles of fodder constantly remain on the soil, rotting over the years - this is plant humus. It is better to take manure humus from the stables, but cattle manure humus (cattle) is suitable; high-quality peat humus is also obtained there.

As an additional component to the soil, I always add ground from mole piles - this is already sifted and nutritious land, because moles live only on fertile soils.

4. Nettle grows only on fertile soil, the acid reaction of such land is close to neutral, citruses grow well on nettle soil (soil with a neutral reaction of 7 pH, lower acidity - the soil is considered acidic, higher - alkaline). Specially tested the acidity of "nettle soils", it is approximately 6.5 pH, on other soils, nettle practically does not grow. You need to collect it in spring or early summer before the seeds ripen on the nettle. Gently shake the earth from the rhizomes, remove the pieces of roots, preferably sift it. And if nettles in pots sprout, then there is nothing wrong with that - in her darling salad.

About soil preparation:

I avoid heat treatments (calcining, steaming), now when changing soil I use fresh soil and all kinds of worms, millipedes, ants are always present in it. The soil for replanting in the spring is kept in the garage in winter at low temperatures, the soil does not freeze, since even in the most severe frosts the air temperature in the garage does not drop below 0 degrees.

To a bucket of soil, I add half a liter of crushed birch or alder coal and two handfuls of ash from the same species. Large coals are good instead of drainage in pots, only when transplanting you need to be more careful - often the roots of plants penetrate and twine around the coal drainage and have to be transplanted with it.

Soil from the store

Citrus growing conference participant, fdta:


Peat and products of its processing - from high-moor fibrous peat to completely decomposed peat humus - are included in the basis of all the soils sold. Compost is quite expensive, and much less accessible, their composition is extremely variable (and constant supply of the same type of compost is extremely difficult and expensive), and there is no need to include them in a large amount. Natural components (turf, leafy soil … any land of natural origin), it is practically impossible to use in industrial production, deposits are formed only by peat, and there can be no question of any constancy of composition.

There is, of course, still available raw materials - waste soils of greenhouse farms. But this is not even suitable for removing city flower beds. It is not only a matter of infestation with pests and diseases (this is just solvable), in such a substrate everything that can be destroyed is destroyed, in fact, it is always phytotoxic to one degree or another.

And there are no more options for the base.

By the way, among some gardeners there is an opinion that peat is not suitable for citrus and other fruit trees. I don’t say, of course, but I suspect that it was written by one of the old authors (based on its acidity), and then it began to wander from book to book. In addition, peat from each deposit has its own characteristics. Perhaps the matter is in the structure (for example, European citruses are supplied in a heavy, dense substrate (unlike high peat in all other potted plants). Although, again, for example, all the plants from China that I have seen (mainly mini-trees, bonsai, ficuses, citrus fruits, alocasia, cacti), were in alumina (it looks like it's just clay), the plants themselves are often very well grown.

The land on sale is tightly sealed bags with a moist substrate, in which there is a lot of organic matter and the decomposition processes have not died out. If anaerobic conditions are created, the corresponding microflora develops, its metabolites are usually toxic to the regions and some of them do not quickly decompose and do not erode. I suppose that this is one of the reasons for the frequent pattern (along with an excess of readily soluble salts) after transshipment into such soil - at the next transplant (after a year and a half), it is found that the roots did not go into the new substrate at all (they are localized only in the old coma), the border of which stands out sharply, and even there is not in the best condition.

By the way, a sharp slowdown in the rate of drying out of the earth after transplanting (with other things being equal to the temperature and illumination) speaks precisely of a violation in the work of the root system.


And this is not all - buffer properties (the ability of the substrate to maintain a constant salt concentration and pH during watering, drying, adding fertilizers), the state of the soil microflora.

In short, there is a huge difference between natural soil and purchased soil and it is not about peat (in domestic soils, it is more often like screening out peat (a very fine fraction), and often (in the "Garden of Miracles") some heavy fine-structured fraction that behaves when watering like peat (after drying, it is soaked with moisture with great difficulty.) I have associations with the screening of low-calorie brown coal.

Producers have another temptation - the waste soil of greenhouse farms. By itself, deoxidized high-moor peat (with a coarse-fiber structure) is an excellent component and even the basis of the substrate.

Still, many have vermicompost as a component. In its finished form, it has a very characteristic and stable structure. In The Garden of Wonders there is not even a trace of it, except that they grind it into dust for incomprehensible reasons? Or add a kilogram per ton?

I just use forest soil, trying to avoid oak forests and choosing as structured as possible (as little fines as possible) and as dark as possible.

For example, Chinoto on a tangerine seedling (or rather, not a tangerine, but what is usually sold in the spring with many seeds like tangerines) a month and a half after transplanting (photo on the left), in a year it will have a very tightly intertwined root system, from which the old soil is difficult will shake out even with a strong desire.

When I came to work at the flower salon, we only had the "Garden of Wonders", then the "Green Sprout", much later we managed to convince the authorities to buy the German ASB (by the way, it is based on fibrous high peat), now this is the only thing that I recommend using in pure form.

Regarding the structure of the soil: under the structure is meant the predominance of the "granular" fraction, when there is a sufficient amount of air gaps between the soil particles. On the contrary, fine sand of the construction type will fill them and "cement" the soil (with good moistening of such a fraction, water completely displaces air and is retained between the particles due to capillary forces).

Vermicompost is a very good thing, the praises that are sometimes sung to him are justified when it is really him and with a sufficient degree of processing. I once kept a small population of California worms at home when I was busy with cacti. To sow them, the soil must be sterilized. In crops, sterility is unrealistic to maintain, and you have to either keep it dry (then you lose a lot in growth), or use fungicides (also not very effective and slows down growth), or after sterilization, restore the normal microflora with vermicompost, which turned out to be the most effective.

Why purchased soil is not suitable for cacti is easier to explain. It turned out that an excellent result is obtained by screening out a fraction of less than 1-1.5 mm (everything that is smaller is thrown away) - a "granular", breathable substrate is obtained, which simply excludes stagnation of moisture and oxygen starvation of the roots. And when it comes to the soil from the store, it is suggested to try to sift it in the same way, but in this case, nothing will remain of it.

Zeolite for plants

Zeolite filler is becoming more and more popular as part of soil for plants, including citrus fruits, and especially cacti and succulents. It is a group of volcanic minerals that are insoluble in humid environments. It is used as drainage, increasing the air permeability of the soil, improving its structure. Where to get zeolite: Easiest from cat litter. Read more about this component of the substrate: Zeolite for plants.

Expertise of shop soil for flowers

soil examination
soil examination

In April 2013, the St. Petersburg Public Organization of Consumers "Public Control" together with the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Leningrad Interregional Veterinary Laboratory" of the Rosselkhoznadzor of the Russian Federation conducted several versions of store soils in terms of quality indicators.

And although only 10 samples participated in the examination, this gives us some idea of ​​what kind of soil we plant the plants in and why they grow wither. For example, in the soil sample for all houseplants "Tsvetochny" (LLC "Fasco +", Moscow region) phosphorus and potassium were almost three times higher than indicated on the package. And this is a very common soil, sold throughout the country. And, besides, if "Fusco" has violations in one of the soils, then where is the guarantee that there are no exaggerations in the entire range of soils.

In general, a lot of interesting things have been written about the company "Sad": "in the course of public inspections for five years (2008-2013) violations of its own technical specifications were noted. So, in 2011 and 2012, the manufacturer did not report nitrogen, potassium and … the earth itself to its soil And before that, in 2009, on the contrary, I overdid it with macronutrients."

Rosselkhoznadzor specialists found frankly dangerous specimens from various soil options for seedlings. So, the peat-mineral soil "Tomato. Pepper. Eggplant" (LLC "Sad", Leningrad region) and soil for indoor plants "Flower City" (CJSC "Chudovoagrokhimservice", V. Novgorod) showed complete discrepancy with the declared information on the package. Peat soil "Tomato. Pepper. Eggplant" contains phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen 2-3 times less than the norm, and the acidity pH of the soil was 3.29 (at the norm of 5.5-6.5). With such acidity, the soil is completely unsuitable for growing any plants, both indoor and garden plants, without exception. Of all the violations, the most harmless was the excess of the importance of the soil - the norm is 45%,and manufacturers overestimated it by 10-15% - simply adding moisture for weight (to reduce the cost of the product).

Based on the results of testing the quality of soils, only three samples from the specialists did not have any complaints. These are the universal nutrient soil "Terra Vita" (CJSC MNPP "Fart", St. Petersburg), peat soil "Universal" TM "Ambulance" (LLC "Peat plant" Agro-peat ", Leningrad region) and universal soil" Exo "(CJSC" Seliger-Holding ", Tver).

Citrus primer

soil for plants
soil for plants

Citrus Growing Conference Participant, tsitrys:

The most fertile soil is one that allows you to increase the maximum area of ​​healthy, glossy citrus leaves with the same volumes of soil in containers, without fertilizing and other similar favorable conditions (watering, lighting, air humidity, etc.).

I also do not trust store-bought soils, I conducted experiments for several years after all the planted orange seeds rotted in the store soil, with a favorable substrate moisture and temperature, and in ordinary sod, in which I did not even think to grow, everything sprouted! I was so confident in the suspensions I bought that I believed more in the underdevelopment of the best selected seeds!

The experiments were carried out as follows: he took ordinary white cups from under yogurt (about 100 ml), poured different soil into each of them, planted one bone in each glass, watered so that the earth was moist and glued a strip of wide adhesive tape. In order to have gas exchange, on each side it left a crack of about 0.5 cm. The adhesive tape retained moisture, and it was necessary to water it less often several times. When the seeds germinated, I cut holes in the scotch tape opposite each seedling.

The oranges grew the largest area of ​​healthy leaves in fat, dense, forest loam and loose soil with 2-meter thick nettles, half as small in the sod, in the store as in sod if it is not defective and a successful batch. Among the shops I tried only Florabel-5, Rapture, Floradom.

In the defective batch of "Rapture", bones and transplanted seedlings with two leaves rotted.

Soil acidity, composition, application of the hydrogel

About soil acidity

Question: I have a neutral pH reaction in several pots. I can’t make it slightly acidic. Apparently citric, ascorbic acids, etc. are rapidly decomposed. It is too early to replant plants. How can you radically acidify the soil?

Jah - Citric and ascorbic acids have a slightly acidic reaction. This is expressed in the fact that they react with alkalis, but when dissolved in a large volume, they give an almost neutral reaction (imperceptible on a litmus test). Either add more (or more often) or use a more active acid, but this is dangerous for obvious reasons. In principle, you can experiment with a weak solution of nitric acid. But there is one more nuance. Most acids have the same pH in a certain range of concentrations. Let me explain with an example. In a glass of water, at least one spoonful of acetic acid, at least two - the pH will be the same. In order to achieve the desired pH in a pot of soil, in theory, you need to take some acid with such a pH, and water it with a solution of the soil until the acid reacts with all alkalis and reaches a certain concentration. That could end badly.

Question: In my opinion, all alkalis react with acids to form water and salts. Another thing is that the formed salts may not be useful at all for the plant.

Jah - Not all salts are neutral. Citric acid salts of alkali and alkaline earth metals will be basic salts, that is, their medium will still be alkaline, since citric acid is rather weak. To obtain neutral salts - inorganic acids are needed, such as hydrochloric, sulfuric, nitric - but experiments with them are quite capable of destroying plants.

Most organic acids are weak. It is possible to acidify the soil, as I believe, with potassium sulfate - after all, when potassium is "selected" from this compound by the roots, a sulfate ion will remain, which neutralizes alkaline compounds of calcium and magnesium, which most often give an alkaline earth environment, without being demanded by the plant in the same volumes as potassium.

I wrote these tips so that everyone thinks three times before doing something about the acidity of the soil.

In general, it seems to me that a pH of more than 7 (alkaline soil reaction) is a whole complex of problems that it is unreasonable to solve head-on. I agree that watering with a solution of citric acid (and other organic acids) is useful for the formation of soluble salts (organic salts of many insoluble bases dissolve well) - but the alkaline reaction of the soil is a consequence of the fact that it lacks many important ions, or an excess of some not too popular. In theory, normal soil in nature has a weakly acidic environment due to two factors - the neutral balance of the acidity of ions and the presence of organic acids formed during the life of bacteria. Calcium and magnesium (the main problematic elements) form basic (alkaline) soluble salts with organic acids, which can further raise the pH (that is, make the reaction more alkaline).

I use peat soils, simply because we have nothing else in our stores, and everything grows more or less normally. I prepare soils as follows: I take a package of Terra Vita (it seems to be produced by Fart), for 10 liters of soil 2-3 liters of vermiculite, 4 bags of bio-gel in dry form (each package is designed for 1.5 liters of ready-made gel), sometimes I add a sleeping one tea about a liter or two. I mix all this in a large pots - and go.

Vermiculite significantly improves the mechanical properties of peat, and in Terra Vita coconut fiber, perlite and other inert additives are also added, but they are not enough there - without vermiculite it shrinks strongly when it dries. And I add the gel so that it holds the water and does not sour at the same time. And by the way, funnily enough, the soil "walks" less with the gel when it dries. When planting seeds or transplanting / transferring plants, I must spill Fitosporin.

Question: V. Dadykin talks about the use of the Underground Spring hydrogel. I didn't pay much attention to whether we have this gel in our stores, but it became interesting to try. I would like to ask if anyone else has experience using this miracle gel? In my opinion, this is a great way to keep the plants out for the holidays.

Jah - I add gel (only of another brand) to the soil, in the amount of about one and a half liters of ready-made gel per 5 liters of soil. Only I put it in dry form. It is called Bio-master, it costs much cheaper than all analogues - about 10 rubles per bag, from which one and a half liters is obtained. I like that the soil dries out more slowly after adding the gel - and most importantly, it does not shrink in a dry lump that does not absorb moisture. With him, it is rather difficult to fill the plant, unless you approach this with diligence. I think that if you search, you can find. As I see it, I buy it - rarely where it is on sale.


Question: How to water plants with hydrogel. If you get 1.5 liters from a bag, and when the soil does dry up, what happens? Does the gel shrink a lot? How much water does it take to restore soil moisture with the gel?

Jah - The point is that the gel swells rather slowly, and not necessarily to full volume. I water all my plants the same way - before water appears from the holes in the pot, the gel does not have time to swell too much during this time. After the end of watering, it swells a little more, and the soil becomes not wet, but just wet - also a blessing. And it remains moist even when the exact same plant in the exact same pot is already sitting in the dry soil on top. The gel shrinks during this time, leaving small voids in the soil … In general, watering is the same, only less frequently and safer in terms of the bay.

Vita - I bought something close to a hydrogel - soil conditioner "AS-GUMI" (humic water-absorbing polymer). In its description I really liked one phrase: "Indispensable for long-term transportation of plants" The packaging says: AS-GUMI is a dry powdery non-toxic polymer product with the addition of humates. Manufactured by OOO NPP VIOST, Moscow.

According to the manufacturer's recommendation, it is necessary to take 1 g of gel per 1 liter of soil and soak it in a glass of water for 1 hour. I took about 2 g of gel per 2.5 liters of soil "Garden of Miracles" (peaty and dries quickly) and soaked it in a 0.5 liter jar, an hour later the whole jar was filled with swollen hydrogel, but the largest grains of gel turned out to be no larger than a pea … The soil with the hydrogel was used to transplant young plants into small pots (they usually dry out quickly) and bonsai (which is difficult to shed evenly in the usual way, and it is too troublesome to immerse in a basin of water each time). The fourth day after transplanting, all the soil is evenly moist, I am still satisfied.

2 months have passed: the plants feel normal, the soil dries up more slowly, of course, but it is also necessary to water more, if it is still dry, when the soil dries up, it does not "catch".

About soil and plant transplant

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