Make Your Own Potting Mixes

Give your container plants a good start with a healthy soil mix you can make yourself.


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All potting mixes are not created equal. Your container plantings need soil that holds some moisture but drains well and offers plants a rich supply of nutrients. Purchase a reliable, high-quality commercial potting mix or make your own special blends for various uses.

If you fill containers with garden loam or packaged potting soil, they may be too heavy to move. In addition, the soil tends to become oversaturated when wet, and then dry out and turn rock hard. Add water-absorbing polymer crystals to your potting soil to minimize your watering chores. But remember, container plantings require watering more often than garden plants -- daily in hot, dry weather.

All-Purpose Potting Mix

Use this nutrient-rich blend when planting or replacing plants in containers.

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  • 8 quarts potting soil with vermiculite or perlite
  • 1 quart coarse sand
  • 4 quarts sphagnum peat moss, compost, and/or rotted manure

Lightweight, Enriched Potting Mix

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  • 8 quarts potting soil
  • 1 quart perlite
  • 1 quart vermiculite
  • 8 quarts sphagnum peat moss
  • 1 cup greensand
  • 1 cup gypsum

Soilless Potting Mix

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  • 8 quarts sphagnum peat moss
  • 1 quart perlite
  • 1 quart vermiculite
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