Thursday, March 1, 2007

DIY - Organic At-Home Potting Soil Mixes

This year, I am going to try making my own potting soil. I remember learning about soil mixes in an organic gardening class a few years back and thinking it was so involved. So, I've spent a few seasons now, searching all over for organic potting soil mixes (expensive) and lugging big bags of the stuff to my gardening workspace (exhausting).

Turns out, it doesn't need to be a hassle - and I'm pretty sure it'll save money (and my back) throughout the growing season. I just needed to find the recipe with the most familiar ingredients (also meaning the most accessible ingredients).

I'll mix and store each mix in those big Tupperware boxes that are usually used for linen and sweater storage - you know the ones - with the snap on lip. These are especially useful because you can stack them - making storage even easier.

Basic Potting Mix

4 parts peat moss** (mixing 1/2 oz. of dolomitic limestone per gallon of peat)
1 part compost
1 part perlite

Potting Mix with Punch

4 parts sphagnum peat**
2 parts compost
1 part small bark chips (composted)
1 part perlite
4 oz. dolomitic limestone
4 oz. bonemeal
1 pound greensand
2 oz. bloodmeal
2 oz. kelp meal

I have found almost all of these materials at the local home improvement box store - which makes it much more do-able. Also, **Peat moss has some more environmentally-friendly options - including coco-peat. I have been able to find that at the local hippie-food store, but I am sure there are some website suppliers, as well.

Here's to dreaming of dirt!

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