Re: [gardeners] Can I make my own potting soil?

Penny Nielsen (
Wed, 12 May 1999 11:42:58 -0300

Thanks so much for the explanation.  Should get his book as I admire him and miss Gardening Naturally.

I have all the ingredients so will give it a try.


>>> "William McKay" <> 05/12/99 09:20AM >>>
There are a bunch of formulas in Eliot Coleman's Book, The New Organic 
Growere.  I have made it out of just about everything and most worked.  My 
favorite is screened compost, screened peat (both through a 1/4 inch mesh) 
in a 50/50 mix with some perlite if I have it.  If it looks too heavy, I'll 
add some sand.  Usually throw in a handful of lime per wheelbarrow load 
along with some fertilizer(I used pelletized chicken manure they sell at the 
local farm store, but in a pinch I have used 5-10-5.)  The mix works well at 
starting seedlings also;  never have a problem with damping off. Later in 
the spring when I start to run out of mix, I'll usually add some sandy 
garden soil.

For my container plants (mostly flowers) I just mix half soil, half compost 
or well broken down horse manure(unscreened and usually a bit rough)and they 

B McKay in E. Mass

>Last fall I emptied out all of my soil from the window boxes and planters.  
>Most of the soil that I see at the garden centres for containers is mostly 
>peat moss.  I am wondering if I can make up my own mixture of peat moss, 
>some garden soil, compost and perlite/vermiculite.  I have a lot of 
>containers to fill and would rather spend the money on plants.  I already 
>have the peat moss and either perlite or vermiculite.
>Any suggestions, along with ratios, would be really appreciated.  I want to 
>start planting this weekend.
>Penny in Halifax, N.S. 5/6a

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