The Content Of The Article:
- Ingredients of good potting soil
- Some peat alternatives at a glance
- The "basic recipe" for your own container potting soil
- Mixing the potting soil
- Important notes for preparing your own container potting soil
- frequently asked Questions
Laity tend to tend to take ordinary potting soil or even soil from the garden for their potted plants. However, this is clearly to be discouraged because potted plants need special potting soil, which is best suited to their respective needs. You can find out here which criteria potted soil must fulfill and how you can mix soil for your potted plants at home.
Container plants need very special soil for several reasons. One reason is that there is little room for the plants in the tub to form strong roots, which is why they need to give the soil the best possible support, so that they can defy even stronger winds in case of need. In addition, the soil must be able to store water as well as possible in pots, without thereby slurrying or forming waterlogging or sanding or hardening on drying out. In addition, potted soil must be extremely nutrient-rich, as it is largely free of organisms that provide new nutrients, unlike garden soil. In this context, it should also be noted that the nutrient content of the Kübelerde should be optimally adapted to the actual nutrient needs of the plants concerned. Consequently, it may be advisable to mix different types of soil with each other or directly produce your own potting soil. However, you need to know the main components of good potting soil and the nutritional needs of your plants.
Ingredients of good potting soilIt should be understood that potted soil from their actual composition has many parallels to conventional potting soil. Among the said ingredients, which are contained in potting soil for the reasons mentioned above in a completely different mixing ratio than in ordinary potting soil, are primarily humus, lime, various fertilizers and, unfortunately, peat. In fact, the proportion of peat in industrially manufactured potting soil is even significantly higher than that of regular potting soil, which alone is more than reprehensible from an ecological point of view. For although peat is a completely natural and therefore environmentally friendly substance, peat extraction is an unacceptable interference with the environment.
Some peat alternatives at a glanceThat so much peat is still used in the production of potting soil in general and potting soil in particular is mainly due to the fact that it is particularly good at storing moisture. However, there is a renewable alternative in the form of coconut fibers, which is clearly superior to peat in this crucial point. In addition, coconut fibers are generally very user-friendly and can be precisely dosed, which is invaluable when it comes to mixing your own potting soil. Apart from that, coconut fibers in dried form are very compact and light, so you can simply have them sent to you by mail in the required amount.
Another alternative to peat is so-called xylitol. This is a natural precursor of lignite, which until now has been considered as a pure by-product of coal mining. However, it has now been found that the addition of xylitol has a positive effect on overall health, growth and flowering power, as well as the yield of plants. The main reasons for the positive impact on plants are on the one hand an unusually large pore volume, which ensures a very good ventilation of the potting soil, and on the other hand an extremely high humic acid content, which is almost identical to that of peat.
The "basic recipe" for your own container potting soil
- about one third good garden soil. a third mature compost soil
- about one third peat (better coconut fiber or xylitol)
- per 5 l of soil about 50 to 100 g of coarse-grained sand (eg quartz sand)
- optionally a little lime or shredded material, sawdust and wood fibers (depending on the pH of the soil)
- additional nutrients (as needed)
Mixing the potting soilSince it is important that all ingredients are optimally mixed with each other, it is advisable not to produce too large amounts of potting soil at once. In addition, you should mix the ingredients low in the bucket, but rather on a spread film by hand with each other.
Important notes for preparing your own container potting soilThe biggest challenge in producing your own container potting soil is the ratio in which the individual ingredients are mixed together. Particularly worth mentioning here are lime, chopped wood and sawdust or wood fibers, as these ingredients have a direct effect on the pH value of the earth.
Again, the pH is responsible for how well plants can absorb and process the nutrients contained in the soil, so it's best to continually check it with an appropriate analyzer or test kit as you prepare the soil. What may seem very complex and costly right from the start is in practice quite simple and, at least in the long run, also very cheap. In fact, the operation of the aforementioned analyzers, which you can get for the rest, even for a few euros in stores, may be described as almost intuitive.
For most potted plants, a pH of five to six would be ideal. However, there are a few exceptions for which this value is already too high or too low. Cacti and rhododendrons, which usually prefer slightly acidic bucket earth, should be mentioned as examples in this regard.
Furthermore, when enriching the soil with individual nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium oxide or nitrogen, you should be a little more restrained. This is especially true when the Kübelerde is intended for young plants, which tend in an excess supply of nutrients to hardly form roots.
Tip: If you do not have your own experience in the preparation of potting soil, you may want to limit yourself to mixing different types of potted plants.
frequently asked QuestionsHow often should bucket potting soil be replaced?Generally, it is advised to replace the soil of potted plants alone for protection against plant diseases and vermin once a year or at least every two to a maximum of three years completely against new potted plant soil.
- When is the best time to exchange Kübelerde for new earth?
- Can I just dump old potted soil into the garden?