Potting Soil Recipes and Soil Reconditioning

Listing of the different types
of potting soils and what they are used
for.

Articles

   Grow
Delphiniums from Seed

   Container
Gardening

Recipes

   Garden
Loam Potting Soil

   John
Innes Potting Compost

   Orchid
Potting Mix

   Cacti
Potting Mix

   Seed
Starting Potting Mix

   Alpines
Potting Mix

   Shade
Potting Mix

   Cutting
Potting mix

   A.
Knutson Potting mixes

   CORNELL
MIXES

   Cornell
Peat-lite Mix

   Cornell
Foliage Plant Mix

   Cornell
Epiphytic Mix

   Standard
Potting Mix

Links

 

 


GARDEN LOAM POTTING SOIL

  • Pass the garden loam through a 1/4 in (0.6
    cm) sieve
  • Warm oven to 180 degrees F (82 C) for 10 minutes
  • Place on center rack
  • Place foil over tray and make sure the soil
    reaches the above temperature. Use a meat thermometer

Potting soils using garden
loam

  • Potting soils should be placed through a
    sieve of the defined size:
  • Loam=3/8 in (1 cm)
  • Peat=3/8 in (1 cm)
  • Sharp Sand=1/8 in (3 mm) NOTE: do not use
    builder sand. Make sure the same is washed thoughly

John
Innes Potting Compost

JI #1 Base

7 parts sterilized loam
3 parts peat
2 parts sand or grit
Fertilizer: 4 oz / 8 gallons (3 grams / liter)
Lime or chalk: 3/4 oz / 8 gallons ( 0.5 grams
/ liter)

JI #2 Base: Same as 1 but double the Fertilizer
and chalk
JI #3 Base: Same as 1 but triple the Fertilizer
and chalk

JI Seed compost: The fresher
the sterilization, the better the germination

2 parts sterilized loam
1 part moss peat
1 part sharp sand

The loam and peat is put through
in 3/8 in (9mm) sieve.

To each bushel or 8gal(36 L) is added:

1-2 oz (42gm) superphosphate
1/2 oz Potassium nitrate
4-6 oz (21gm) ground limestone

Ericaceous Mix: Use the base
but leave out the Lime

Soilless: 3 parts peat and
1 part sand

Potting Compost: (same as above)

7 parts sterilized loam
3 parts moss peat
2 parts sharp sand

The loam and peat is put through
a 3/8 in (9mm) sieve.
To each bushel (8gal/36l) is added

3/4oz (21gm) ground limestone
4oz (110gm) 14-14-14 Osmocote

This makes John Innes Potting Compost
No. 1.
For a richer mix simply double the quantity of

John Innes Base to make No. 2 or treble it to

make No.3


Orchid Mix

1 part peat moss
6 parts fir bark
1 part medium grade charcoal

Cacti Mix

1 part compost
3 parts pumice or grit
1 part coarse builders sad
1 part of fine silt

Seed Starting #2

4 parts peat
2 parts perlite
2 parts vermiculite

Alpines

9 parts coarse sand
5 parts peat
4 part pumice

Pumice is also used as the top dressing and to provide
extra bottom drainage. Provide encapsulated slow-release
fertilizer with minor trace elements once a year
and repot yearly.

Shade Mix

George Schenk’s recipe for the ideal
soil for growing plants in shade.

1 part humus (compost, peat, leaf mold, etc.)
1 part sand
2 parts loamy soil (builder’s or riverside)

Blend in the above ratio. He further
recommends screening both the humus and the soil
so as to eliminate “roots, clods or rocks larger
than a bantam’s egg.”

Cutting mix

1 part peat
1 part sharp sand

A. Knutson mixes

Cuttings: I use composted manure mixed with sawdust
to root cuttings in — it works great; don’t need
rooting hormones.

I use a a 50:50 vermiculite/peat mix to start seeds

Transplants and containers: 1/3 composted manure,
1/3 sandy loam, 1/3 peat moss


CORNELL MIXES

From Hobby Greenhouses in Alberta

Agdex 731-5

The Cornell peat-Lite Mix* is formulated
for growing topical plants. The Foliage Plant
Mix ** and the Epiphytic Mix** formulas are adapted
specifically for their respective plant types
and are modifications of the original peat-lite
mix.

Cornell has used Osmocote 14-14-14
and Peters 14-7-7 fertilizers with the tropical
plant mixes with good results. Other fertilizers
are omitted with the exception of dolomitic limestone
and 20 per cent superphosphate which are added
to adjust the pH and to maintain adequate phosphorus
levels. A trace element mix is added to assure
a balance of minor elements. Trace element mixes
can be purchased from specialty gardening centers.

* “Cornell Tropical Plant Mixes”
by Russel C. Mott

**L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Cornell
University, Ithaca, New York

Cornell Peat-lite Mix

Mix 1/2 cubic meter each of sphagnum
peat moss and perlite or vermiculite. Add 6kg
dolomitic limestone, 2.4 kg ammonium nitrate,
1.5 kg superphosphate, and 0.3 kg potassium chloride
(omit if using vermiculite).

Cornell Foliage Plant Mix

The Cornell Foliage Plant Mix was
developed for those plant that need a growing
medium with high moisture-retention characteristics.
Plants having a fine root system or possessing
many fine root hairs are included in this group.

Material 1 cubic meter
Sphagnum peat moss (screened
1/2 inch mesh)
0.5
Horticultural vermiculite (No.
2)
0.25
Perlite (medium grade) 0.25
Ground dolomitic limestone 4.9 kg
Superphosphate 20% (powdered) 1.2 kg
Fertilizer (10-10-10) 1.6 kg
Iron sulfate 0.4 kg
Potassium nitrate (14-0-44) 0.6 kg
Granular wetting agent 0.9 kg

Cornell Epiphytic Mix

The Cornell Epiphytic Mix was developed
for plants that require good drainage, aeration
and have the ability to withstand drying between
warterings. Plants having coarse, tuberous, or
rhizomatous roots are in this category.

Material 1 cubic meter
Sphagnum peat moss (screened
1/2 inch mesh)
0.33
Douglas, red or white fir bark*
(about 0.5 cm size)
0.33
Perlite (medium grade) 0.25
Ground dolomitic limestone 4.2 kg
Superphosphate 20% (powdered) 2.7 kg
Fertilizer (10-10-10) 1.5 kg
Iron sulfate 0.3 kg
Potassium nitrate (14-0-44) 0.5 kg
Granular wetting agent 0.9 kg

* Fir bark comes from Douglas fir,
white or red fir, or redwood, ground and screened
to a definite size. Finally ground bark (about
0.5 cm) has a dry weight of about 200 g per liter
cube. Fresh bark has a pH of about 5.0. Upon weathering,
it becomes slightly more alkaline. The bark contains
some nutrients, but these will not meet the requirements
of growing plants.


Potting
Mixes from UBC Botanical Gardens

 

All
the plant material coming into the Botanical Garden
nursery, whether it is seed, cutting or bare root
material, is grown in these mixes and the nursery
has a 60-70% success rate of all these plant materials.


Alpine
Potting Mix

4
Bushels of Lakeland coarse peat (to be measured)
4 Bushels of Turface -3 bags
3.3 Bushels of Aqua sand (AE3) -4 bags
2 Bushels of screened pasteurized soil (15%)

Add
by weight

Dolomite
65AG;
Micromax
Aqua-Gro `G’
Osmocote 18-6-12
 390
gms
   315 gms
   340 gms
  1250 gms

Seed
Mix

1 Bushel of soil (screened and pasteurized)
1 Bushel of Fisons Sunshine “Ready-to-Use” Peat
Moss (screened)
1 Bushel of Turface (pre-moisten with 2 gallons
of warm water)

  Add:
Superphosphate
Dolomite GSAG
Truban EC 25%(Fungicide)
  Per
Bushel

42.8 gms
21.4 gms
  3
Bushels

128.4 gms
64.2 gms
2.0 mls


 

Cutting
Mix

5
Bushels of Perlite (horticultural grade)
4 Bushels of Peat (Coarse grade)
3 Bags of Aqua Sand (Equivalent to approx. 3 Bushels)

Add
by weight:

Dolomite
GSAG
Micromax

Aqua-Gro `G’
  450
gms
195 gms
195 gms

 


Standard
Potting Mix

1.5
Bales of Lakeland Coarse Peat
2 Bags of Supreme Perlite
1 Bag of Turface
Total:
9.75
Bushels
6.00 Bushels
1.50 Bushels

17.0 Bushels

Add
by weight:

Dolomite
GS AG;
Micromax
Aquagro `G’
Osmocote 18-6-12
  950
gms (56 gm per bushel)
  515 gms (30 gm per bushel)
   515 gms (30 gm per bushel)
   2390 gms(140 gm per bushel)High
Rate
  
1595 gms (94 gm per bushel) Low

Rate:

High rate-Late spring and summer potting of general
nursery stock, until August 15.
Low rate-Potting of Ericaceous plants or general
nursery stock after August 15.

For Seedlings and Small Container Stock (21/4″,
3″, 4″) Add 3 bushels of screened, pasteurized
soil to a standard potting mix to make it 15%
soil and use low rate of osmocote 18-6-12.

If your collection of houseplants is small, the matter of soil need not greatly concern you. Your florist or a local greenhouse will supply the correct mixture at a reasonable price. It’s easier to buy a few bushels of earth for potting than it is to mix your own. On the other hand, as interest and the number of plants increase, you will probably want to give the matter more consideration and make sure that each plant has its roots buried in the kind of soil most agreeable to the species.

In The Garden Dictionary..’ which, by the way, ought be in every gardener’s possession. They cover all types of plants likely to be cultivated in the house. Mixtures 3 and 6, in particular, cover a wide range of requirements. In subsequent descriptions of plants, number will make reference to potting mixtures.

Potting Mixture 1

  • For potting rooted cuttings started in sand

  • 2 parts sharp sand

  • 1 part loam

  • 1 part leaf mold (or peat moss for acidtolerant plants)

Potting Mixture 2:
For transplanted seedlings and for cuttings when moved from Mixture 1

  • 2 part sharp sand

  • 1 part loam

  • 1 part leaf mold

Potting Mixture 3
For general potting, especially for such plants as the garden geranium, fuchsias, chrysanthemums, Sansevieria, Pandanus, palms, etc.

  • 1 part sharp sand

  • 2 parts loam

  • 1 part leaf mold or humus

  • 1/2 part dried cow manure

  • 1 5-inch flower pot full of bone meal to each bushel of the mixture

Potting Mixture 4
For plants requiring more humus than in Mixture 3, such as begonias, many ferns, primulas, etc.

  • 2 parts sharp sand

  • 2 parts loam

  • 2 parts leaf mold or humus 1/2 part dried cow manure

  • 1  5-inch flower pot full of bone meal to each bushel of the mixture

Potting Mixture 5
For potting many hardwoodcd plants such as azaleas, Ericas,Daphne, and certain ferns

  • 2 parts sharp sand

  • 2 parts loam

  • 2 parts peat moss

  • 1 part leaf mold or humus

  • 1/3 part dried cow manure

Potting Mixture 6
For most cacti and succulents

  • 2 parts sharp sand

  • 2 parts loam

  • 1 part broken flower pots or soft brick broken into small pieces

  • 1/2 part leaf mold or humus

  • 1 5-inch flower pot of bone meal to each bushel of the mixture

  • 1 5-inch flower pot of limestone (ground) to each bushel of the mixture

With material for preparing these mixtures on hand in the garage or tool shed you are ready for any eventualities as potting is concerned. Irrespective of the labor it is a source of great satisfaction to the deeply interested gardener to know that he is giving his plants the best start; and the plants show their appreciation with foliage and more numerous blossoms.

 


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