Howard Payne

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Howard Payne




House Plants


 Given otherwise ideal conditions, good plants cannot be grown without good soil. The assumption that each kind requires a special type of soil is wrong. Which type of soil your plant needs? This information you will find with Plant Spot app for your ios.



Plants adapt themselves readily to various soils, providing they can manufacture food from such raw materials as soil nutrients and water. A good mixture is composed of one-half garden loam, one-quarter clean, sharp, coarse sand and one-quarter peat. The loam represents any soil containing considerable clay and some humus. Sand is necessary to provide drainage and prevent caking and packing.


Peat supplies water-holding capacity and some plant food. Sandy soils, as such, will not require the addition of sand when preparing a soil mixture. Often the easiest and best way to be assured of the proper soil is to purchase prepared soil from a florist, garden supply or variety store. The addition of half a teaspoon of a complete plant food to a 6-inch pot of soil is beneficial when the soil is mixed. This supplies the necessary nutrients for a while. A complete food is one which contains a balanced ration of the various important elements which are necessary for plant growth. (It is complete if it contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a 1:1 :1 ratio.)


Various brands of plant food are on the market and many are desirable. Some are better than others by virtue of the proportions of the elements contained and the type of materials in which these elements are carried. Purchase inorganic fertilizer strictly on the basis of cost per total units present. If the ratio is 10-10-10, then it contains 30 units per pound, which divided into the cost, gives the value per unit. Purchase fertilizer with the lowest unit cost.


Usually plants bought from a reliable store are potted in a mixture which requires no immediate addition of fertilizer. Later when the supply of the available nutrient material becomes exhausted, fertilizers in concentrated form may be obtained and applied in accordance with the directions given. Such fertilizers or plant foods are available in many convenient forms, such as liquids, tablets and soluble dry fertilizers. Regardless of the type used, never feed a dry plant; always be sure the soil is moist before feeding.


August 20, 1992

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