Potting soil is of great importance for all plants living in
containers on window sills, balconies, terraces or roof gardens.
No matter if you are growing flowers, herbs, fruit or vegetables at home, in order to get satisfying results you have to supply your plants with the elements it needs to grow and flourish. Apart from fertile soil plants need air, sunlight and water for their development.
But even if those other components are supplied in abundance every plant will still grow only as big and be as healthy as the ground it is living in allows.
This is true for seeds, seedlings as well as juvenile- and mature plants. Plants need a good supply of nutrients during all stages of their life.
A sunflower seedling in our fertile soil mix.
After the seedling had been moved into a 20 liter bucket it developed fast into a huge plant with massive leaves.
The sunflower in all its beauty still growing in the bucket.
There are a lot of commercially available soils on the market but we produce our soil mixes ourselves which helps us to know what kind of growth medium our flowers, fruit and vegetables are getting.
The soil for plants needs to supply enough depth for root growth, needs to hold water and oxygen well and present plants with the necessary nutrients.
The most important elements every plant needs in large quantities are:
All 3 should definitely be present abundantly in any potting soil to fulfill your plants basic nutritional needs. In addition to that plants need:
Bell peppers and chillies growing in our potting soil mix.
Mixing potting soil
To get a well balanced potting soil we only use 3 basic ingredients:
worm castings (worm humus)
Equal parts of compost, top soil and worm castings are mixed together for our potting soil.
A compost heap that gets turned over.
Compost in general is always a good ingredient to add to a growth medium for plants The compost used should ideally be made of a wide variety of organic materials like kitchen scraps, untreated grass clippings, tea bags, coffee grounds, seaweed and some horse or cow manure if you can get hold of it.
This variety organic matter added to your composter or compost heapwill ensure as well that a wide spectrum of nutrients and minerals will be present in the finished compost.
Another benefit compost has is the fact that it is a light
material which allows a good water saturation and easy root development of plants.
Worm castings or/ worm poop are amongst the richest soil conditioners and plant foods known to man. They are richer in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium than any top soil.
They are brimming with beneficial microorganisms and trace elements. Studies have shown that worm castings are up to 20 times richer in beneficial bacterial life than the organic matter the worms ate.
Worm castings are a slow release fertilizer, water soluble and can retain valuable moisture for plants for a long time.
A bucket of top soil.
The properties of top soil vary greatly all over the world but it always contains some nutrients, minerals and trace elements that will be beneficial for plants.
We made many experiments with different growth mediums and found that a mix of equal parts of compost, worm castings and top soil brought the best results. It worked well for seed germination, and to feed the juvenile and mature plants.
Soil looses a lot of its nutrients to the plants it hosts so it is advisable to add some nutrients
to your pots and garden in regular intervals. For this purpose we use mostly freshly brewed compost tea which consists of liquidized compost and worm castings as the main ingredients.
All the best....
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