growing medium in fabric pots
Dear Master gardeners, This year I'm going to be doing a vegetable garden in fabric grow pots. The reason I'm using fabric pots is because my property has several black walnuts and I've read that they can inhibit the growth of several vegetables. I'll be placing the fabric pots inside a fenced area and placing each fabric pot on top of black plastic to prevent any of the black walnut chemicals from reaching the vegetables (also placing the pots outside the drip line of the black walnuts). I've read that fabric pots are better than solid containers as they prevent root balling (natural air pruning allows normal root growth). My question is how should I compose the mix for the fabric pots? my local garden shop recommended I use a light layer of pea gravel on the bottom followed by their organic top soil and a one inch layer of compost to each pot, using 10-10-10 to fertilize. Should I also add peat moss to help with water retention as the fabric pots will be porous? I also read that 10-10-10 should be avoided and a fertilizer closer to 3-1-2 ratio should be used. is this correct? I will be planting tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, pumpkin, winter squash, and watermelon.
Thank you for your question. We recommend that you use a soilless mix combined with compost. Peat moss and/or coir are usually already included in soilless mixes. We do not recommend using pea gravel on the bottom. A soilless mix combined with compost is all you need. For fertilizer, it would be fine to use a 10-10-10. Mix it in before or at planting time. Then apply a second application to your soil when the fruits form on your vegetables.