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Drainage in Medium:

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Hey, how's it going? here's some different methods of drainage in medium

Perlite vs Vermiculite -
Have you had better results with perlite or vermiculite or both?? The size of the vermiculite particles are larger than the perlite which i've found has given me better drainage over the years, although I recently tried using both to see if having different particle sizes in the medium would make a difference and it's working great at the moment. The plants hold enough water and drains well, i've had to water my plants everyday as the drainage is a bit too good next time i'll be adding more coco to the mix as I only went about 20% coco 40% perlite & vermiculite mix and the other 40% compost & potting soil mix.

In the future i'd like to do some experiments to compare what's better and maybe try out some fine pumice rock or scoria rock in the mix for drainage too.

Sandy soil can be a nightmare and even though it can be dry it does not always mean better drainage, the water sits on top of the sand forming a puddle or it runs off the side, getting the water to penetrate into to soil can be a problem. Drip system, soaker hose, digging a trench around the plant to help the water get into the root zone, adding organic matter, etc...are just a few ways to improve sandy soil. The best way to help the drainage and water penetration with sandy soil is to use organic matter such as humus/compost/worm castings/manures/mushroom compost, etc...Large/coarse grain sand can improve drainage if added in amounts no more than 30%. However with sand being good for drainage it can cause problems when added to clay soil, it will have the opposite effect and hold water. 

Organic matter:
Proven to be the most effective, soil rich in high organic content is ideal for growing in. It will have both water retention & drainage properties, nutrients, organisms & sugars to feed them, etc...all these factors will contribute to a healthy plant if the soil is good the roots will thrive in that environment. Composts, manures, humus, worm castings, pea straw mulch, banana peels, coffee grounds, etc...will break down and improve the soil/drainage. 

Something as simple as tilling the soil can improve drainage dramatically, grab a shovel or pitch fork and start loosening up the top layer of soil.

Planting on slopes:
Hills, slopes, making a mound of dirt around the base of the plant, wall plants, etc...can provide drainage through gravitational methods. When the plant is on a slope or on a lean, the gravity forces the water to flow downwards every time rather than having the plant sitting in water when the plant is level with the ground. Gravity will do all the work for you, planting on slopes can also increase the amount of sunlight having the plant raised up higher off the ground.  When making a mount of dirt around the plant the same effect is achieved as  any excess water runs down the sides of the mound like a volcano.

When choosing a pot make sure the shape and size is right for growing first, then make sure it has enough holes in it to drain well. You may want to drill excess holes in the side & bottom of the container/pot for better drainage too. You may also want to put a layer of clay pellets or pumice in the bottom of the pot to achieve better results. If you are using smart pots then you should be alright without the other stuff

You wouldn't think of worms being good for drainage, but they are! they create underground tunnels which allows air to flow through to the root zone and they poop/pee nutrients which improves the soil which in the long run will improve your drainage. 

If there's anything else I missed feel free to post some comments, thanks for reading.

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