Potting Mix Recipe
Step be step guide to DiY your own potting mix with high quality ingredients.
Potting Mix Recipe
Potting Mix is also called potting soil, grow media or simply Soil.
A good soil for growing vegetables in containers and raised beds should be loamy - Not too hard, not to loose, well draining yet holding good moisture levels and allow air circulation within the soil.
It should be rich in macro and micro nutrients trapped in organic matter (humus) and managed by a team of beneficial microorganisms (biofertilizers).
There should be both "Ready to Eat" as well as "Slow Release" reserve food for the plants in the soil.
Here is the recipe for such a combination of good quality potting mix.
What you need
Quantity based on your requirement as per the ratios provided below.
1) Major ingredients
b) Red soil
d) Nutritional supplements (Ex. Plant Nutrimix)
Ratios and Proportions
All ratios are approximate. A bit here and there is absolutely fine. The plants are very forgiving!
by volume - a:b:c :: 40:30:30 or by weight - a:b:c :: 38:42:20
d - 40g per 12" pot or sqft or 1kg for 250kg of the a, b c mix
e - 20g per 12" pot or sqft or 1kg for 500kg of the a, b, c mix
Best practice tips
Ingredient a) i.e. Compost should essentially be from diverse sources - Vermicompost, Bokashi compost, aerobic compost, leaf compost etc. And it could be made out of Cowdung, sheep and goat manure, garden/farmyard waste, kitchen waste etc. Preferably a balanced mix of all these inputs are preferred to provide the plants with a broad nutritional base. Click here to get a premium blend of Vermicompost
Ingredients b) & c) i.e. The red soil and cocopeat are collectively termed as "Medium" and their proportions are flexible to vary depending on their local availability and specific types of plants to be grown. Click here to get cocopeat blocks.
Addition of sand only when its benefit to the plant to be grown is substantial. Else cocopeat is a light weight alternative. I would personally urge you not to use sand since the river beds are being extensively exploited for this purpose. Also NOTE: Msand is not an alternative to sand in the potting mix.
Nutritional supplements are made of natural inputs like seed cakes, seaweed extracts, bone meal, rock phosphate, Epsom salt etc. (All optional but desirable) they help in boosting nutritional elements for rich plant growth and release nutrition slowly in to the soil through microbial activity. Click here to get the Plant-Nutrimix
Biofertilizers are beneficial soil microorganisms that will convert the nutrition supplied by a) and d) in to the form available for the plants to absorb. They suppress soil born diseases and helps in solubilizing certain minerals like phosphorous, zinc etc.
All ingredients have to be thoroughly mixed before loading the pots or raised beds.
This is the basic successful formula to start with. There are lot many options of nutritional supplements and bio control agents to chose from. Likewise, to further reduce the weight of potting mix, perlite and vermiculite may replace redsoil in suitable proportions.