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  • Potting Soil Terms

    1 posts, 1 voices, 495 views, started Apr 25, 2010

    Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2010 by Denise Richardson




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      Potting soil terms

      Charcoal - Not to be confused with your charcoal briquettes, adding this fortifies your soil with potassium salts and will raise the pH significantly. It is mostly used for facilitating drainage and air circulation. Obviously, avoid in soils with adequate potassium and high pH levels.

      Compost - The compost pile rouses intense passion in proud gardeners. Throw your organic kitchen garbage, herbivore animal waste, and a ton of chopped dried leaves and assorted yard waste in a bin. A committed grower can churn out good compost in about a month, but most will take at least a year.

      Humus - Arguably interchangeable with compost. Humus is simply the dark organic matter left after decomposition. It is too dense to be used as potting soil by itself, mix it with sands and minerals for a looser texture.

      Limestone - This is used on soil with excessively high pH levels. Dolomitic limestone contains calcium and magnesium carbonate, so it should be reserved for acidic soils low in magnesium. Most gardeners use calcitic limestone to lower the pH levels in soils, it supplies necessary calcium as well.

      Loam - Term used for a quality soil used in compost or a base for potting soil. Sand, clay and fiber will all be present in good loam.

      Peat Moss - A valuable asset renowned for its ability to retain air and water. Peat moss is partially decomposed sphagnum moss or sedge and is used in making both compost and potting soil. Also known as Feat Moss or simply Peat.

      Perlite - You've seen these little white grains in soil before. They are a porous mineral included to aid in retaining moisture and air.

      Potting Soil - What makes a potting soil anyway? It should be light, loose and sterile. Of course it is rich in nutrients but differs from topsoil in density due to the presence of several non-binding elements like coarse sands and minerals.

      Pumice - A lightweight rock that will float on water and is often employed as an abrasive for cleaning and polishing. For potting soil it functions like vermiculite or perlite, retaining water and allowing drainage.

      Vermiculite - Yet another handy mineral, heated to expand and form a lightweight granule that soaks up water and air. Also referred to as "mica."






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