Why am I so much concerned about potting mixture? wouldn’t filling up your garden soil do all the magic?
Well, surprisingly, no!
It is the quality of your potting mixture that is going to play the major role in your organic vegetable harvest, not alone in quantity but also the quality.
It is mostly from the soil that the nutrients are taken by the plants (I say mostly because I currently am doing research on phyllosphere microorganisms and find them to be of great help in supplying nutrition to the plant too)
Quality Potting Mix
In the long run, the quality of soil will pay you double the times of what you have spent on it.
A good quality soil mic should be
- Free from stones, debris or lumps
- Rich in nutrients
- Free from disease or pest infestation
- Should contain good microbes that will help in plant growth
- Free from chemicals
Potting Mixture – Ingredients You Can Use
To attain the best potting mixture for growing your own organic vegetables, you can use the following ingredients along with top soil, or soil tested garden soil.
If you find all this process tedious, you could just mail us to get your potting mix, all ready made and packed for you. Our SIM Organics Terrace Garden Kit comes with all that you need to start your terrace garden.
So back to the ingredients of a good potting mixture
1. Peat Moss
Peat moss, though is the most common ingredient of soil mixture, is very expensive. In India, the availability of peat moss is very limited leading to exorbitant prices.
Its ability to supply nutrients slowly and hold them for loger tme periods has made peat moss popular overlooking its high acidity. If you are not in India and would like to add peat moss to your potting mixture make sure to add lime to neutralize the pH.
2. Coco Coir Peat
This is always my favorite potting mixture ingredient and I choose coc coir peat above peat moss.
It is because it looks just like peat moss but is a by-product of coconut fibre industry. It is organic, reduces the waste of fiber industry and helps in reducing the heaps of wastes dumped.
Coir is made into brickets these days, which will expand on absorbing water. This makes it easy to be transported too.
And above all, it has optimum pH for growing plants, best water retention and great porosity for circulation of air.
3. Worm Castings/Vermicompost:
Worm castings are the best manure one can make out of all the kitchen wastes at home. I shall teach you how to make your own vermicompost in this series.
Since you would be using heterogeneous wastes, the resultant vermicompost is rich in nutrients and is an excellent soil conditioner.
Vermicomposing may sound difficult, but with practice you would find it so interesting that you would be advising people around you to follow. In fact the final product is so interesting and pure.
4. Bone meal and Fish Meal
These are nutrient rich organic wastes from slaughter houses. Bone meal is prepared by steaming bones and then pulverising them. The final product would be a dry powder that you can use in your organic garden.
Bone meal is rich in calcium, phosphorus and other important trace elements. However the unpleasant odor of these manures keeps them mostly less used.
I strongly recommend the use of this.
Cocogarden Steamed Bone Meal- Organic Npk(3-15-0) Fertilizer – 900 Gms
5. Oil Cakes
After the extraction of oils from seeds such as mustard, neem, groundnut, castor, til and so on, the remaining waste is called the oil cake.
The oil is pressed out of the seeds, however the left out waste is rich in nutrients that will help your organic vegetables grow nourished. They also help in protecting the soil and plant against pests and diseases.
Potting Mix Recipe
- 1 part of good quality red soil/top soil
- 1 part of cocopeat/peat moss
- 1 part of compost (Vermicompost/manure)
For the soil part, make sure the soil is not compact.
For ever 15 kg of the above mix, 200 grams of bone meal, and 200 grams of oil cake and 200 grams of wood ash.
Turn the mixture thoroughly making it uniform.
Store in a gunny bag and let it rest for at least 15 days before your fill the pots.
So now that we are ready with the pot and potting mixture, lets learn about seeds and seedlings and how to germinate them.