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Steve Sees Sciways

Make Your Own Potting Soil

If you are like me, you’ve been adding non-meat kitchen scraps to a pile of leaves, old soils from spent plants, grass clippings, and other clean organic matter to your compost pile or compost bin all winter long.

Now you can make your own potting soil for starting seeds or potting flowers. Unlike the store bought, expensive potting soil, you will know just what this stuff contains.

No matter that the compost pile is full of twigs, half decomposed leaves, and pebbles. You shouls sift it just like flour before baking a cake.

For my soil making sifter, I use a tray I made of galvanized small wire mesh nailed to a square of one by two boards. I lay the sifting tray on my garden cart. However you chose to sift, here’s what you do next:  Follow my pictures:


    Shovel compost onto the sifting tray

    Use your hand or a hoe to move the compost over the wire mesh

    After the soil sifts through you are left with any larger, rough bits.

    Those bits would have robbed your flowers or seeds of nutrition.

    Remove the rough bits and put them around plants as mulch.

    Sift the compose until you have enough for your potting or seed beds.

    Add peat moss, wood ash, and other ingredients on the sifting tray.

    Peat moss, for will also leave wood chips that will harm new plants.

    You are ready to use your natural potting soil.

Just one more tip. If you don’t use all the sifted soil, put the remainder in a container and cover. I use a plastic bucket with a tub over it. This prevents nitrogen from escaping into the atmosphere. You want to keep it for your plant roots next time you pot plants or start seeds.

Best of the garden to you,