A modern approach to gardening demands certain investments. Tools, equipment, fertilizer and other commonly used things are merely a tip of the iceberg. But, what if I tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that all the time? That there are things which you can make and save a significant amount of money? In case that you have doubts, let me present you my recipe.
Follow the instructions in this article, and you will benefit, without a doubt. You will learn how to make easy organic soil mix for beginner, with small investments. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Where Can I Use This Mixture?
The best thing about organic soil is that it can be used everywhere. Of course, gardeners who are following the natural path to gardening will benefit from this article the most. On the other hand, if you aren't overly fond of organic gardening, this might be a good time to try it out.
As for the occasion, this mixture is convenient both for container growing, as well as for larger scale appliance. Choose the amount carefully, however, since I don’t like my mix to sit around unused.
What Will I Need?
Since I have already covered the matter of organic soil for tomatoes, this article will be more beginner-oriented. Therefore, no complicated tools or ingredients will be included. As for tools, you will need a pitchfork for mixing, a large crate or an old bathtub, or if you are making a lot of soil, mark the place where you will put it.
As for the ingredients, I recommend using:
The soil from the garden is not recommended for this usage because it is usually drained of its nutrients and valuable minerals and tends to compress in time. However, I have found a way to make this as economical as possible.
Three things, however, are needed and cannot be replaced. Soil test kit will be required to keep track of the nutrients, and if you already have a compost tumbler, use it. If not, and you don’t want to go shopping now, take a large bucket or other bigger container. The third thing which will be needed is a pH meter, in case that soil test kit doesn’t have the option to measure this value.
When Should I Start?
The best thing about making this mixture is that you can do it anytime you like. If you are making a potting soil, you can do it in your garage. On the other hand, if you are planning to revitalize your garden, avoid planning this procedure in winter. The soil will surely freeze, and this makes the job incredibly hard.
As I said, I have used the soil from the garden, and because of that, I have started about three weeks before the date I set for the beginning of mixing. In case that your soil was home for some of the heavy feeders such as onions or cabbage, I suggest you start even earlier.
Is This The Beginning?
Yes, at this moment, some three weeks before the set date, I have started creating the base of the mixture. Several buckets of ground soil were thrown into the tub and fertilizer was added. I have used rabbit poop fertilizer, because of its mild smell and easiness of usage. You can use whichever you like of course.
Now, this mixture of loam and manure was mixed once in every few days for three weeks. Of course, to make the soil absorb nutrients better, I have watered it once in a while with an ordinary garden hose.
One week after the beginning, I have begun preparations for making quality hummus for the mixture. This is where the tumbler will make things a lot easier, but if you don’t have it, a large container will do. Throw in every bit of organic matter you can find.
This includes leaves, grass cuttings, cardboard, and eggshells even. Turn it once in a while, and the whole process should need around two weeks to be completed.
What To Do In The Meantime?
As I waited for two mixtures to be done, I have taken a few visits to the city. First, I have visited our local stone cutter and asked him if he has some granite dust. He didn’t have it at the moment, but after a few days he called me, and one bag of granite dust was ready.
The second reason for my trip was the sand. I have decided for that to be my draining material since perlite can be expensive for large-scale usage. Of course, sea sand is not welcome; that extra salt contained will ruin and kill the plants.
Are We Going To Mix It Now?
After two weeks the once garden soil was nicely done, and the hummus was progressing well. Therefore, I have decided to make the final step and mix all of the ingredients and see what will happen.
First, I have put two buckets of processed garden soil and watered it well. After that, I have added one and a half of bucket of hummus, turned the mixture and watered again. In the end, I have thrown in several shovels of sand plus half a shovel of granite dust, and you guess it, moistened and mixed it once more. This is where the job just begins. For five days, I have turned the mixture thoroughly, only without watering. After this period, the time has come for final adjusting.
I wanted to make pH neutral soil so that I can adjust it later according to my needs. Luckily, it turned out almost perfectly (6.8), but if you wish to modify the acidity, add limestone raise pH or sulfur to reduce it.
As for NPK index, it is a leap of faith; it can turn out to be a nutrient bomb, in which case I recommend to use it mixed with more soil, or mild so that it won’t burn the plants. If it is possible, collect the water which drains around the area where you are preparing the mixture. This makes a fantastic liquid fertilizer.
How To Know If It Turned Out Right?
First of all, there are several factors which are making soil excellent or bad. Those four are:
Luckily, all of those three can be adjusted after the mixture is done. For example, you have used just a tiny bit of enormous pile of which you just made, to plant some flowers in a pot. After first watering, you have noticed that the water doesn’t drain as fast as it should be. Not a problem, go to the pile, add more sand, and turn it a few times.
The same goes with the nutrients and acidity. If NPK index is overall low, add fertilizer before planting your vegetables. On the other hand, if the acidity is off the charts, or you are using the mixture for both acid-loving and alkaline-favorable plants, add sulfur or limestone to adjust.
There is, however, one situation which you need to take into consideration when making large quantities of the mixture. To avoid mix to become hard and dense, turn it with a pitchfork once a week. Also, do not let it sit in the open rain. It will water down nutrients and ruin your hard work, and will also accelerate the process of hardening. Consider covering it with a tarp, and it should be all right.
So, here it is. The knowledge about how to make easy organic soil mix for beginner is at your disposal. I hope that you will be able to use it as often as possible and that your plants will continue to grow and progress well.
As always, feel free to leave a comment, opinion or thought in the comment section below.