How To Make A Soilless Potting Mix

September 20, 2016 in Gardening by Christine

Soilless Potting Mix – A Recipe That’s Easy To Make

Most of us would have planted new seeds in the regular garden soil. But, do you know that you can grow seeds on soilless medium? It is very easy to use and make and also helps the plant to grow better. Growing a plant in a pot needs necessary air, water, nutrients and a perfect growing medium. You can easily make one on your own and that too without using any soil. The perfect soilless potting mix has to be lightweight and should drain well. It must contain organic matter that will help in holding the necessary nutrients and water that the plant needs.

homemade soilless potting mix soilless growing mediumsTypes of soilless potting mix

The soilless potting mix can be made using various mediums.

  • Bark

Bark helps in better drainage and offering aeration and is an ideal option to be used to grow seeds. The water retention is not increased when using the barks and for this reason it can be used to grow, mature plants that do not need to be grown in moist conditions.

  • Perlite

This is a volcanic mineral that helps in drainage, retaining water and aeration of the soilless potting mix. It is an ideal choice for covering the seeds and allowing it to germinate.

  • Peat Moss

One of the most common ingredients in any soilless mixture is the peat moss. This is light weight and can retain water very well. It is slightly acidic in nature and works well for growing seeds.

  • Vermiculite

Using the vermiculite in the soilless pot mix will help in retaining the moisture of the mix and also holding the necessary nutrients that the seeds need.

Preparing Soilless Pot Mix At Home

Instead of buying the readymade organic potting mix sold in the local nurseries, you can make high quality sales potting mix for your seeds easily at home.

Organic soilless mix

The basic recipe to make quality potting mix with no soil is as follows:

Ingredients

  • Peat moss.
  • Perlite or vermiculite.
  • Bark

Method

All the above ingredients have to be taken in equal quantities and put into a plastic container. They will have to be mixed together very well in order to come out with the perfect soilless pot mix. You can replace peat moss with coconut coir or even mix both coconut coir and peat moss in equal quantities to make the pot mix. Adding small quantities of limestone and slow release fertiliser will provide the necessary nutrients needed for the seeds to germinate.

Soilless mix with compost

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 parts of peat moss or coconut coir.
  • 2 parts of compost.
  • 1 part each of Perlite and Vermiculite.

Method

Mix all the ingredients well in a large bowl and then put it in the pot that you are going to sow the seeds. Just place the seeds about 2 to 3 cm in the soil or till the soil covers the seed completely.

Potting mix tips

  • To get fast results, soak the peat moss or coir in hot water to aid in hydration.
  • Use coarse river sand or builder’s sand to replace the vermiculite.
  • Never allow the potting mix to go completely dry after you have potted the plants.
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