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Homemade Potting Mix "Recipes"

David E Lott, Horticulture Educator

"Standard Soilless or Peat-Based" Media Mixi

A standard recipe for a homemade soilless mix consists of half sphagnum peat moss and halfperlite or vermiculite. To mix h bushel basket or four gallons of media:

  1. Start by pouring two gallons of peat moss into the bushel basket.

  2. Add two gallons of either perlite or vermiculite and mix thoroughly.

  3. Moisten the mix before using in pots or flats.

Soil-based Potting Media Mixl

The following is a basic recipe for soil-based potting media. In this recipe garden loam soil, coarse construction sand, and sphagnum peat moss are combined together in equal parts by volume:

  1. Start with one gallon of sterilized loam soil, commonly called garden soil and sold at garden centers, and pour it into a clean, empty bushel basket. Sterilized loam soil is worth the cost to avoid disease, insect, and weed problems that may exist in unsterilized soil. Soil taken directly from the garden may be contaminated with these pests, causing possible future problems such as dead, deformed, or stunted seedlings. Weeds in garden soil generally grow vigorously and crowd out desired seedlings by competing for nutrients, water, air, and light.

  2. Add one gallon of moist, coarse sphagnum peat moss, followed by one gallon of coarse sand, perlite, or vermiculite.

  3. Adjust the texture of the medium to create a loose, well-drained mixture. Sand feels gritty and clay feels sticky. If the potting soil feels too sandy, more peat moss should be added. If the potting soil feels too sticky, extra sand and peat moss should be added. Adjust the texture by adding small portions of sand and/or peat moss until you are satisfied with the texture.

1.PennState Extension. (2007, October 22). Homemade Potting Media. https://extension.psu.edu/homemade-potting-media

2. University of Florida IFAS Extension. (2018, September 20). Homemade Potting Mix. https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn-and-garden/homemade-potting-mix/

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Specialized Potting Media "Recipes "2

When making your own potting mix, working from a recipe is a good idea to start. Once you begin experimenting with your own blends, try small test batches to evaluate the mix's quality. See the recipes below to get started making your own potting mixes.

Foliage Plants

  • 2 parts peat; 1 part perlite; 1 part coarse sand

OR

  • 1 part peat; 1 part pine bark; 1 part coarse sand

Succulents

  • 2 parts soil; 1 part peat moss; 1 part perlite; 1 part coarse sand

Bromeliads

  • 1 part peat; 1 part bark; 1 part coarse sand

Seedlings

  • 2 parts compost; 2 parts peat moss; 1 part vermiculite (pre-wet)

Soil-Based Mix

This mix is heavier than peat-based mixes, but it has good drainage. Vermiculite or perlite can be used for sand.

  • 1/3 compost; 1/3 topsoil; 1/3 sand

Blocking Mix

This mixture is for use as soil blocks for seedling/transplant growing. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Ingredients can be measured with a standard 10-quart bucket.

  • 30 quarts brown peat

  • 20 quarts sand or perlite

  • 20 quarts compost

  • 10 quarts soil

  • 3 cups base fertilizer (equal parts blood meal, colloidal phosphate, greensand)  h cup lime

1.PennState Extension. (2007, October 22). Homemade Potting Media. https://extension.psu.edu/homemade-potting-media

2. University of Florida IFAS Extension. (2018, September 20). Homemade Potting Mix. https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn-and-garden/homemade-potting-mix/

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