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Loved by Aussie Gardeners

Make Potting Soil For Your Container Garden

Over time, potting soil can become depleted of nutrients and compacted, which can lead to poor plant growth and drainage issues. It becomes an expensive and wasteful practiceto throw out spent potting...

As one gardening season comes to an end, it's important to think about refreshing your potting soil before the next one.

Over time, potting soil can become depleted of nutrients and compacted, which can lead to poor plant growth and drainage issues. Throwing out spent potting soil after it is exhausted is an expensive and wasteful practice.

Far better to gather together a few simple ingredients and refresh old soil.  In this blog post, we'll discuss the benefits of refreshing potting soil and share some recipes for making your own potting soil at home. These tips can be employed even in the smallest of gardens.

Word of caution - always wear a dust mask to protect yourself against airborne pathogens and bacteria.

Benefits of Refreshing Potting Soil

When you refresh your potting soil, you'll be able to create a healthier growing environment for your plants. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Improved Nutrient Availability: When you add fresh soil to your pot, you're replenishing the nutrients that have been used up by the previous plant. This ensures that the next plant has access to the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

  2. Enhanced Drainage: Compacted soil can impede drainage and cause water to pool on the surface of the soil. By refreshing your potting soil, you can improve drainage and prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

  3. Increased Airflow: Over time, potting soil can become compacted and lose its ability to hold air. This can suffocate plant roots and prevent healthy growth. By refreshing your soil, you'll be able to reintroduce air pockets, which will help your plants grow strong and healthy.

Potting Soil Recipes

If you're interested in making your own potting soil, here are some basic recipes to get you started:

    Basic Veggies Potting Soil Recipe

    • 1 part pre-socaked Coir Peat or Coco Husks
    • 1 part Vermiculite (Grade 3 is the recommended size)
    • 1 part aged animal manure (I like the ease of bagged cow manure
    • 2 parts sifted compost (see notes below about compost in small space gardening)
    • 1 cup Worm castings or Vermicast (bagged or homemade)
    • 2 parts spent potting mix with the roots and debris removed.

    Mix all ingredients together in a large container until well combined. This potting soil is suitable for most vegetables, and provides good drainage.

    Cactus and Succulent Potting Soil Recipe:

    • 1 part sand
    • 1 part perlite
    • 1 part coarse peat moss

    Mix all ingredients together in a large container until well combined. This potting soil is ideal for plants that need excellent drainage, such as cacti and succulents.

    Seed Raising Potting Soil Recipe:

    • 2 parts finely sieved compost.
    • 1 part worm castings (can be purchased in bag form).
    • 2 parts coir fibre (hydrated which means soak the brick in water first and separate it into a fluffy mass)
    • 1 part coarse river sand (can be bought at the garden centre, do not use builders' sand)

    If you don't have a supply of compost as many in small spaces such as apartments don't (do check out my Blog on Small Space Composting as it can be done!), you can purchase bagged compost but only select good quality brands which do not have too much wood chip in it. You can check out the List of Products I use on my Balcony for some tips 

    Mix all ingredients together in a large container until well combined. This potting soil is ideal for starting seeds, as it provides good drainage and aeration.

    How to Refresh Potting Soil To refresh your veggie potting soil, follow these simple steps:

    1. Remove any debris, such as dead leaves or roots, from the soil.
    2. Add fresh veggie potting soil that you've made as per the recipe above, to the pot until it's about two-thirds full.
    3. Mix the old and new soil together until well combined.
    4. Top off the pot with a layer of fresh potting soil.

    By refreshing your potting soil at the end of the growing season, you'll be able to create a healthier growing environment for your plants. 

    In the store we have the most comprehensive Make Potting Mix At Home Guide developed by Anne Gibson, an expert on healthy soil.

     

    Make Potting Mix At Home Guide

     

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