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I have quite a few container plants and most take about an hour (some even more) for the excess water to drain out completely. I raised the issue with my local nursery and they tell me it's fine, no need to worry. The internet however says not more then 15 mins. The pictures below are from the nursery showing how container plants are sold here. It's just topsoil with no amendments other then a little compost. Should i be worried? I hear adding sand helps alot but then again, i also hear that doing so will further compact the soil so, not really sure what to do here.enter image description hereenter image description here

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There are tons of things that can be added to potting mix to add drainage. Pumice, Granite, Gravel, Scoria, Caclined Clay, Calcined Diatomaceous Earth, Perlite, Bark, best to avoid Sedimentary rocks, but some types will work just fine. Anything that is slow to break down will work, even Styrofoam, not that I recommend using, especially not with food crops, but it will work. Some people are able to grow in straight compost. Adding organic matter to your soil will help. even terra cotta pottery broken into piece can add drainage. I am sure you have something you can add.

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  • Great info. I can easily buy gravel. What do you think the proportion should be? 1 part soil with 1 part gravel? Also, I've been reading on soil based potting mix and the recomendation is to use 1 part topsoil, 1 part compost and 1 part sand. What is your take on that? – Hamid Sabir Nov 25 '19 at 18:48
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    Leave out the sand!!! This how it will work; sand plus, plus gravel, plus soil, plus water equals concrete. Sand compacts, when it compacts it holds water, lots of water. – GardenGems Nov 27 '19 at 0:59
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    Can you screen your gravel? If you can make sure it is between 6mm and 3mm (1/4" and 1/8") It helps to get rid of the pieces that are too big and remove the dust and sand. You could go as small as 2mm. I made two screens from the bulk screens at the the hardware or building store. One it is 1/4" and the other 1/8". Like I said you could use a little smaller as well, but nothing bigger or smaller than 2mm. – GardenGems Nov 27 '19 at 1:11
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    All topsoil is different some is sandy, some loamy, some is clay like. Not all compost is the same. Depends on what went in the compost and how long it aged. You might be able to use just the compost and gravel alone. You are going to have to experiment. I would start with one or two pots small pots and mix up 65% Compost with 35% gravel. IF you are working with trees then I would adding the topsoil. 25% topsoil, 35% gravel and 40% compost. You might find compost is heavy/muddy for roots when wet. Then increase topsoil Try to keep the gravel at 35-40% or more, but no less. – GardenGems Nov 27 '19 at 1:19
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    I forgot to ask. Which is very important. What are you trying to grow? – GardenGems Nov 27 '19 at 1:20
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Just add 1 part of Peat Moss or coco coir or compost , it will stop soil compaction , dont use perlite with regular soil it will simply crush the perlite

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  • That's the issue. Peat moss or coco coir isn't available here. My city is like 50 years behind when it comes to everything. Gardening included. Also, I've been reading on soil based potting mix and the recommendation is to use 1 part topsoil, 1 part compost and 1 part sand and other places, sand is substituted for perlite so im a bit confused at the moment. – Hamid Sabir Nov 25 '19 at 18:53
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    Ok Hamid bhai currently im living in saudi arabia , and you know red sand with time becomes compact, My Aloe Vera were not growing ,found issue with soil so i add just one part compost of plant matter, Now soil never compacts and now it have many many pups, Or if you have white sand you can also use it, works great . Here is the combination you can use, 2 part Topsoil 1 part white sand and 1 part compost. – OmiPenguin Nov 26 '19 at 6:28
  • Great. Must be extremely tough to grow plants in saudi arabia cause of how hot it can get up there. Also, what else do you grow? Do you also add white sand to the rest of the plants you have? – Hamid Sabir Dec 7 '19 at 20:32
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    I would love to grow Tomato and chillies, But as soon June hits i'm sure the plants will die which are outside in open sun. I have space on roof but it start blistering in summer when temperature reaches 47 celsius . In simple words im sure nothing will survive, i thought of using green net but the heat from surrounding will surely do the job of killing plants. All i have are indoor plants ,which i kept close to windows but at the end of May i will move them away from windows to sitting room which has liveable temperature. – OmiPenguin Dec 8 '19 at 9:56
  • Oh gosh. That sounds horrible but we do share a few things in common. I dont have a lawn so my only option is the roof and yes, come may till august, temperature go well above 40s but things do fine provided that there's afternoon shade cause i have an arid climate. Anyhow, i guess its safe to assume that saudi arabia imports all its fruits and vegetable needs. Or atleast most of them.. – Hamid Sabir Dec 8 '19 at 23:23

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