Mixing It UpTo begin making your potting soil, you will need a 5-gallon bucket. Place equal parts of top soil, peat moss, perlite, and compost in the bucket. Add in a half a cup of garden lime, and a good handful of bone meal. Use a hand shovel to thoroughly mix all the ingredients until they are incorporated. Sift the mixture in a sieve with a 1/2-inch mesh to remove any large pieces of debris. The next step has been highly debated by some gardeners. To sterilize the mixture, place it in an old baking pan and stick in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F, or in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes on the highest cooking setting. Some gardeners believe it is best not to sterilize the mixture because this may kill some beneficial organisms in the soil. I have made the potting soil with baking it and with no sterilization. Both methods seemed to produce the same results, so you can sterilize it, or not - it is up to you. Plus, sticking some dirt in the oven seems a little weird, doesn't it? Once the potting soil mixture has cooled, it is ready for use. You now have your own homemade potting soil that is just as good - if not better - than the store bought stuff.
Get Your Seeds Started Right
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