We understand how important having the right soil is to maintaining a good looking lawn while also keeping weeds and other unwanted plants out of your garden. That is why we want to show you the best way how to make soil from scratch. It is simple, effective, and inexpensive while providing your yard with the healthy nutrients it needs.
Here is how you Make Soil
Step 1: Consider Your Yard and Plants
Each plant type needs different nutrients to do well. What works best for one type of plant may be harmful to another. Because of these differences, you are likely to find many recipes for how to make soil from scratch online.
There are some basic soil recipes you can use no matter what you would like to plant. You can always add specific nutrients if necessary, but these soil recipes will provide most plants with the nutrients they need. For plants that have special needs or ones that are not native to your area, research and see what additives you may need to put into the soil.
Step 2: Get the Ingredients
Now we can look at the ingredients you need for your own soil from scratch. A simple recipe we will use includes:
- 10 quarts peat moss
- 5 quarts vermiculite
- 5 quarts perlite
- 2 cups fine sand
- 5 quarts screened compost
- ½ cup lime (this is used to keep the pH levels neutral)
- 2 cups pelleted fertilizer
These ratios are based on using a 5-gallon bucket. You can easily increase or decrease the amount of each ingredient based on how much soil you would like to make from scratch at a time.
Step 3: Mixing Together
Take out a bucket and mix the ingredients together. Make sure to mix this thoroughly so all the ingredients are dispersed well within the soil. This makes it easier for the plants to get the nutrients they need.
Step 4: Check the pH Levels
Your goal is to keep the pH levels of the soil close to neutral. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. Neutral is 7, though most plants and yards will do better near 7.5. To maintain the look of your yard or garden, you must check the pH levels regularly to see whether they stay neutral or if the numbers become too acidic or too alkaline.
Consider purchasing a pH testing kit when getting your ingredients. This will make it easier to check in on the pH levels regularly. When you first make the soil, the pH levels should be fine, but it never hurts to check. After using the soil and planting, consider checking the pH levels every week or two for the best results.
Step 5: Use the Soil
Once the soil is mixed well, it is time to use it. If you want to use the soil for planting a container garden, use your soil made from scratch to fill up the containers or the boxes you plan to use. If you plan to use this soil as part of your lawn care or garden, then spread the newly made soil out on the area, covering it up well. You may want to test this soil on a little area to see how it works before expanding out to the whole yard.
Step 6: Plant
As soon as the soil is in place, it is time to plant. Most plants will do well in this kind of soil, and you have your pick on what to grow. For total lawn care, you can lay down the new soil and then spread the grass seed around. For container gardening and outside gardening, you can simply plant the seeds of any fruits or vegetables you would like to grow. In no time, you should see healthy and fresh looking plants start to sprout up.
How Much Mix Do I Need?
It is important to know how much you need when learning how to make soil from scratch. When you visit the store, the potting soil you will purchase is sold by volume, usually measured in quarts. If you are using pots, most are measured by their diameter. Using the soil in your yard will require little different measurements, but you can scale it up to fit your needs.
A small, 8-inch pot will need 3 quarts of this soil to fill it up and grow your plants. A 36-inch pot will need 96 quarts. If you are filling up a window box that is 36 in x 6 in, you will need closer to 20 quarts to get this done.
For yards, measure out the amount of space you need. It is likely you will need quite a bit of soil to fill in these areas, but since the soil is inexpensive and easy to mix together, you can make as much as you need to have a nice thick yard or fresh garden.
Simple Tips to Make This Easier
Lighter Is Better
When it comes to soil, lighter is always better. Porous and loose mixtures will make any containers you use easier to move, but they also provide better air, fertilizer, and water to the roots of the plants faster. Even when used in your yard, this lighter material will allow for better drainage while getting all the nutrients straight to the plants or grass.
Pick the Right Ingredients
The perfect potting mix will not have any garden dirt or soil in it. If you are using containers to plant a garden, this is easy to do as you simply follow the instructions we gave earlier. When adding to your outside garden or lawn, you simply mix up the soil and add it on top of the dirt already present.
Watch the pH
Start out with the basic recipe we provided, because this is a good place to start. Then add in soil sulfur to help lower the pH levels or lime to raise them. You will need to test the soil regularly to see where the pH levels are. These levels help determine whether the plants will grow well, and when they are off, it will affect the look of your yard. You can find these additives at most garden centers.
Consider the Drainage
Some plants, including lavender, succulents, and cacti, need rapid drainage. This is easy to accomplish by adding extra perlite or sand to the mixture. If moisture retention is needed, like with woodland flowers or ferns, then peat or vermiculite works great for this.
Making your own soil from scratch is a great way to make high-quality soil without having to worry about too many additives or the soil not having the right nutrients. The recipe in this article has everything your lawn or garden needs, and with a good pH system, you can monitor everything to keep it running well. Contact us at Weed-A-Way for Lawn Care for help with this or any of your other lawn care needs.