The last few years have bought a bag or two of potting soil for my spring planting though each year I am disappointed when I open the bag containing a bunch of bark , twigs, gravel, and even several pretty large rocks.
This year I have decided to make my own potting soil with very little effort and much less cost. Given I just recently harvested my compost bin and got about 15 gallons of screened compost as my starting point to make my own mix.
CVG Potting Soil Recipe
- 15 gallons of screened compost
- 1 brick coconut coir (hydrated)
- 4 cups of vermiculite or perlite
- 1 cup organic fertilizer
Add all ingredients to 20 gallon trash container. Mix thoroughly with large shovel until everything is well incorporated. Cover with lid with several holes drilled in the top (otherwise moisture+no light = mold growth)
You can use a smaller container than 20 gallons but would not recommend one smaller or it can be a decent reach to get the last of the soil out of the bottom…
Unfortunately I only have one compost bin which I continuously add materials to, so I never have a complete “batch” of compost at one given time. In order to be able to filter out the finished compost from the non-composted material I created a soil sifter (sieve)
I checked out soil sifters online but didn’t find anything that I liked so I decided to make one myself. I went to the home improvement store and picked up a roll of ½ inch wire mesh and a 2”X4”X8’ piece of lumber. I cut two pieces one inch shorter than the width of the wire mesh and cut the remaining piece of lumber in half. Screw all the pieces together and pull wire mesh over the rectangular frame. Staple the mess around on the side of the frame and you are all done.
To use, just lean it against a wall or fence at a 45 degree angle (wire mesh facing down) and just dump your compost on top, the composted material falls through the stuff that needs a little more time stays on top which you can throw back into the compost bin.