Just when I think that we are really behind the times with our garden the weather temperature drops, 70’s this week?!! Regardless of Mother Nature’s cruel joke, my husband and I are busy preparing our garden for the season. This year we are focused on getting our greenhouse functional inside. In my research to find homemade potting soil, I came across this article so I thought I would share with all of you.
The Perfect Potting Mix Recipe By E. Vinje. Nothing can be created out of nothing. – Lucretius, 99 – 55 B.C.As with any garden, soil preparation is what really counts when it comes to being successful growing in containers. It’s the foundation. It’s the staff of life. Pick your life-giving metaphor and you get the idea.In other words, select the right potting mix recipe for your plants and they will thrive. Skimp on the soil and you’ll get weak, non-productive plants that require more work to maintain and are susceptible to all kinds of pest problems.What is the perfect mix? That depends. Every professional gardener has his own “secret” recipe just like every Italian grandmother has her own way of making tomato sauce. However, most experts agree that a good container medium should be lightweight and drain well, yet contain enough organic matter to hold moisture and nutrients even through hot, dry weather. You can purchase a quality organic potting soil or you can make your own.Note: Ordinary garden soil is not recommended as a potting mix. It’s usually too heavy and may contain weed seeds, diseases, and insect pests.
Of course, you don’t have to purchase potting soil. You can make your own. Sure, it’s more work, but it can be more gratifying, plus you’ll know the exact contents of the soil since you’re the one who has mixed it up. A good potting mix recipe contains sterile garden loam, sand, peat moss (or coconut coir) and other additives as needed.
Classic Soil-Based Mix:
- 1 part peat moss or mature compost
- 1 part garden loam or topsoil
- 1 part clean builder’s sand or perlite
The organic material in the above mix provides structure and the sand will improve drainage. A balanced, slow-release organic fertilizer may also be added to the mix.
Cornell Soilless Mix (adapted for organic growers*):
- 1/2 cubic yard peat moss or coconut coir
- 1/2 cubic yard perlite
- 10 lbs. bone meal
- 5 lbs. ground limestone
- 5 lbs. blood meal