Ron gave us a wonderful slide show at the last meeting about gardening in pots and raised beds. He has sent us the recipe for his favorite potting mix. Click to view the slide show he gave about Containers & Raised Beds.
Living Earth Farm – A Nutrient Dense Potting Mix for Vegetable Trays & Transplants
What you need:
- Two ‘5 gallon’ buckets of sphagnum peat moss
- One ‘5 gallon’ bucket of medium or fine vermiculite
- 1 gallon of high quality compost (from Ideal Compost, Coast of Maine*, Vermont Compost Company) or 1 lb. of worm castings* (to jump start soil biology)
- 5 gallons of water (warmed to room temperature or higher – to 90° F)
- ½ cup of blood meal (for short-term nitrogen)*
- 1 cup of soybean meal (for short/intermediate-term nitrogen)*
- 2 cup alfalfa meal (for long-term nitrogen)*
- 2 cup of bone char (for short-term phosphorus)*
- ¼ cup of sulfate of potash (for sulfur and potassium)*
- 1 cup of kelp meal (for micro-nutrients)*
- 1 cup of dolomitic lime (for long-term calcium and pH balance)*
- 1 cup of wood ash (for short-term calcium and pH balance)
- 1 cup of Menefee Humates (for soil microbes, nutrient retention, humic acid and water holding capacity)*
- Be sure to wear a dust mask and gloves when handling the ingredients.
- Add water to peat moss about one week before mixing,
- Gently mix the peat moss and vermiculite together (vermiculite can be crushed if handled too roughly).
- Add nutrients and gently and thoroughly mix.
- Let the mix sit for at least 24 hours (a week is ideal) so that biological activity gets a chance to start up.
Because sphagnum peat moss has some anti-fungal properties and vermiculite is almost sterile, you should not have any disease problems.