How to - Techniques

Soil mixing techniques

By
Judith Adam
Photography by
Christopher Campbell

Create the right soil mix for your plants


Soil mix recipes


Geraniums (indoors)
2 parts heavy potting soil
1 part peat moss
1 part sharp builder's sand or perlite
1 tbsp. crushed egg shells or oyster shells to 1 quart soil mix

African violets
2 parts peat moss
1 part heavy potting soil
1 part vermiculite
1 tbsp. bone meal to 1 quart soil mix

Other houseplants
2 parts heavy potting soil
1 part peat moss
1 part perlite

Seed starting
8 parts peat moss
1 part perlite
1 part vermiculite

Hanging baskets
1 part garden soil
1 part peat moss
1 part vermiculite

Windowboxes and outdoor containers
2 parts garden soil
1 part peat moss
1 part vermiculite or perlite

Propagating cuttings
2 parts vermiculite
1 part coarse sand

Bulb forcing
2 parts coarse sand
1 part garden soil

Cacti, succulents and alpines in containers
2 parts sharp builder's sand
1 part perlite
1 part heavy potting soil
1 part peat moss

Use the following mixes when planting a new potted or bareroot shrub, or when transplanting:
Roses
(1 bushel per shrub)
2 parts sharp builder's sand
1 part peat moss
1 part composted manure
1 part garden soil

Rhododendrons and other ericaceous (acid-loving) plants
(2 bushels per shrub)
2 parts peat moss
2 parts shredded bark
1 part composted manure
1 part garden soil
1 part sharp builder's sand
1 cup horticultural sulfur per bushel soil mix
1 cup blood meal per bushel soil mix

Useful measurements
1 bushel = 32 quarts
2-inch clay pot = 1/3 cup
3-inch clay pot = 1 cup
4-inch clay pot = 2 1/2 cups
6-inch clay pot = 8 cups or 2 quarts

 

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