Good morning, savvy, green-savers! For this weeks Greener Living Tip, I am going to post about a topic that I am currently in the process of making for own home again this week, homemade potting soil mix! I traditionally had purchased Miracle Grow Potting Mix, but last Spring when a mid-size bag of this mix skyrocketed to $12.98 at my local Lowe’s, I knew I needed a new alternative! What’s even worse, upon closely inspecting my remaining mix at home, which I blindly purchased for years, noticed a small warning label stating that the potting soil can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract or respiratory tract if ingested and to prevent accidental ingestion, store it out of the reach of pets, and restrict pets from the area while you are using or mixing the product; the product also stated to not touch the soil, and as hard as one might try, sometimes dirt gets inside gloves! I then wondered if I should even use a product which tells me not to directly touch the soil, for fear of illness? How could I have this product around my pets and family?
At once, I set out to create my own soil mix, and today will be sharing with you my recipe! I purchased all of the ingredients for around $20.00 and this makes 10 large bags of soil mix, which is a savings over the Miracle Grow Mix of $10.98 a bag! Also note, I make my own compost, and to add it to the mix, simply place a piece of screen over your containing tub and sift out your compost; for those wanting to learn to make compost, I will be posting about later this season. If you do not have a compost pile, you can purchase screened compost for under $3.00 a bag at a local warehouse or nursery as well; some cities also offer free mulch and compost, which you can screen at home, for free.
Basic Container Mix:
1 bucket (2-1/2 gallons) peat moss
1 bucket(2-1/2 gallons) vermiculite or perlite
A half bucket (1-1/4 gallons) compost
2 cups fine sand
2 cups epsom salts
1/2 cup lime powder
Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in tub containers; I used rubbermaid containers from Lowe’s, purchased on Black Friday, for $1.98 each!
Here are a few tips for using the mix, from what I’ve seen at my home:
1) 20 quarts of potting mix is needed for a window box.
2) For cacti, succulents, and scrub bushes, such as lavender, add 1 cup extra sand to your mix.
3) For primrose and rose bushes, add 1 cup extra peat moss.
Also, to estimate how much dirt, and supplies you will need, I have created a size guide below:
Pots, Tub, and Container Size:
8-inch 3 quarts
10-inch 6 quarts
12-inch 8 quarts
14-inch 12 quarts
16-inch 20 quarts
20-inch 24 quarts
24-inch 28 quarts
30-inch 72 quarts
36-inch 96 quarts
12-inch 6 quarts
16-inch 10 quarts
24-inches by 6-inches 12 quarts
36-inches by 6-inches 20 quarts
These measurements are based on how much mix I use at my home, and should work for you as well. I hope this recipe will help inspire you to Greener Living as well!
Here’s to saving!