Yes, You Can Blend Your Own Soil. Here’s How.

Most people looking to pot plants or put new soil in their home gardens will pick up pre-mixed bags of soil at their local garden center. However, you do have the option to blend your own soil. Doing so allows you to better customize the soil to certain plant types and conditions. This is especially valuable if you have a hard time getting the exact right results you’re looking for from commercial soil blends.

Most of these commercial potting mixes represent the best attempt by these sellers to provide soils that will work for the masses, not necessarily for particular situations. They will attempt to take issues such as water retention, aeration and nutrients into account. However, not all of these soils are equal, and you often get what you pay for when it comes to soil blends.

For example, suspiciously cheap soils that are just labeled “topsoil” or “compost” could be just about anything. They might be taken straight from lands that have been farmed to the point of exhaustion, completely devoid of nutrients but rich in pesticides or herbicides. Something that is called compost might just be biosolids or ground up wood chips.

When you blend your own soil, you know exactly what’s going into it, and can customize it for the right effects you’re looking for.

Make your own soil

The major disadvantage of creating your own soil is that it is a lot more work than just buying a pre-mixed bag. However, the process itself can be quite gratifying, and you’ll learn a lot about soil composition and gardening in the process. If you are already someone who is interested in gardening and potting, it’s highly recommended that you give it a try.

There are a variety of potting mix recipes you can follow. The classic mix you’ll often see beginners use is one part peat moss or mature compost, one part garden loam or topsoil and one part clean builder’s sand or perlite. The mixture of materials in this blend will provide the necessary structure to keep plants growing upright while also providing plenty of space for drainage. You can also add slow-release organic fertilizer into this mixture.

If you are interested in a soilless mix or growing organic, there is another recipe you can follow. A common one is ½ cubic yard peat moss or coconut coir, ½ cubic yard perlite, 10 lbs. bone meal, five lbs. ground limestone and five lbs. blood meal.

Have further questions about creating your own soil blends for your gardening or potting needs? We encourage you to reach out to our soil scientists at Soil Advocates today for further information – admin@soiladvocates.ca

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By |2019-04-02T13:36:08-04:00April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

About the Author:

Dr. Leanne J Philip, BSc. (Hon.); MSc.; PhD. is the Managing Director & Chief Scientist of Soil Advocates Inc. She studied at the University of Guelph as an undergraduate (Plant Biology, Environmental Management and Urban Horticulture) and as a graduate student (Plant & Soil Interactions). She has a keen interest in soil sciences, which lead her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for doctoral studies in soil carbon sequestration and movement within British Columbia’s clear-cut soils. Further work in soil sciences in Europe and Canada reinforced Dr. Philip’s belief that soil processes and mechanisms belowground drive aboveground aesthetics and plant interactions. While active in both research, mentorship and teaching, most recently Dr. Philip has been working in applied soil sciences in industry and community outreach. Dr. Philip is a native of southern Ontario and is a strong advocate for scientific literacy within her community and responsible environmental stewardship.

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