How to: Soil Mix Homemade - on a Serious Budget

lilce51286February 22, 2014

Hello,

I've read a lot about Al's mixes, I'd like to make some of my own, but due to finances like many others had to be on a STRICT budget. I have about $60 for me to spend on making my own mix. I live in Baltimore MD

Petsmart has - Repti Bark
Homestead Gardens has - Bonsai Soil, perlite, vermiculite, soil, etc
Lowes/Home depot has - perlite, vermiculite, and I can get potting soil if needed but I doubt since the mix does not include it

Would anyone including Al if your available be able to help me w/what I may be able to use to make either gritty or 5:1:1? All for indoor plants which include: 2 avocados, mix of green potted arrangement w/peace Lilly, cactus, and giant rubber tree (will do this in March or April). Thank You all for the help :))

Since I got the plant arrangement couple days ago now there's little Gnats flying around and that arrangement is full of soil/miss on top. It's causing issues and I don't want my other plants to get infected. Since today & tomorrow will be in the 60's, I want to repot these plants in the garage, and get a head start.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You should be able to get:
1 - 4 cu ft bag of perlite for 1 - 4 cu ft bale of peat for 1 - 50 lb bag of lime for 4-5 - 2 cu ft bags of pine bark for about $23

The first 3 ingredients will set you up to make much more than you can make with the 4-5 bags of bark. The only other think you'll need is your fertilizer.

Al

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lilce51286

Oh ok will this eliminate the gnats though? Peat is like soil right? Thanks for replying I actually found left over perlite in my garage :))))

What would the lime be for?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lilce51286

Fertilizer on hand I have:
Dyna gro liquid plant food 7-9-5 and Pro Tekt
Neptune's Harvest: liquid fish & seaweed

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

There is a triangle bounded by soil choice, watering habits, and nutrition that are inextricably linked to each other. If you get the soil part right, the rest becomes much easier, with a much wider margin for grower error. Peaty soils or soils based on primarily fine ingredients are much harder to grow in, and the margin for error increases in a fairly linear relationship with a soil's water retention. Your gnat issue is probably related to both soil choice and watering habits at a minimum - possible a fertilizer issue too, depending on what you've been using.

Lime in bark/peat soils serves 2 purposes. It brings pH up to a more favorable level, and it provides a source for Ca and Mg - two nutrients usually missing from soluble fertilizers (but present in most Dyna-Gro products.

I'll link you to a thread which provides information that clarifies how water behaves in soils. I think that gaining an understanding of what's in this thread is probably the largest step forward a container gardener can make at one time.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: See what you think .....

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lilce51286

Thank you and I'll read the link now :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 14:19

You should be able to get:
1 - 4 cu ft bag of perlite for 1 - 4 cu ft bale of peat for 1 - 50 lb bag of lime for 4-5 - 2 cu ft bags of pine bark for about $23
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

A simple math show that 5-1-1 mix(based on above prices) will cost LESS THAN $3 per cubic foot ($0.38 per gal.). The most expensive ingredients in it is PERLITE that costs $5 per cubic foot. But it is 1/7th of the mix.

TRANSLATION: to pot a 5 gal. bucket, it will cost UNDER $2. That is probably less than one half of some bagged potting soils. (like MG, Promix)

So if you have a lot of container gardening to do, then 5-1-1 is worth looking into it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:59AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Long Term Potting Mix Recipe - Alternative to Gritty Mix
Hi everyone, I'm a new gardener from Perth, Western...
arcan
Raised Bed Question
I bought 2 raised beds, 6' x 6' x 10". Can I stack...
sokrmomtx
Potting into Air Pots, root length question
Hello all, My question is, air pots are supposed to...
stickstring (Northern California 8b)
Coarse Perlite for 5:1:1
Hi all, first off is "coarse" the correct...
halocline
To find popular threads try this...
When you are looking for popular threads from the GW...
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™