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The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 by Art Ditzel


Potting Soil
 

Three weeks ago, we talked about container gardening and all the fun and creative ways you can design and plant them. Bright flowers with dark leaves grasses or even edible herbs are used to create a planter that tastes as good as it looks. All these choices have one thing in common, they all get planted in potting soil.

Potting soil is unlike any other type of soil. It’s because it’s not soil at all. Potting soil is a blend of mediums that create a well-draining, nutrient-rich, lightweight material that is perfect for the harsh conditions of container life.

Why potting soil and not topsoil in your planters?

Potting soil is the best soil for containers as it gives the right texture and moisture retention for growing plants in a small space. Ingredients such as sphagnum moss, corn or coconut husks, bark, and vermiculite get mixed to give a texture that holds growing roots, delivering food and moisture while allowing the proper drainage required for potted plants. Topsoil, on the other hand, has no specific ingredients and can be the scraped top from weedy fields. Topsoil is also very heavy and offers terrible drainage in a pot.

 
 
The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil. - Image 2
 
 
How do I get Potting soil?
 
You have two main avenues for obtaining potting soul. You can go to your local lawn and garden supply store (a local farm store or co-op is a great way to support local businesses) and purchase a pre-made mix or you can make it yourself. The advantage to pre-made mixes include convenience and consistency. Home made potting soils are cheaper and allow you to modify the blend based on individual plant needs. If you have a plant that requires faster drainage or higher levels of nutrient you can make a simple adjustment to the mix and easily meet your plants requirement.
 
Below is a simple yet inexpensive receipts to make potting soil for the three most common at home uses.
 

For Flowers, Tropicals, and Vegetables 

5 gallons sphagnum peat moss or coir fiber
4 gallons perlite
5 gallons compost
1/4 cup lime 
1 & 1/2 cup of slow release organic fertilizer
 
The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil. - Image 3
 

For Succulents and Cactus 

2 gallons sphagnum peat moss 
.75 gallon perlite
1 gallon vermiculite
2 gallons coarse sand
2 TBSP lime 
 
The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil. - Image 4

 

For Seed Starting 

1 gallons sphagnum peat moss or coir fiber
1 gallons vermiculite
.5 gallon coarse sand
2 TBSP lime
 
The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil. - Image 5
 

For Houseplants 

1 gallons sphagnum peat moss 
.75 gallons perlite
1 cups coarse sand
2 TBSP lime 
1 & 1/2 cup of slow release organic fertilizer
 
 
The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil. - Image 6
 
 
 
Remember that whatever you need to plant, a high quality soil is the bases for any successful planting project. Check back next week to see about preparing a outdoor landscape garden bed.
 
Regardless of you taste and budget, SBC Outdoor Services is here to help design, install and maintain your dream project. Give the experienced designers a call for you free, no obligation design consultation.  
 
The New Dirt Deal - Making Your Own Potting Soil. - Image 7
 
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