Native Potting Mix and Nitrogen Draw Down

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Native Potting Mix and Nitrogen Draw Down

Postby Schuey » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:56 am

Hi All,

Need your help to assess the quality of the native potting mix I am using. Am a bit worried it is not composted enough.

I have just potted up some native Banksias, Callistemons and Lilly Pilly's into Greenlife Native Mix. I am worried the native mix has not been composted long enough as there are a lot of brown, bark coloured pieces in it (the pieces are small though). By comparison my Osmocote Native mix has no brown pieces and appears completely black which suggests it has been composted longer.

Native Mix (2).jpeg
Close up of the Greenlife Native Mix


The Greenlife mix was priced about 30% below the osmocote premium brand, maybe it is a case of you get what you pay for?

Should I be concerned about the quality of the Greenlife Native mix I have used?.

Schuey

Native Mix (1).jpeg
Callistemon in Native Mix


Native Mix (3).jpeg
Banksia Little Pal in Native Mix
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Re: Native Potting Mix and Nitrogen Draw Down

Postby HortMaster » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:39 pm

You're probably right about it being a product of poorer quality. Just for your reference, it's only plants from the Proteaceae family that require "Native" mixes. Basically these mixes have much less Phosphorus than usual because of the adaptations of the plants in this family. The idea of using these mixes for all natives as a general group is one of those horticultural myths to sell people expensive products. The callistemon and lily pily would grow happily in normal mixes:)
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Re: Native Potting Mix and Nitrogen Draw Down

Postby HortMaster » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:42 pm

Just realised I didn't really answer your question..... If you're worried about nitrogen draw down, you can always add a tiny bit of urea. Or if you're cheap like me.... you can water down urine, one part into 10 parts water will do the exact same thing:)
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Re: Native Potting Mix and Nitrogen Draw Down

Postby Schuey » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:33 pm

HortMaster wrote:Just realised I didn't really answer your question..... If you're worried about nitrogen draw down, you can always add a tiny bit of urea. Or if you're cheap like me.... you can water down urine, one part into 10 parts water will do the exact same thing:)


Thanks for the replies HortMaster. I can confirm that my fears over the quality of my potting mix seem to be without merit. I have planted the following natives into it on my balcony garden and they all seem to be doing well:

Grevilliea Mason's Hybrid (Ned Kelly)
Grevillea Peaches n Cream
Grevillea Billy Bonker
Grevillea Robyn Gordon
Banksia Spirulosa
Lilly Pilly - Big Red
Grevillea Bronze Rambler
Banksia Little Pal
Acacia Limelight Fettucine
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Re: Native Potting Mix and Nitrogen Draw Down

Postby Pam » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:57 am

Nice little spot you have coming along there Schuey. :D
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