Dirt’s important people. Especially for container gardening. Every year’s an experiment, too. Try things out and please let POD know what works for you.
One year I played around with moisture control soil. Mistake. In my defense, it made sense given the fact that Little Blue Deck becomes an oven during the miserable Philly August. Instead of keeping things nicely moist, though, it provided excellent conditions for all sorts of molds and fungi to invade. The year before I used plain ol’ potting mix but the NKP (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus) mix wasn’t adequate for veggies and certainly wasn’t a one-size fits all ratio.
Last year I tried mixing my own organic soil. Clearly, all the people who swear by this process have way more room to play with than I do. And, for that matter, understand the whole NKP thing better. But if you’re lucky enough to have a decent gardening supply store in your neighborhood (POD has Lowe’s and the Depot) and you have room somewhere for a wheel barrow, you may have better success than me. Good luck.
This year I was thrilled to discover Miracle-Gro Organic Choice at Lowes (I went to three independently owned greenhouses before caving in and buying it from the big chain). I mixed about 2/3 Potting Mix and 1/3 Garden Soil into each pot. (The Garden Soil came in larger bags and was cheaper.) Although it’s way too soon to render a verdict, I’m cautiously optimistic. All my seeds germinated in record time and the weeds are minimal.
The Little Blue Deck ate about 8 cubic feet of dirt.