Recipe for potting soil


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Hello everyone,

I am Karan, I live in New Delhi(India) and I am new to gardening. Really new. I am looking for a "universal" recipe for potting soil for all(or almost all) plants other than succulent and the likes.

If possible, keep the number of ingredients low as I am quite tight on budget atm(and I didn't have much luck in gardening yet) but if you think all ingredients are essential, please tell the full! I will gladly listen.

I searched up online and I found dozens of recipes and some contradictory to each other. I am heavily confused. I am hoping some of you experts may be willing to help a newbie.

Thank you.
 
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to the forums @KingKhan. Hopefully we can sort out a nice easy and inexpensive solution for you.

Here in the UK we can just pop into the local garden centre and buy a bag of whatever kind of compost we want. It is all nicely labelled, with a list of ingredients on the bag.... we are spoilt for choice :rolleyes:

Not at all sure of your situation where you are, but if I came there, I think I would first check out the ordinary garden soil in my garden. I believe that a big majority of soil in your country is washed down from the rivers, and has lots of good elements already in it. It would be a good place to start from, and least expensive. Is it heavy soil, or sandy? Is it alkaline or acid?
Whatever you have, it could be added to (or not) to suit whatever plant you want to grow.
 
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Thank you for the response.

There are potting soils packs available but they are quite on the expensive side. I plan to have gardening as a long term hobby so I better learn how to make it soon than later.

As for soil, Yes, I do have a good quality of soil. Lots of it actually. We had gotten some manure and mixed them well. I do not know about the acidic or alkaline nature but my father had grown mums and a couple of other plants in them(which are still alive - though not at the perfect condition) so I suppose they are good enough to grow in.
 
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Before you start buying stuff you should know the Ph of your soil. Certain soil amendments acidify, others add alkalinity. Using the wrong thing sort of defeats your purpose.
 
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I will have to buy such a product and check. Give me some time.
 
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Okay, So I tested. The pH is neutral(I suppose). Nearly 7.
Your soil is neutral which is good. It will grow just about anything now but you must remember that certain plants require acidity while others require alkalinity. On specific plants, you can change the Ph to what is desired. For instance, if a plant likes acidic soils you can add peat or sulfur. If the plant likes its soil alkaline you can add lime. For best results, you must know these things although most plants grow just fine in neutral soils. You can start a compost pile and add the compost to your soil. You can start seeds in the compost too. Adding organic matter to your soil will not dramatically change the Ph but will help in nutrition and moisture retention among other benefits. When I set out my transplants I dig a hole for the plant and mix the soil from the hole with my compost. There is a lot of information on composting and it is the best way to never buy potting soil again.
 
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I asked a stranger(offline) who casually recommended me this-
Garden soil, sand, vermicompost, and cocopeat all mixed in equal quantities.
So, Is this any good? Or the guy doesn't know what he is talking
Also, He meant for non-succulent plants. (He gave another for those plants but I am not planting those yet).
 
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I asked a stranger(offline) who casually recommended me this-
Garden soil, sand, vermicompost, and cocopeat all mixed in equal quantities.
So, Is this any good? Or the guy doesn't know what he is talking
Also, He meant for non-succulent plants. (He gave another for those plants but I am not planting those yet).
IMO it is mostly good. If your soil has very much clay I would not use any sand. The vermicompost is great stuff but unless you farm your own it can get expensive. It has a lot of needed minerals but very little NPK. The cocopeat is also good. It has no nutrient value but is superior for water retention. Also, this mix will not change the Ph to any significant degree.
 
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Since vermicompost is on the heavier side on the cost, what else can be used as alternatives for it?
 
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Since vermicompost is on the heavier side on the cost, what else can be used as alternatives for it?
Worm castings have VERY LITTLE NPK and LOTS OF MINERALS. I don't know what you have in India but the closest thing we have here to them are mined products such as Greensand and Magic Sand. Just regular compost made with kitchen scraps and yard wastes have lots of minerals too
 
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So,
1 part garden soil, 1 part sand, 1 part manure, and 1 part coco peat. Good enough for all plants(leaving succulents)?
Also, Can anyone tell which kind of sand is used in gardening? There are many kinds of sands as I can see.
 
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So,
1 part garden soil, 1 part sand, 1 part manure, and 1 part coco peat. Good enough for all plants(leaving succulents)?
Also, Can anyone tell which kind of sand is used in gardening? There are many kinds of sands as I can see.
Just plain sand is NOT what you use. It is a special sand that is mined in a few places in the world. Just plain sand has very very little nutritional value and should not be used in soil if the soil has much clay in it. Sand+Clay=Brick. The sand here in the US is called Greensand and Magic sand. The stuff at one time was the ocean floor. It's real name is Glauconite and its basic makup is silica. It has a LOT of different trace minerals in it. Once added to your garden soil it lasts an extremely long time. Beach sand, play sand or any kind of sand that is not glauconite will not work and should be kept out of the garden if there is a significant amount clay in the soil.
 

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