The best potting soil mix ensures optimal soil hydration. Recipe used in this slideshow. 1 part moisture retention medium: coconut coir peat, leaf mold or rotted sawdust. Add the ingredients to a large bucket and thoroughly mix with a trowel. They are invaluable players in this mix. I have a friend who used it with perlite and vermiculite (don't remember his recipe) and he wicked his plants with success. Some of these also make up the backbone of the nutrient content. Vermiculite is a suitable potting soil mix addition to grow plants without soil, germinate seeds, or root cuttings. I suggested it once to my friend as an alternative to peat moss (which is ironic beause he was the first to tell me about its unsustainability.. You should avoid reusing old potting soil when you repot plants because it may lack beneficial nutrients and contain harmful bugs. You can then adjust the potting mix recipe to suit your houseplants, succulents, shrubs, or orchids. I tend to like a slightly finer mix and so I use the small and medium bark sizes. To make more or less, just use the same ratios. Start with 1 part rehydrated coco coir (instructions below), 1 part vermiculite, 2 parts compost; Then add 1 cup of sand and 2 TBSP worm castings per gallon of finished potting mix; Finally, measure and balance the pH with lime and sulfur. If it dries out, it can be re-hydrated. Watering the coir brick to break it up. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia that does not dissipate and is rather toxic. Personally, I don’t love using vermiculite or perlite at all. Use protective gloves when working with potting soil ingredients. Simple potting mix recipe with just 5 ingredients. I’ve tried peat moss mixes a few times, but I greatly prefer the texture of coir for seed starting. This is all you need to make a basic potting mix you can use for your plants. The ideal potting mix is adapted to the specific plant’s growing needs. You’d be better off just buying a bag of seed starting mix at the nursery. You will also need something big, like a cement mixing tray or tub to soak the coir brick in. Make sure your mix is slightly moist and let this sit for four weeks so the microbes can go to work processing everything to make it ready for planting. Cornell Soilless Mix (adapted for organic growers*): 1/2 cubic yard peat moss or coconut coir; 1/2 cubic yard perlite; 10 lbs. The only type of sand you can use would be very coarse horticultural sand. Looking for a sustainable alternative to peat moss? Gather up a fistful, squeeze it hard and open your hand. Making potting soil at home is effortless. 1 part moisture retention medium: coconut coir peat, leaf mold or rotted sawdust. It would be better to do this on a thick tarp. What would they eat in a worm bin? I guess he just couldn’t live without it), and he replied that he doesn’t use it because it’s been known to be salty stuff, which some of his plants can be very sensitive to. Ingredients can be measured with a standard 10-quart bucket. This mix is heavier than peat-based mixes, but it has good drainage. Make a one time donation: Join the Democratic Socialists of America! We like to mix ours up in 5 gallon bucket, but you can do this on a tarp or in a wheelbarrow or whatever you like. I think coconut coir have their benefits if used for correct applications, but somehow I feel there are salesmen out there making a killing fooling people to use these stuff in their soil mixes. Try this simple potting mix for plants to be grown on in larger containers. The basic recipe for making homemade potting soil is equal parts of peat moss and perlite. If you’re more of a loner or have back problems you can always rent a cement mixer, clean it out thourhoughly and use that to mix batches. Adding more organic substances like peat moss or composted bark adds nutrients and helps with water retention. The coir comes in dense blocks that once moistened will expand. It should be noted that any soiless mix should be set to the side and given a few weeks to “cook” before planting.Okay, I think I covered the basics. 1/3 compost; 1/3 topsoil; 1/3 sand; Blocking Mix. Actually, I've added a little extra vermiculite to my mix to keep it from drying out too rapidly. For a more general organic potting soil, mix 1 part coir with 1 part of well-aged compost,1 part humus and 1 part builder's sand. Before starting seed, it is necessary to know which growing medium to start with a seedling, the mixture purchased from the market is so expensive that if it is to be planted in a large number, then it is not easy.I have my own garden, and I have often needed a day, so I decided to make it at home. Coarse sand is ideal for adding to succulent potting soil and some types of cactus potting mix. Here she’s doing the squeeze test, which we talk about below. blood meal * This soilless mix was developed at Cornell University for commercial growers, but is easily adapted for home use. If I’m wrong about the beetles, and you really do somehow have spider mites in your castings, then I wouldn’t use those castings to start seeds. bone meal; 5 lbs. A basic recipe for homemade potting mix includes equal amounts of peat moss and perlite. Another very important additive to consider is Mycorrhiza fungi. They could easily be something else. Mix the perlite into the coir/casting blend until it is also evenly distributed–the mix should be absolutely consistent–no patches or clumps should be visible. This potting mix is a loose soilless mixture that contains perlite, vermiculite, or sand. And, unlike peat moss, which is harvested from gradually declining bogs, coir is the result of a repurposed waste – the coconut husk. How To Make Potting Soil For Containers With Recipe Get Busy How to use and mix your own soilless potting for hydroponics coco peat potting mix how to make soilless with how to make potting soil for containers with recipe get busy diy potting soil 6 homemade mix recipes for the garden. For planting seedlings, mix 2 parts coir with 2 parts compost and 1 part perlite. This mix should be moist and dark, again with a nice “wrung-out” sponge level of dampness. This way the seedlings are already accustomed to the local soil and don’t go through so much shock upon transplanting. The large sand grains allow water to flow freely through the mix without retaining any moisture. Again, see below. But rarely you will find coco coir in ready to use format. Here’s how to make it: COIR:  A fibrous material made from coconut husks. With a few essential ingredients, you can mix the parts to create an ideal growing medium for any potted plant. The recipe for homemade soil for seeds is: Succulents are drought-tolerant plants that require a fast-draining potting mix while only retaining a little moisture. Sustainability – I feel there are a number of reasons to plant in coconut coir, and one of the main reasons is its sustainability. Sand can be too fine for the cactus potting soil and not allow for sufficient drainage. We’re always learning, figuring stuff out, taking advantage of the enormous smarts of our friends and our on-line community, and trying to give some of that back in turn. Adapt your DIY potting mix to suit the specific needs of your plant. However, grit, gravel, or crushed stones are a better option for cactus soil. Avoid using vermiculite in potting soil for succulents or cacti. Orchids can grow in a soilless environment. Just dump em in a kiddy pool as you go. I should stress that this mix is NOT for seedlings as it’s too hot (rich) and will burn them to a crisp. The 5kg bale contains a mixture of long and short fibers which gives it an exceptional water-holding ability, high porosity, and good drainage. This is a hard area to generalize about because compost varies wildly in both quality and consistency, but you’d want to use lovely, lively, springy, sweet smelling compost. Read the complete guide to making the best succulent soil. I did a dump and sort method of harvest. The DIY potting soil mix recipe for trees and shrubs is: Read the complete guide to the best indoor plant fertilizers, When making your homemade potting mix, use a face mask and gloves to protect your health. For those growers who wish to mix their own soil, this video shows a potting mix rececipe that some might find informative. If you’re making the environmental choice, going with dehydrated coconut coir bricks instead of peat moss to add water retention to your potting mix is … Another note on coir, it really soaks up and holds nitrogen so be careful if you feed with liquid nutrients in it. Double the recipe for 20 gallons! Being organic gardening I like to use the ole fallback, poop! About 1 tablespoon per gallon of mix should be fine. Alternatively, you could use moistened vermiculite to root cuttings. This recipe is similar to what we use at home and work–a 3:2:1 coir-castings-vermiculite combo. Simple precautions such as a mask and gloves can help protect your health. Coconut coir is an upcycled byproduct of the coconut processing industry and can be used to improve soils. If I were you, I’d dump all of that back in the bin and let it age some more. 10 gallons of coconut coir (What I used) 5 gallons of sifted compost (Hopefully you’re composting at home) 2 gallons of worm castings (what I used) Hope that helps! And for drainage: a handful of sand. Adding composted bark can improve the potting soil’s consistency. Adding inorganic ingredients, such as perlite, grit, or gravel, increases drainage. It can be a good component of a high-quality potting mix. In addition, they hold moisture well. Both materials are porous and help to boost drainage in soil. Potting soil refers to any potting media that contains dirt (soil). Coir (coconut fibre) sometimes sold as Cocopeat Coir is a compacted coconut fibre which can be bought in small bricks and then expanded in water to add to potting mixes. Someone gave me some coir and it made my hands itch, so that’s out and have never really found any difference in seed starting with regular potting mix vs seed starting mix, so . In sunlight, they are very coppery and they’re about the size of a pin head. Vermiculite is similar to perlite, but it retains more moisture. If you do have those little beetles in your castings as well as small food scraps, I’m wondering if your castings are not quite finished. And for drainage: a handful of sand. Good luck with your seeds this year. Growing vegetables and herbs requires a potting mix with plenty of nutrients and microorganisms to grow delicious food. This is the bug that causes Legionnaires’ disease. The base soil can be defined as the regular soil that will be used in the pots without any other additives. Here are eight DIY potting soil recipes you can make yourself. Maybe Canada can work to get it right eventually. I definitely would not want them in the planting mix. Perlite is ideal for potting soil—it has a neutral pH, is light, and cheap to buy. People can say what the want about peat but when it’s harvested responsibly it is a sustainable product. Overall the mix should be moist, light and springy. The following tutorial makes about 10 gallons of potting mix. RECIPES. How to use coconut coir for gardening. This mix is good for potted plants and container gardens. I would have a few more tips for you. Make an ongoing pledge: At any rate, they don’t hurt anything, they are just a part of the cast of characters that moves through the bin. Our friend Nancy Klehm taught us recently how to make a seed starting mix with coconut coir instead of peat moss. The proof will come in the squeezing. They are tiny, pin head size is about right, white, and they burrowed in the pile when I dumped out my bin. I want to try this and I just harvested some of my own worm castings. For the beginner gardener I must stress that there are many types of lime. As it is essentially a rock, it is a neutral player in the mix. Just dump out your seed starting trays, mix it all up and let it air a bit. -Megan, I have used coconut coir in many of my raised beds for the very same reason. Re: the worms, they won’t hurt anything if a few end up in potting mixes, etc., but it would be much better to pick them out and toss them back in the bin, so they can live on. It was very exciting to use my own homegrown castings for the first time too. Cornell Soilless Mix (adapted for organic growers*): 1/2 cubic yard peat moss or coconut coir; 1/2 cubic yard perlite; 10 lbs. Start, say, with half the recommended quantity of coir in the recipe below, and then test the mix, and add more coir as necessary. Coconut coir is a staple growing media in at home potting mix. Avoid using fine sand because it can reduce drainage and lead to root rot in desert plants and succulents. But you will have to play with this recipe a little bit. Why Coconut Coir is Used in Gardening? This article is a complete guide to making homemade potting soil. The organic ingredients contain microorganisms and nutrients essential for plant growth. Coconut coir is easily renewable and functions well for its purpose. Keep doing this til you have as many castings as you need. I did use peat instead of the coir because I had some on hand, but will look forward to trying the coir in the future. Also, the coir breaks down over time, so you find you need to add more of that as well. In addition, add small amounts of fertilizer and ground limestone since they contain nutrients the above do not. Coir typically is packaged as a compressed brick that will expand when wetted. I bubble mine with a small cheap aquarium air pump and stone. Potting soil for cuttings. 1 part vermiculite – silvery colored particles that are made from volcanic material that helps with water retention. Potting soil for succulents should contain a high proportion of inorganic matter such as perlite, pumice, or coarse sand. Truthfully, mixing your own homemade potting soil recipe isn’t rocket science, and there are plenty of ways to make it happen. I had heard about salt issues as well. Coir is a very good growing medium for plants. You can re-use this mix to plant more seedlings, but you’ll want to recharge it by adding in more worm castings. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Alternatives to using coarse sand include crushed granite, aquarium gravel, or poultry grit. Fresh potting soil encourages healthy plant growth as it’s loaded with nutrients and microorganisms required for healthy plant growth. Good potting soil is vital to help houseplants thrive indoors. 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