|1.Vermiculite, Organic Potting Mix, Burnt Soil.|
I am a quick results-oriented and cost-conscious gardener. But you can also call me lazy and stingy! I use two basic types of soil for gardening, a must-have in my garden and they are the burnt soil and organic potting mix.
Why the burnt soil?
Burnt soil is cheap in Malaysia. It cost about RM 2.00 or less (used to be RM 1.50 only). It is made from mainly clay soil burnt over a slow fire for a few days. As a result, this sterilized soil is porous and friable which leads to good drainage and aeration.
Why organic potting mix?
This is a pre-mix soil suitable for garden use, blended according to the correct proportions by experts, so I don't have to crack my head learning the 'secret recipe'. It is sold as black soil or "tanah hitam" in Malaysia.
So when I prepare the soil medium for planting, I will mix the burnt soil and potting mix according to different formulas e.g. 2:1, 1:2, 1:1 or even 0:1 depending on the requirements of the particular plant I am potting. I also add in some fertilizers, compost and sometimes vermiculite. If I am germinating some seeds, I'll use only potting mix.
What types of fertilizers should I use for my home garden in the city?
Like Julie Andrew's song in The Sound of Music, "When we learn we begin with ABC, when we sing we begin with Do-Re-Me". Hence when we fertilize, we begin with N-P-K!
I am always experimenting with various types and brands of fertilizers for my home garden in Malaysia. Some examples of fertilizers I have tried are listed further down in the post.
For gardeners who wish to learn more about DIY gardening, do join me at My Nice Garden Chat, a facebook group dedicated for gardeners and gardening. The link is here.