379: Emily Rockey on Soil, Compost and Planting Mixes.
Stirring up a custom batch of planting mix.
Emily is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing for Tank’s Green Stuff in Tucson, which specializes in “green” landscape debris recycling, construction debris recycling, and more.
She brings her passion for both plants and recycling to the company’s composting operation where they convert landscape debris into organic compost which is then made available for gardens and green spaces.
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Tank’s offers an entire line of organic garden and landscape materials which are “Good for People, Plants, and Planet”; and are available under the name ‘Tank’s Green Stuff’. Tank’s has also just begun offering a new planting mix called Farmer Greg’s Planting Mix, specially designed for planting in the southwest desert.
In This Podcast:
When asked what makes a healthy potting soil for gardens in Arizona, Emily Rockey gets excited because this is truly a passion of hers. As her nickname implies, she loves getting her hands in the dirt and making a medium that others can rely on. She explains how she and Farmer Greg developed their soil mix, why building a healthy planting mix is different for the southwest desert, and why local mixes make a difference.
Listen in and learn about:
- Reviewing what makes up healthy soil
- The difference between “organic food” and “organic matter in soil”
- Green manure and how it is processed
- Organic matter in the desert soil versus other areas of the world
- Balancing organic matter for planting mixes
- Developing a special soil mix for desert soils
- The individual ingredients in Farmer Greg’s Planting Mix
- 40-year-old pine compost
- Coco coir as a long-term ingredient
- The importance of minerals and micronutrients
- Ion exchange capacity and why this is important
- Why the desert soil is valuable for planting
- Why bagged soil needs to be hydrated before being used
- Building up salts in the soil and why deep watering is important
- Regular testing by an independent lab
- Link to IAS labs episode 228
- The importance of getting tested by a regional lab
How to reach Emily:
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and know that you are supporting a small business.