Potting Soil Recipes

Make quality potting soil and soil-less mixes at home.

Seedling mix for seedlings
2 parts compost
2 part peat moss or coir 
1 part perlite 
The second recipe is a soilless recipe based on the Cornell Mix concept; the third is a classic soil-based formula. 
Organic substitute for Cornell Mix (large quantity)
1/2 cu. yd. Sphagnum peat or coir 
1/2 cu. yd perlite 
10 lbs. bonemeal 
5 lbs. ground limestone 
5 lbs. bloodmeal 
Classic soil-based mix 
1/3 mature compost or leaf mold, screened 
1/3 garden topsoil 
1/3 sharp sand 
Note: This mix results in a potting soil that is heavier than modern peat mixes, but still has good drainage. Compost has been shown to promote a healthy soil mix that can reduce root diseases. Perlite can be used instead of sand. Organic fertilizer can be added to this base. 
Prick-out mix for growing seedlings to transplant size 
6 parts compost 
3 parts soil
1-2 parts sand 
1-2 parts aged manure 
1 part peat moss, pre-wet and sifted 
1-2 parts leaf mold, if available 
1 6" pot bone meal 
The following recipe is credited to Eliot Coleman. 
Organic potting mix 
1 part sphagnum peat or coir 
1 part peat humus (short fiber) 
1 part compost 
1 part sharp sand (builder's) 
to every 80 qts. of this add: 
1 cup greensand 
1 cup colloidal phosphate 
1 1/2 to 2 cups crabmeal, or bloodmeal 
1/2 cup lime 
These recipes come to us courtesy of 
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