Homemade potting mix.
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Author:  onejayhawk [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Homemade potting mix.

I have access to a good amount of well finished leaf mold. It comes from several years worth of leaf fall on an abandoned brick patio. I can rake the 2010 fall off the top, and sweep up the compost underneath. I want to use it as a basis for planter mix.

On hand, I have both lava sand and green sand. Composted cotten burr is available if needed. What ratios should I mix? Does that change for hanging planters? What else would help? Are there and insect or isease problems I should address, and how?


Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homemade potting mix.

Here is a link to the Dirt Doctor potting soil recipe. Here it is in a nutshell:

40% compost

40% coconut fiber

10% expanded shale

10% mix of lava sand, greensand, and alfalfa meal

I don't usually have everything on the list handy, I can't find some of this at local vendors, so I have a "vibration" method of making potting soil - the old "add to it and move it around till it looks good." I have compost in the yard, and will pick up top soil and humate at Home Depot and add decomposed granite and the green & lava sand amendments, mixed with my compost. I tend to use this to plant things that are going to go outside later anyway.

I know that the bagged commercial soil and such are the weak link in this organic chain, but by the time my compost has had time to work on it, I think it improves what I consider a fairly neutral or sterile material. And of course when I plant or transplant, I use the Garrett juice and good watering/fertilizing methods.

Author:  onejayhawk [ Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homemade potting mix.

Thanks for the link.

I was hoping for some help with the materials I have readily available. Coconut fiber is nt on the list,

OTOH, it is clear that the lava sand, green sand portion is less, or equal, than 10%.


Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homemade potting mix.

If the only thing you are missing is the coconut fiber, then I would use the cotton and see how much looks like enough. And if all else fails, I would use more compost if I wasn't sure about the look of it. But this is purely a guess.

The recipe is approximate. See what looks good; I don't think any of those ingredients are going to burn the plants you put in it if you get too much of one of them; you want nutrients available to the plants and the soil to not be so dense that water runs off rather than soaks through when you water.

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