Preparation of potting mixture
A good potting mix has the following characteristics.
- Air porosity
- Water/moisture retention.
- Fluffy and lightweight.
- Free from weed seeds
Common Ingredients in a good potting mix
- Soil: – Good quality soil should be free from stones, lumps, and rich in nutrients. Do not take soil from construction sites. There will be a lot of debris in it and will never be good for the growing plants. Use red clay or good-quality topsoil.
- Peat Moss: – Peat moss is the most common ingredient in soilless mixes due to its wide availability. peat moss decomposes very slowly and holds a large amount of water; however, it has high acidity. Lime is usually added to the mixture to balance the pH.
- Coco Coir Peat: – Coir, a by-product of the coconut fiber industry, resembles peat moss but is granular and has an optimum pH for growing plants. It is important to note that coir may require less potassium and more nitrogen supplementation. It maintains the right amount of water retention and air porosity.
- Vermicompost: – Vermicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner.
- Bone meal: – The bone meal is the waste of a slaughterhouse. The bones are steam powdered and used as fertilizer for plants. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and trace elements.
- Oil cake: – Oil cake is left after crushing/pressing oilseeds. Because of the nutrients, they act as a good fertilizer.
How to make potting mix
- 1 part of good quality red soil/topsoil
- 1 part coco peat/peat moss
- 1 part of compost (vermicompost/manure)
For every 15 kg of the above mixture, add 200 g of bone meal, and 200 g of oil cake, and 200 g of wood ash. Mix them well. When the mixture becomes uniform, keep it in a sack or big container, cover it and leave it well for 3 weeks. Make sure the mixture is slightly moist. It should not drip when you press it in your palm. After 2-3 weeks, the potting mix is ready for use.
- Commercial Fruits. By S. P. Singh
- A text book on Pomology, Vol,1. by T. K. Chattapadhya
- Tropical Horticulture, Vol.1, by T. K. Bose, S. K. Mitra, A. A. Farooqui and M. K. Sadhu