Saturday, January 26, 2019
There are just a few ingredients in potting soil so you can easily make your own.
Here is the recipe:
1 part composted or sterilized garden soil
1 part coir (coconut dust) or leaf mold (composted leaves)
1 part perlite or clean sand
To sterilize soil, you can put it in a cake or roasting pan and bake it at 200 degrees F for 50 minutes or put in a glass container in a microwave oven for 15-20 seconds. Be sure to cover to keep the soil moist.
The compost is the best choice as it has microbial activity already happening. Sterilizing kills not only the bad bugs and fungi but also the good microbes. The microbes in the soil help the plant uptake nutrients.Composting is possible in small spaces or even indoors
Add in the homemade fertilizer and you have potting soil!Make your own all natural, complete fertilizer
For an extra boost, you can add worm castings and biochar. Castings have tons of microbial activity and nutrients while biochar helps the soil retain moisture.
For seed starting mix, do a 50/50 blend of coir or composted leaves and clean sand with some worm castings thrown in for good measure if you have them. Sterilize the composted leaves to be on the safe side. I like to add Azomite as well. Azomite is the abbreviation for "A to Z of minerals including trace minerals". It comes from an all natural source. Not only do plants grow and produce up to 30% more, but you are also getting those minerals in your food. For more about minerals in gardening see The next step in garden production and your nutrition-soil minerals
The best thing to do with soil in the pots you used last year is to re-energize it each year by adding compost and fertilizer. No need to dump it out. If you had pest or fungal problems last season, sterilize the old soil first before adding compost and fertilizer. Adding compost will create more potting soil for other pots, too.Re-energize your potting soil!