DIY Potting Soil Mix For Your Garden

How to create your own potting soil

By Gary Stephen Posted on 8/9/20

Why does the quality of soil seems so important when it comes to gardening?

Quality matters because healthy soil can store and process more water. It can provide plants with water for their roots and holds the necessary nutrients for it to grow. The soil filters the rainwater and regulates the discharge of excess rainwater, preventing flooding and it is capable of storing large amounts of organic carbon.

Garden Potting Soil Information

6 Soil Functions

Listed here are the six soil functions that make them vital in gardening.

  • Food and other biomass production
  • Environmental Interaction: storage, filtering, and transformation
  • Biological habitat and gene pool
  • Source of raw materials
  • Physical and cultural heritage
  • Platform for man-made structures: buildings, highways


Potting Soil Ingredients

Here are my recommended ingredients for creating your own gardening soil potting mix.

The Main Ingredients are the following:


Coarse Sand

Coarse Sand is much like beach sand particles. It helps increase drainage and it also keeps the mix workable. A few excellent alternatives to sand are either turface or poultry grit.


Peat Moss


Peat Moss is an acidic base ingredient that provides aeration and water retention. It is usually packed dry, so you have to moisten it before making potting soil.


Compost is a natural way to add essential nutrition to your DIY potting soil. It can be usually made from mushroom compost, decomposed manure, or worm castings.


Coco Coir

Coco Coir is a neutral base ingredient that is more sustainable alternative to peat moss. It isn’t acidic. It comes in a compacted block, so you’ll need to break it apart and moisten it before use.


Perlite and Vermiculite

Perlite is a white grain that is usually added to potting mixes. It increases drainage, and prevent soil compaction. Perlite also reduces the density of the mix, making it lighter, and easier to handle.


Gypsum is calcium sulfate, a natural occurring mineral. It is beneficial for breaking down compact soil, especially clay soil. It is necessary for many fruiting and flowering plants, like vegetables.


Blood Meal

Blood Meal is a dry, blood-based inert powder. It is usually used as a high-nitrogen organic fertilizer and high-protein animal feed. It is great for annual and perennial soil enhancement. It also works well for growing prolific leafy vegetables.


Garden Lime 

Garden Lime is soil filler that is usually made from pulverized limestone or chalk. Add it to any homemade potting mix recipe where you use peat moss.


Now that you know the main ingredients in creating potting soil mix, you’re now ready for your garden. Learning the gardening tricks and tips is fun. It may be hard when you’re a beginner. But, you’ll definitely get the hang of it.


8 DIY Potting Soil Mix

To help you make a healthy garden, we’ve listed eight DIY potting soil mixes you can try.


Vegetables and Herbs Mix

This soil recipe provides vegetables and herbs with everything needed to produce food. It can be usually used only for outdoor garden.



2 parts peat moss or coco coir

3 parts compost, decomposed manure, or worm castings

1 part perlite

1 part coarse sand

1 part vermiculite

1/4 part garden gypsum

1 tablespoon garden lime per gallon of peat (optional)


Cannabis Soil Mix

Cannabis soil is usually a dark soil and rich with a loose texture. It drains well and can hold water without getting muddy.



1 part Compost

1 part Coco Coir

1 part Perlite

1 part Blood Meal


Other ingredients include:

Earthworm castings, Bat guano; fish meal, crab meal, bone meal, azomite, pumice, kelp, dolomite lime, greensand, mycorrhizae, and leonardite


Cannabis is grown best in a growing tent as it can control humidity and temperature for the plants. Also, you will have never to worry about pests and other unexpected elements for your plants.

Only grow cannabis in states where it is legal to do so.


Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

This mix provides desert plants with structure and stability. Also, it has the important drainage that they need. You can use it for all types of succulent and cactus plants, both indoors or outdoors.


3 parts potting soil

2 parts coarse sand (use 3 parts for cactus plants)

1 part perlite (or pumice)

Seed Starting Mix

Young seedlings are delicate, which is why they need a specialized medium to get the very best start. This lightweight mix is fast-draining, while also providing good water retention.



8 parts (moistened) coco coir or peat moss

1 part vermiculite

1 part perlite or pumice

1/4 tsp garden lime per gallon (if you use peat)


Houseplant Potting Soil

This lightweight and odorless DIY potting mix is great for all your indoor plant needs. It also needs a few basic ingredients.



2 parts moistened peat moss or coir

1 part perlite or pumice

1/4 – 1/2 part vermiculite

1 tablespoon ground limestone per gallon (if you use peat moss)


Basic Outdoor Container Potting Soil

This potting soil is an all-purpose outdoor container mix. It is rich in nutrients and provides your Summer pots with strong water holding capacity.



2 parts peat moss or coir (moistened)

2 parts compost or composted manure

1 part perlite

1/4-1/2 parts vermiculite

1 tablespoon garden lime for each gallon of peat moss


Outdoor Soil-less Potting Mix

This potting mix will provide your outdoor plants with what they need to grow. It is lightweight and long-lasting. It is also perfect for window boxes and hanging baskets.



2 parts peat moss (or coir)

2 parts vermiculite

1/4 part ground limestone

1/4 part super phosphate

1/2 part blood meal


Acidic Potting Soil

This potting soil mix has a high percentage of peat moss, which is usually acidic. Use this soil recipe on plants that grow under acidic conditions without garden lime.



4 parts peat moss

2 parts compost or composted manure

1 part perlite

1/4 – 1/2 part vermiculite


How to Mix It? 

Mixing your DIY potting soil is easy. All you need to do is dump everything into your mixing container and stir it all together. Use a trowel, or your hands to mix it. Just make sure the ingredients are then mixed well once you’re done


Also, if you have a small space for gardening, then we recommend using hydroponic trays. It is one innovative way of cultivating plants indoors.