Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Organic Mechanics Premium Blend Potting Soil - OMRI Listed!

Our Premium Blend Potting Soil began rolling off the line back in 2007. A handful of retailers picked us up and we were born into the world of local, independent garden centers and natural food stores. We have come a long way since then, thanks to all of you who supported Organic Mechanics! We now offer four distinct retail products, Premium Blend Potting Soil, Container Blend Potting Soil, Planting Mix, and Worm Castings. The next few blog posts will cover each of our products in detail, to give gardeners a better understanding of our products and how to use them.
As I was saying, it all started with our Premium Blend Potting Soil. Like all our mixes, Premium Blend (PB) is compost-based. It also contains aged pine bark, worm castings, coconut husk fiber, and perlite. How is PB different than our Container Blend Potting Soil you might ask? They are both potting soils for container gardening, but PB has more compost and more worm castings as compared to Organic Mechanics Container Blend. As a result, PB holds moisture even longer than Container Blend, making PB a perfect choice for houseplants, small windowboxes, hanging baskets, tropicals, or for growing food in containers (tomatoes, peppers, etc, etc).
Using Organic Mechanics Premium Blend Potting Soil for the first time, gardeners will notice having to water about half as much. Can you imagine! Dragging the hose half as much during the heat of summer?! It’s true. The compost and worm castings hold water exceptionally well. Even though PB has excellent moisture retention, the pine bark and coconut fiber create pore space for the all important oxygen to get to plant roots. Just like us, plants need to breathe.
Learning to water properly is a skill worth its weight in gold. Too often, people love their plants to death by over-watering. How can you tell if a plant needs water? Certainly, if it’s wilting, it needs a drink. However, most plants are better off when they do not wilt in-between watering. Until you build up the experience to just know if a plant needs water, the easiest way to check is to use your finger to dig into the soil root ball, about 2-3 inches down. If you feel moisture, the plant is OK. If it is dry to the tip of your finger, it’s time to re-water. Here is a tip on knowing if you are feeling moisture or not. Go to the sink, place a single drop of water on your finger, give a quick shake of your hand, then feel your finger with your thumb. That residual moisture will be similar to what you would feel in the container if the plant was still OK. Check our website for a video on this process!

Wondering about fertilizer choices? As with all potting soils, you will want to fertilize if you are growing vegetables or annuals in PB. You don’t want two peppers…you want a dozen peppers, right!?! We recommend organic fertilizers to go along with the exceptional beneficial biology inside each bag. Visit your local independent garden center for the best selection of organic fertilizers and ask them to recommend a brand. I like liquid fish emulsion & worm castings for feeding my plants (and the microbes around their roots!), but Bradfield Organics is a great granular fertilizer for that extra punch to get those plants growing!
Next post…all about Organic Mechanics Container Blend! Until then, get out there and get your hands dirty!

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