I'm interested in making my own container soil for some potted citrus and figs as well as something that'll work for other house plants. I've heard of Al's Gritty Mix. Does anyone have a mix that's worked well for them over a several year period?
Al's Gritty mix is:
For most kind of woody plants
The basic mix is 1:1:1, pine bark fines:Turface:crushed granite. It's perfect to grow that go 2-3 years between repots.
It's a little different for houseplants
(note that the 3 parts of all the primary ingredients still works out to a 1:1:1 ratio).
- 3 parts pine or fir bark fines
- 3 parts Turface MVP (or equal)
- 3 parts crushed granite (turkey or chicken grit - not crushed shellfish)
- 1 part vermiculite
- 1 part coarse silica sand
- 1 tbsp gypsum/gallon of soil (1/2 cup per cu ft) -- if you use gypsum instead of lime, add 1/8 tsp Epsom salts/gallon of water each time you fertilize
If you want to increase water retention, use 4 parts Turface and 2 parts granite, To reduce water retention, use 4 parts granite & 2 parts Turface. If you vary the recipe to suit yourself, try to keep the organic component at 1/3 or less. No peat/coir is necessary or even desirable in this mix.
Though there are a few exceptions, most plants will perform extremely well if you use a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer (24-8-16, 12-4-8, 9-3-6, are all examples).
Fertilizing frequently at lower doses works better.