Making your own potting soil is easier than you might think. All it takes is understanding how the right ingredients function and some rough proportions.

Things You'll Need:

  • 15 quarts peat moss
  • 2/3 cups lime
  • 1/3 cups organic fertilizer
  • 1/3 cup sand
  • 1/3 cup vermiculite or perlite
  • 15 quarts garden soil
  • 20 quarts compost
  • bone meal
  • blood meal
  • large trash can
  • large plastic garage bag

  1. Organic matter has two jobs, one is absorbing water, the other is helping the plant get nourishment.

  2. Peat moss decomposes slowly and absorbs more water than other forms of organic matter.

  3. Vermiculite adds a few trace minerals. but no other nutrients. It absorbs about 16 times it's weight in water and helps bind and release nutrients, also, used as a top dressing in pots helps prevent damping-off.

  4. Perlite does not hold water, but does a good job improving drainage and aeration. Be careful with perlite, avoid breathing dust when opening the bag.

  5. Sand and perlite are alike and can be substituted for each other.
    Lime helps and maintains PH. Your compost doesn't need it, but the peat does.

  6. Soil is something you should not eliminate, but garden soil can be a source of damping-off fungus. Clay soil adds nutrients and helps to bind and release nutrients from liquid feedings. The heavier the soil, the more coarse material is needed. So if you have heavy clay soil add more sand or vermiculite. If you worry about your soil and damping-off fungus, know that the disease dies at 125 degrees. Don't heat at higher temps, it needs to be pasteurized not sterilized. Sterilizing kills beneficial soil bacteria.

  7. Compost, contributes nutrients, binds and releases nutrients. Composed hardwood bark is fungicidal and helps combat many diseases that cause fungi. Rotted leaves work well too. As, do grass clipping, if composted.

  8. Add the peat moss, lime,and the organic matter. Now add some water mix well.
    Then add the garden soil and compost. Store in a large trash can, lined with a large bag. Keep covered.