Improving soil drainage

Asked May 26, 2020, 1:24 AM EDT

Hello, I am a beginner gardener. I have some plants in the ground and some in containers. My question is mainly for the container plants but could improve my soil plants. My potting mix is a mixture of 3 or more soils. Containing pearlite, organic matter and dirt, even manurer. as a result, my soil is pretty dense when wet. this creates a problem for my potted plants as they do not drain very well. This issue really became appearently when I got two potted flowers from a nursery and saw how quickly they drain. With my current soil, i sometimes have to tip the containers over to drain some of the water out to avoid drowning my plants. I know not watering as much could also help which I am trying to do as well, as well as watering less often and using the "deep watering" method.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- we recommend no more than 10% garden soil and only for very large deep containers. Mineral soil is too dense to allow for good drainage in containers. You may want to dump your container soil in your garden and fill the containers with a 50:50 mix of compost and a soilless mix.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-containers
Jon