Making your own potting soil mix is a lot easier than you think and it can make a big difference in the growth and strength of your plants. Not only that, but when you know what you’re putting in your own mix, you have more control over the nutrition, water regulation, and density of the soil. The downside is that if you make the wrong mix, it can inhibit the growth of your plants, which you obviously don’t want. In this blog, I’ll explain how to make your own potting soil mix that will ensure good germination and growth of your seedlings.
The main components of your potting soil mix
To make your own potting soil mix, you obviously need potting soil. But in addition to potting soil, it’s also good to have the following ingredients on hand:
Seed and seedling soil
You can also find special seed and seedling soil in most garden centers. This is often very expensive and not necessary to use. But we can learn from it. What is in seed and seedling soil? Mainly play sand and un-fertilized soil. In addition, it is sifted and heated to kill all diseases and weed seeds. A special ingredient that they often use is seedling powder. I’ll talk more about that later.
Since seed and seedling soil works well, we take the ingredients of this soil as the basis for our own potting soil mix.
Our own potting soil mix
In recent years we have tried a lot of mixes. We want a mix that is airy, where the water regulation proceeds well, and of course, the mix must contain sufficient nutrition for good growth. And now the recipe for our mix:
Three parts potting soil – The nutrition for the seedlings
One-part play sand – Provides water permeability and airiness
One-part vermiculite – Provides water and nutrition regulation
One teaspoon seedling powder – Helps with root formation
You can also add ½ part perlite for extra water permeability if you like.
We usually mix enough to fill a large potting tray, which is about 5 liters. In the potting tray, it is easy to mix the different ingredients well. Then we can fill the seedling trays. To weigh it we use our hands. Two hands in this case is one part.
Also, keep this in mind when making your own potting soil mix
You now know what the ingredients of our potting soil mix are. Still, there are a few points to keep in mind. For example, you can’t choose any potting soil and you also need to look at the type of play sand you use.
Which potting soil should I choose?
Potting soil comes in different types. Each type is tailored to the type of plant you want to grow and the growing conditions. For example, there is universal potting soil which is suitable for most plants, while cactus and succulent potting soil is specifically made for these plant types that can absorb more water and need less nutrition. Choose a potting soil that fits your type of plant.
Which type of sand should I mix with the potting soil?
Not every type of sand is suitable for mixing with the potting soil. The sand used in seed and seedling soil is heated to kill all diseases in the sand. You want to do this for your own mix as well. Luckily, play sand is also heated and is therefore free from diseases and weeds. Furthermore, it is also very cheap. Therefore, play sand is a good ingredient to use for your own potting soil mix.
How do you make potting soil airy?
You can make your potting soil airier with both play sand and perlite. Perlite are the white pellets in the potting soil mixes that you can buy. It provides very good water permeability and therefore makes your mix well-aerated. Keep in mind that you don’t use too much of it. The pellets are too big for seedlings to cling to and hold on to. But too many pellets can also cause your mix to dry out quickly. Therefore, ensure a good ratio.
What does vermiculite do in the potting soil mix?
When you make your own potting soil mix, vermiculite is in our opinion essential. Vermiculite provides a balance of nutrition and water. This is because vermiculite absorbs water with nutrition when the soil is too wet and releases it when the soil is too dry. This way, you don’t give your seedlings too much water and at the same time the risk of drying out is much smaller. Because vermiculite absorbs water with nutrition in it, it prevents nutrition from washing away. In addition, it releases water when necessary and gradually releases nutrition.
Make sure to include seedling powder in your mix
The secret trick of seed and seedling soil is the seedling powder that is added. Seedling powder is extremely helpful in the early phase of the growth of the roots of your plants. By adding a teaspoon of seedling powder ourselves, we help the seedlings form extra strong roots.
I hope that this information helps you to make your own potting soil mix for growing plants. If you still have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.