How to Prepare the Potting Soil?

The first step of indoor gardening, or any kind of gardening for that matter, is preparing the healthy soil. Plants do not grow in rock, plants need soil to grow. In order to grow healthily, plants need water and enough nutrients in the soil. Therefore, before you venture in gardening activities, you need to start with preparing the potting soil for growing seeds as well as planting seedlings.

Soil testing

Generally speaking, your gardening soil should contain 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt and 20 percent clay. You can check the quality of your soil in various ways. Take a handful of soil and close your palm. If the soil does not get a shape and crumble, it contains too much of sand. Likewise, if you poke the soil ball with your finger and does not fall apart easily, your social contains too much clay.

There is also another way to test the soil. Take a handful of soil in a glass container, add water, shake it well. Let the mixture settle. The top layer is clay, the middle layer is slit and the bottom layer is sand. By observing the mixture, you can judge how much clay, slit and sand your soil contains.

Fixing soil content

Once you have analyzed the content of your soil, you can easily fix it. Add compost if there is too much slit or sand. If there is too much clay, add a mixture of sand and peat moss. Peat moss helps the soil to retain the moisture as well as aids in infiltrating nutrients in the soil.

Water content in the soil

Plants need water to grow healthily; therefore, you should also check water content in the soil. The potting soil should be soft but not soggy. Plants should get enough water, but water should never stay in the roots. Therefore, you should have a good drainage system. If you are doing outdoor gardening, you need elevated beds for the plants. For indoor gardening, your containers should have drainage holes.

Adding nutrients

Plants get nutrients from the soil. Add fertilizer to your soil one or two weeks before you sow seeds. Fertilizer should be thoroughly mixed in the soil. Since we focus in organic gardening, we suggest you use compost fertilizer. You can easily make your own compost from organic waste from your kitchen or from your garden (vegetations, wood dust etc.)

During the growing stage, seedlings need more nutrients. Therefore, after two weeks of sowing seeds, you should add more fertilizer. You should cover the seedlings with a thin layer of fertilizer and then water the plants. You can also add compost tea to your seedlings. Compost tea is a mixture of one part compost and three parts water.

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5 comments

  1. Some useful points mentioned here. I think you should first analyse your soil content, for instance how much clay or sand the soil contains. Once you know the soil composition, you can go ahead with adding nutrients.

  2. Different species of plants have a different requirement. Therefore, when you are preparing potting soil you have to keep that in mind.

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