Learning how to make DIY soil mix can be useful especially for plant owners with many plants. If you have just one or two plants, you can make do with purchasing ready-made soil mixes. Making a DIY soil mix is easy and everyone can make an all-purpose soil mix. All you need is to have all the materials in the right quantities.
How to Make DIY Soil Mix
This DIY soil mix is an all-purpose soil mix. It can be used for all types of plants except for plants with special soil requirements such as succulents. It can be used for monstera, philodendron, hoya, and many other houseplants.
You can also make slight adjustments depending on whether you are a heavy waterer or a light waterer.
- Coco coir or peat moss
- Perlite or pumice
- Worm castings
The all-purpose soil ratio is 60/40. The sixty percent is mainly peat or coco coir and the 40 percent is aeration materials and nutrients. So, you will change a little bit of the ratios depending on how much you water.
60 percent of this potting mixture is made of either peat moss or coco coir. I like to use coco coir because it’s a renewable resource. Peat moss, on the other hand, is mined from the peat bogs and it takes a long time for it to form.
I do use peat moss especially in outdoor gardening but I’m starting to focus on coco coir. I also like coco coir because it has a neutral pH. Coco coir also helps retain moisture which helps roots access to water.
The 40% brings in the aeration and nutrition that you need for your soil. I love to use pumice. Pumice has become my go-to soil aeration material because it doesn’t float up to the top of the surface of the soil like perlite.
Perlite is also light and it breaks down into smaller pieces breaks easily. Although perlite is finer compared to pumice, it’s used by many plant growers and owners. It’s much easier to find perlite than it is to find pumice.
Measure 20% pumice or perlite and add it to the coco coir.
The rest 20% is the nutritional value of the mixture. I use worm castings because they are great and don’t burn the roots of your plants. It also breaks down slowly and releases minerals that support the plants.
The final step is to mix the materials properly. You can do the mixing with a spoon, spatula, or just with your hands.
Adjusting the DIY Soil Mix Ratio
As mentioned above you can play with the ratio depending on how often you water your plans. If you water your plants a lot, go heavy on the drainage stuff. Add more pumice or perlite if that is what you prefer to use.
You can even add horticultural charcoal. Horticultural charcoal is chunkier and improves drainage tremendously.
I like to use horticultural charcoal at the base of my pots. I add a layer of the material before adding any other soil be it this all-purpose DIY soil mix or special plant mix. The horticultural charcoal layer helps eliminates odor.
It also helps eliminate extra moisture at the bottom in pots and keep the roots from sitting in water and rotting.
How to Make DIY Succulent Soil Mix
You can make DIY generic succulent mix easily at home. I use regular potting soil which already has perlite, wood chips, peat moss, and other things.
Then I add a lot of perlite or pumice to increase the soil’s drainage. Then mix the soil and the perlite until it’s evenly distributed. If you have access to both perlite and pumice you can add both of them.
If you are a beginner and don’t want to experiment with mixing succulent soil you can purchase ready-made soil mix.
When making succulent soil mix don’t get tempted to add stuff like vermiculite. Although the succulents need soil that has nutrients, they like porous soils that allow water to drain.
Check this post on more details on making succulent soil mix.
The type of soil you use for your plants can make or break your success with plants. However, you can experiment and find what works best for your plants as well as your watering style.
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