Caitlin Baker
Born A Baker

Problems With Self-watering Raised Beds

Issue I'm having now is finding a potting mix that will meet the planter's need. Worse, some potting mix bags don't even include an ingredients list, so I have no clue what they are made of. The potting mix can be used for 44-6 growing sessions before being replaced.

For example, Espoma potting mix has peat as its main ingredient and would work well. You think if I wuss out, it might be okay to get a brand-name potting mix that wicks? Sphagnum peat is the 50 cent word for what is colloquially known as peat moss, sometimes Canadian peat moss. Problem is, I can't seem to find a potting mix that meets that requirement. I'm really at a loss for what potting mix to pick.

Do I still need to mix in some sort of soil with the 1 & 2 ingredients? I even tried to just look for individual bits to put together my own mix, but I failed at finding all the needed ingredients. The main ingredients should be sphagnum peat and/or coir with the remainder as some combination of vermiculite and/or perlite. For large quantities, I get a large bale of milled peat and mix in 2 bags of play sand. Most popular, commercial potting mixes actually have "peat moss" as their first ingredient. AFAIK there's no ready-made bagged mix that is only peat moss and vermiculite, other than the fact that a lot of off-brand "ready to use potting mix" tend to use peat moss with a modicum of vermiculite and/or perlite.

If you don't mind MiracleGro, their regular potting mix is fine. It's often sold as "potting mix". I need to get my plants into their planters before the weekend and this is really putting me off. I'll be going to another nursery today to see if I can grab some stuff to mix my own. Organic, "boutique" brands like Happy Frog tend to not have any peat moss at all, as there are ecological concerns with harvesting peat. Use only what they tell you to use, which is peat moss or coco peat, vermiculite or perlite. I bought two CityPickers planters, which are small raised beds that provide self watering for the plants. Truthfully, I didn't even understand the self-watering part until I unpacked on of the beds.