What Do You Grow in Vermiculite?

“What do you grow in vermiculite?” Question from Sara of Oroville, California
Answer: That’s an excellent question. Vermiculite is one of the most popular growing mix additives. The natural mineral pops up like popcorn when heated. Then it is processed into small pieces for use in potting mix. It provides […]

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What’s the Best Midwest Lawn Grass?

“I have a new yard (bought a lot) and it doesn’t have good grass growth. This will be its first spring with its new dirt. Got any recommendations for grass seed that will take root quickly and be strong. I like to keep it 2-3″. Thank you.” Question from Michelle of Dayton, Ohio.
Answer: Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a good lawn grass for Midwestern homeowners. […]

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What is the Best Soil for Replanting Cacti?

“What kind of soil do you use to replant cacti?” Question from Joy of Hemet, California.
Answer: Most true cacti grow best in nutrient-poor soils that drain fast, whether grown in-ground or in pots.
In-Ground Cacti
If dividing and replanting your cacti in a dryland garden, remember that they need ground […]

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Help! My Potting Soil is Too Dry to Soak Up Water.

“Have been using your Black Gold Cactus Mix and Perlite for about a year now.  I am growing primarily succulents.  When I started, I experimented with many different kinds of soil and your soil mixed with perlite gave me the best results.  In Hawaii, my climate is hot and humid.  I have noticed lately that the soil is becoming hydrophobic.  Is there any solution to […]

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I Need a Well-Drained Seed-Starting Mix

“I am looking for a well-draining mix for my seeds. In particular for delphinium, foxglove, and hollyhock seeds. I want to use your compost mix with your seedling mix. Do you think it is too much?” Question from Deb of Lynbrook, New York.
Answer: Instead of compost, increase the drainage of your seed-starting mix with perlite. I would mix two parts Black Gold Seedling Mix with […]

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Is it Safe To Reuse Soil for Seed Starting?

“Is it safe to re-use Black Gold for starting seeds, etc.? Do I need to sterilize it the following year before planting? I had several flats of seeds with low germination or die-off last Spring and would like to use the soil again. Thanks.” Question from Piper of Petersham, Massachusetts
Answer: It is always safer to start with fresh Black Gold Seedling Mix. This will ensure […]

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Are Black Gold Organic Soils Suitable for Midwest Gardening?

“Is Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Soil suitable for Midwest growing? If not, can you recommend one that is suitable? Preferably organic.” Question from Kathleen of Illinois.
Answer: All of our OMRI Listed potting mixes for organic gardening are perfect for growing anywhere, Midwest included. I can vouch for it because I’ve gardened with Black Gold in various places across the country. For container gardening, […]

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What is the pH of Black Gold Potting Mix?

“What is the soil pH of Black Gold Natural and Organic Potting Soil?” Question from Michael of Pueblo, Colorado.
Answer: At production, the peat moss in our mixes has a pH range of 3.5-5.0, but we add liming agents to bring all of our potting mixes up to a more neutral pH range of 5.5-6.5.  Keep in mind, mix pH will change depending on your growing […]

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How to Amend Around Mulched Flower Beds

“On an annual rotation, what do I do with my mulch? Do I strip and reapply every year? How do I amend my soil in a flower bed that already has perennials? Do I  just topdress? Or dig around the perennials and mix with native soils?” Question from Tim of Springfield, Pennsylvania
Answer: Good questions! I am assuming that you apply bark mulch, which is generally […]

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Raised Bed Soil Enrichment

Organic matter will greatly increase the water-holding ability of any soil. (Image by Jessie Keith)
“What can I incorporate in my soil on an elevated bed to help retain moisture? It’s very hard to keep soil moist.” Question by David of Brookville, Ohio
Answer: Organic matter, organic matter, organic matter! Amendments rich in organic matter have high water holding ability and keep soil porous to create the best […]

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