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Comparison Study

June 29, 2016

We have several different types of potting mix we sell at work, and this year I finally decided to buy all of them and compare them, to be able to give proper recommendations.

I wasn’t very good at taking pictures throughout the spring, but even those pictures from early on give a pretty good indication of how the plants developed later on.

Each of the three planters had two violas, some mixed Asian greens, peas and radishes. I think I had counted the peas and radish seeds, but I don’t remember how many there were of each. Yeah, this wasn’t really scientific…

DSC08505 Viola, Brassica, Pisum, Raphanus - Gärtnererde, Allium, Beta

All-purpose potting mix (OÖ Gärtnererde) – this was the winner in a test of potting mixes last year, and the one I usually use for all my plants, and plants grew very well in it (the reason they’re a bit smaller in the next planter is probably just because this one was in a colder place on the balcony.

DSC08494 Brassica, Pisum, Viola, Raphanus - Naturerde

Organic potting mix (OÖ Gärtner Naturerde) – very happy with this one, and I’ve recommended it to a lot of customers. Overall, plants did about as well as in the all-purpose mix, and even a little better at first, but as I said, this was probably just a temperature thing.

DSC08500 Brassica, Viola - torffrei

Peat-free organic potting mix (OÖ Gärtner Naturerde torffrei) – not impressed with this at all. Peat-free is a nice thought (and this is also without coconut fiber, which is the most popular peat replacement, but problematic because it has to be transported over long distances), but it just doesn’t work very well. Very low germination, and now it is full of fungus gnats.

I thought I had at least one more picture of each planter, from later on, but if I do, I can’t find them. By now, the radishes and Asian greens are all gone, and the peas aren’t looking good any more either (which is my own fault, not that of the potting mixes), so I won’t take any more pictures of them, either.


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