Mix your own Potting Soil

Potting Soil Mixes

I'm just starting to mix my own potting soil.

Whatever Potting Soil you use; make sure it's sterilized, free of fungi, insects, weeds and soil-borne diseases. Garden soil is not good for germinating seeds or growing seedlings. It's too heavy and it tends to crust and making it hard for seeds to sprout.

Sterilize Potting Soil in the Microwave
The soil should be moist and crumbly. If it's dry enough to work with; it can be microwaved.

Add two and half pounds of potting soil to a plastic bag and microwave at full power for two and half minutes. If you have problem with soilborne diseases you can double the microwave time.
After microwaving the soil, clean the microwave thoroughly, especially around the microwave door seal.

Seed Starting Mixes
Starting Mix
Combine equal part of vermiculite,
milled sphagnum moss
and perlite.

These ingredients will provide a well drained seed bed. Works well for germinating seeds. This mixture is missing nutrient-rich ingredients - so you'll need to fertilize your seedlings until they are ready to transplant.
Sometimes I do substitute course sand or grit for vermiculite.

Other starting Mixtures
Equal parts of milled sphagnum moss
and vermiculite.

1 part of milled sphagnum moss
2 parts of vermiculite
2 parts of perlite

Potting Mixture for Transplants
1 part screened compost or leaf mold
1 part of vermiculite or perlite

1 part finished compost or leaf mold
1 part of good potting soil
1 part of sharp sand, perlite or vermiculite

1 part of commercial potting soil, leaf mold or compost
1 part of peat moss or sphagnum moss
1 part of perlite or sharp sand.

1 part compost or leaf mold
2 parts of good potting soil
1 part of well rotted sifted manure

Play with these and then you'll end up with a mixture that works just for you.
I use equal parts of everything with a little extra sand where needed.

Mixing Potting Soil
I like a lot of space and I use either a wheelbarrow or a large plastic tub.
Moisten the potting mixture with hot water and let it sit and soak the moisture before using it. The Potting Mixture will be easier to use and definitely less dusty.

Potting Soil Mixture on Video - from John
1 part soil, or potting soil and compost
1 part perlite
1 part coir fiber - from coconuts