To make plants in your vertical garden grow optimally, you can make a special mix in potting soil. This consists of one-third sand, one-third potting soil and one-third coconut fiber. The mix has a number of properties that work ideally for a vertical garden, namely:
- Excess water is quickly drained (thanks to 1/3 part sand in the mix)
- The mix contains good basic nutrients (thanks to 1/3 part potting soil)
- Moisture is well absorbed and retained (thanks to 1/3 part coconut fiber)
In this blog we explain why this mix works so well for a vertical garden and can prevent a lot of problems. We also explain how you can make this mix yourself.
1. These problems you can get with a wrong potting soil mix for your vertical garden
A vertical garden works a little differently than plants planted in the ground in your garden. When you plant plants in your garden, you can often use normal potting soil and the plants grow well. When you do this for your vertical garden in pots, a number of problems can arise. We list some of them.
The soil in the planter becomes too wet
When water in your planter cannot be drained properly, the soil in the planter can become too moist. This can lead to suffocation of the plant's roots and/or mold. Make sure excess water can drain away (such as with the drainage hole in JungleScape's vertical planter). Even when water in the planter can drain well, the soil can still remain too moist. This may be because the soil holds too much moisture by itself. Adding more sand in the mix of the soil allows water to drain more easily and retains less moisture.
The soil in the planter gets dry too quickly
It is important that plants get enough water to keep from drying out and continue to grow well. In a vertical garden, a good watering system is necessary for this. The water reservoir in JungleScape's vertical planter ensures a continuous supply of water to the soil in a planter. However, the soil in the planter must be able to hold the water. If the water flows away too quickly due to gravity and is not absorbed, the plants will still not be watered. Adding fibers such as coconut potting soil increases the soil's ability to absorb water. Thus, the plant will get a good supply of water.
The plant is not getting enough nutrients from the soil
Every plant needs nutrients to grow. Some of it the plant gets from the air (carbon dioxide) and some from the soil (nitrates). When you use soil from your garden, it may not be nutritious because nutrients have been washed away. Therefore, it is important to use nutritious potting soil for the soil in your planter. This will contain enough nutrients for the plant in your vertical garden to grow on for a longer period of time. When the soil is depleted, you can always add additional nutrients to the watering.
So now that you know the problems you face in the soil for the plants in your vertical garden, you can improve your soil mix on the needs of your plants. This will ensure that you get healthy plants in your vertical garden.
2. Ideal potting soil mix according to JungleScape
To ensure that the plants in your vertical garden grow well, you can use a mix of different types of soil. You can't just buy this at your local garden store, but will have to put it together yourself. Or you can use JungleScape's composite vertical garden potting soil mix.
- 1/3 part sand (e.g. crushing sand)
- 1/3 part potting soil (normal potting soil mix)
- 1/3 part coconut potting soil
3. Why does this ratio work well?
The potting soil mix as described above works well because it meets all the requirements for a vertical garden. The mix helps with:
- Drain excess water well thanks to 1/3rd part sand in the mix
- Sufficient nutrients present for the plant to grow thanks to 1/3rd part potting soil and 1/3rd part coco potting soil in the mix
- Sufficient water absorption thanks to 1/3rd part coco pot ting soil in the mix
Should you change the ratio of this mix, you also change the properties of the mix. For example, should you increase the proportion of coconut fiber, then the absorbency of your mix increases. The mix will then hold more water. This can cause the mix to become too wet and water no longer flows away properly. If the proportion of sand becomes too large, the soil becomes too coarse and water may drain too easily. Your plants may dry out and not get enough nutrients.
Do you have certain plants with specific needs such as very dry or very wet soil? Then you can adjust the mix for these plants. The plants will then feel even more comfortable than in the standard 1/3 mix.