How to Make Good Potting Soil

staff writer
How to Make Good Potting Soil

Potting soil is a healthy mixture used by most gardeners to grow fruits, vegetables, plants, and herbs. The most common ingredients used in a typical potting soil include peat moss, compost bark, sand, perlite, vermicompost, and vermiculite. There are commercially available potting mixes that contain limestone, slow-release nutrients, and inorganic fertilizer. Potting soil does not necessarily contain soil because soil is deemed heavy for growing garden plants. If you want to know how to make good potting soil, read the guidelines below.

When it comes to combining your own potting soil, it is crucial that you study the different ways to mix raw materials, so you can produce the appropriate type of potting soil needed by your plants. Your objective is to produce a mixture perfect for plant nutrition, water retention, and drainage. At the end of the day, make sure that you have made a fluffy, healthy, and light potting soil mixture. To get you started, read on below.

  1. Get shredded peat moss. This material is commonly used in commercial potting soil mixes. Peat moss is from bogs that contain decomposed sphagnum moss. Its main feature is centered on its capacity to retain water and allow appropriate air circulation down to the root system. There are a number of peat moss substitutes such as dry cow manure, wood chips, tree bark, leaf mold, and sawdust. These organic items, which are surely eco-friendly, are capable of producing the same valuable results.

  2. Get horticultural vermiculite. You can get this ingredient at the nearby garden improvement store. The capacity of vermiculite to improve aeration makes it a very popular potting soil component. Vermiculite is a mineral that promotes moisture retention which, in return, results in better nutrient absorption. Most horticultural vermiculites are essentially sterile, non-toxic, and odorless.

  3. Get perlite. It is an amorphous volcanic glass mainly used for proper water drainage so that the plant roots will not easily rot. The relatively high water composition of perlite is formed due to the hydration of obsidian. The water content occurs naturally and expands naturally when fully heated. Perlite is a mineral and a commercial product very useful for gardeners due to its lightweight feature.

  4. Get superphosphate. The phosphate content of this synthetic fertilizer is very beneficial to plants. When the superphosphate slowly decomposes, it provides essential nutrients to the soil and plants. Many gardeners have proven that most flowering plants respond well to superphosphate ingredients.

  5. Get limestone dust. If you are located in a place that has great supply of limestone, you can actually gather the dust by coordinating with the local quarry operators. If you can’t, just buy it at the nearby garden improvement center. The calcium carbonate content of limestone has acidic properties capable of complementing the alkaline soil ingredient. This results in pH balance in the soil.

  6. Make a potting soil mixture. Use peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite as your main ingredients. Combine 1 quart of perlite, 1 quart of vermiculite, and 8 quarts of peat moss. The mixture can be used for a number of plant varieties. If you are growing cactus plants or any plant variety that needs a dryer soil mix, adjust the mixture by adding 1 part of cow manure, 2 parts of garden loam, and 1 part of coarse sand.

Learning how to make good potting soil yourself is not only inexpensive, but also almost effortless. It allows you to control the composition of the mixture based on the needs of your garden plants. At any rate, purchasing an inexpensive bag of potting soil is not really the best choice. This is because the ingredients of potting soil varies from one producer to another, and therefore, may not meet the requirements of your plants. In fact, there are potting soil mixes that are dense and heavy. To save your money and grow healthy plants at the same time, make your own potting soil mix.

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