DIY Network

How to Make Your Own Potting Soil

There is no need to purchase expensive bagged potting soil once you learn how easy it is to mix at home.

More in Outdoors

good soil needed for healthy productive plants
  • Time

    15 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Purchase Ingredients

All potting soil has two main types of ingredients: something to hold moisture and something to create air pockets. The most common ingredient used to help soil retain moisture is peat moss. The ingredient that creates tiny air pockets and prevents compaction is perlite.

Step 2: Combine Peat and Perlite

In a large tub combine three parts peat moss to two parts perlite. Mix the ingredients together until well blended.

perlite leaves air pockets to loosen up soil

Step 3: Add Lime

Add one heaping tablespoon of lime. The lime balances out the acidity of the peat moss, making the mix suitable for a wide range of plants. Mix the ingredients together until well blended.

Step 4: Add Fertilizer

The final step in the recipe is to add a couple heaping tablespoons of fertilizer to the mix. House plants and established seedlings do best with a slow-release fertilizer like 10-10-10. When planting seedlings, replace the 10-10-10 with seed starter fertilizer. Mix the ingredients together until well blended.

peat moss helps soil hold moisture