DIY Potting Mix Recipe to Save Money
I normally make my potting soil as below and it has given good results throughout.
1/3 coir 1/3 yard compost and 1/3 garden soils or soil and sand mixed equally. I also heat soil to 60 deg C for about 20 minutes to kill unwanted Organics including seeds to sterilise. It is also advised to sterilise the vermicompost as above, if it is from unknown source. Also it is better to wash the coir 2 or 3 times to remove its acidic nature and dry it well. I also add a dash of oil cakes of neem, peanut and sesame seeds. Adding phospho-bacterium and Trichoderma viride helps in providing microbes and fungal resistance to saplings/seeds. Hope this helps.
My recipe for soil includes screened mulch, egg shells, coffee grounds, fireplace ashes and finely shredded paper mixed in a 50 gal drum
Please inform your readers of the negative environmental effects of peat moss and promote sustainable alternatives instead, like coconut coir.
Peat moss takes tens of thousands of years to form in bogs, then is dug up and put in bags for gardeners in a matter of days. That natural wetland bog environment uses the peat to filter and purify water, and thousands of animal species live in bogs. Draining and digging them up for gardeners is unsustainable and bad for the environment. The bogs will never recover fast enough for more peat to be harvested in the same area, so new bogs must be destroyed all the time. Digging up peat bogs releases massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and peat moss is often exported from poor countries to be shipped to rich countries at non fair-trade prices.
Peat bogs are even known to catch on fire when they are drained, and the peat can burn underground for months on end, releasing tons of smoke, CO2 and other hazardous chemicals into the air.
Consider buying compressed coconut coir online for adding organic matter to soil. Unlike peat moss, coconut coir is completely renewable (it's made from waste coconut shells), and is pH neutral (peat moss is acidic). It ships in small cardboard boxes, which is better for the environment than giant plastic bags filled with peat.
You have a responsibility to the Earth and your readers to be informed about these types of concerns.
No one sells real peat bog moss anymore, relax. Nearly everything sold in the us market as peat is simply composted lumber mill waste from canada. Yes it's a scam. But it's much less of a scam than pretending that mass monoculture coconut farms destroying jungle and shipping the discards 5,000 miles on diesel ships is carbon neutral.
Hi Thomas, yes, you still can find peat moss as an ingredient in bagged soil & potting mixes. I had to spend a little time looking last year to avoid buying soil without it.
I keep seeing things while looking for a good potting soil (long story short I got a bad bag and my house is full of fungus gnats that are so resilient I'm going to re-pot everything), about some soils being "hot" and that plants need to get used to it. Particularly brands like Fox Farm. I'm having trouble understand what it means that it's "hot" for plants, because I'm pretty sure they don't mean it's popular, people appear to be referring to temperature. How is a potting soil generating heat? I'm very confused.
Monica when some one says the soil is hot , it means it has not been fully composted, it is still creating heat during breakdown and can harm your plants , best to wait before using allowing the process to finish .
You are correct that the term “hot soil” isn’t referring to the popularity nor the temperature; rather, it refers to the nutrient content of the soil. I don’t believe this usage is all that common, but it appears to mean soil that has a high nutrient content—even too high—which can actually be bad for plants.
Generally, any organic soil that’s meant for use in containers should do the trick. No need to get overly fancy!
Too hot also refers to the fact many of the bagged soil companies package their products while it is still composting and therefore is really hot (meaning temperature). This too often creates the "hot" youre speaking of. If you pick up a bag of soil thats indoors and you open it and stick your hand down to the middle and can feel it being very warm/hot then your soil was not properly composted before it was packaged, unless of course that bag has been sitting in the hot sun for days. So that being said , "hot soil" has two explanations and both can burn your plants.