All About Mixes
My question is how the different mixes (e.g. the tomato mix) help the plant grow? Also, would they work for other plants and do they need to be changed after some time?
This is a great question as there are many different types of growing media available, which can be a little overwhelming. Modern mixes have four main functions; provide mechanical anchorage and support for plants, store and make available a supply of water, store and supply nutrients that are essential for plant growth and provide aeration for the roots.
While most mixes have similar physical properties, the amount and type of nutrients they contain varies depending on what group of plants are to be grown in the mix. For example, Daltons Seed Mix releases nutrients in a controlled manner to match seedling growth. For mixes like Tomato mix and Strawberry mix, extra potassium has been added for improved fruit production and these mixes have tailored fertiliser recipes to suit. However often the nutrient requirements are similar and they can be used for other crops; for example flower crops and fruiting crops both require extra potassium so the same mixes can be used for either if needed.
Ideally it is better to use the correct potting mix for the plant you are growing. If growing in pots, a new potting or container mix is recommended in spring to help ensure maximum plant growth as the mix can break down over time. However where ornamental plants are grown in containers long term, applications of slow release fertilisers such as Daltons Premium Tree & Shrub Fertiliser during the growing season will help ensure continuous plant growth.