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How to Save Money on Potting Soil

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

How to Save Money on Potting Soil


As a gardener, I like to have my own potting soil on hand. It's an easy way to save money, use up your own compost, and avoid the claims of mystery ingredients (like "biochar" or "mycorrhizae") that some premade mixes include. Plus, it's fun to make! Here are some tips for getting started:

Avoid stores

Buying potting soil at the store is usually a bad idea. It’s more expensive, and it won’t be made with the same quality ingredients as those you would buy in bulk from a garden center or nursery. So avoid buying potting soil from store chains like Home Depot, Lowe's and Walmart—or even grocery stores like Kroger or Costco—and instead go straight to your local garden center or nursery for all of your future potting soil needs!

You can easily save money by making your own compost with scraps from around the house: food waste; paper products (cereal boxes, newspapers); cardboard (cereal box liners); leaves; grass clippings; lawn trimmings; coffee grounds/tea bags

Make your own

  • A good potting soil mixture consists of a combination of organic materials, such as compost, peat moss and vermiculite.
  • Add fertilizer to the mix according to package instructions.
  • If your soil is too acidic (sour), add lime at a ratio of 1 pound per 5 gallons of soil mix. If it’s too alkaline (sweet), add gypsum at a ratio of 1 pound per 5 gallons of soil mix.
  • Also add bonemeal for plants that need extra phosphorus for growth—this might include tomatoes or cucumbers.

Grow your own potting soil.

You can save money by making your own potting soil. You can use compost, your own compost, soil, mulch and/or potting soil mix.

Potting soil bags are often overpriced - if you buy them in bulk and then store them yourself, you will be able to save a lot of money!


We hope that we have shown you how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own potting soil. Now get out there and start saving some money!


DIY potting soil


I've been using this DIY potting soil recipe for years, and it's always yielded beautiful results. It's also incredibly simple: all you need are three ingredients and you're on your way to making a rich, nutritious mix for your potted plants.

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  • Peat moss: 1/3 of the total volume
  • Perlite: 1/3 of the total volume
  • Compost: 1/3 of the total volume
  • Water: As much as you want to drink! (We’re kidding; not that much.)

1 part peat moss (or coco coir)

1 part peat moss (or coco coir):

Peat moss is a natural material made from decomposed plant matter. It's also often referred to as "sphagnum peat," and it can be used in gardening because of its water retention and drainage properties. Peat moss has been used for centuries by gardeners, but it may not be an option if you're growing plants outdoors in certain parts of the country, because some regions have been negatively impacted by deforestation due to peat harvesting or climate change leading to drought conditions (which affects the ability of soil to absorb moisture). If you're able to find peat moss locally, then that's great! Otherwise, there are other options out there: coco coir is one such option that works similarly as a soil amendment.

Coco coir comes from coconut husks—the shells left over after natural coconut oil extraction—and has similar qualities as peat when used in potting mixes: it retains moisture well and lets air pass through easily while holding onto nutrients until plants need them most (in other words, during the active growing season). You can substitute one cup of coco coir for every two cups of soil called for in any recipe; just keep an eye out for how much liquid your recipes call for so you don't end up with too much watery compost on your hands!

1 part perlite

Perlite is a light, white, porous volcanic rock that's used in potting soil to improve drainage and aeration. It also makes for an excellent additive for hydroponics setups (where plants are grown without soil). Perlite is available at garden supply stores or online.

1 part compost

Compost is a great source of nutrients, and it can also help to retain water in your soil. It's made from a variety of ingredients, including food scraps, manure, leaves, grass clippings and more.

This is a quick and easy DIY potting soil recipe.

This is a quick and easy DIY potting soil recipe. If you want to make a large batch of potting soil, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose your container. You can use any type of container to mix the ingredients—a bucket, basin, or even a wheelbarrow! Just make sure it's big enough to hold all the ingredients once they're combined at the end.
  • Choose your soil mixture. If you have access to composted manure from local farms (or if you'd like to try making some yourself), we recommend using that instead of plain topsoil in this recipe—the nutrients provided by manure will benefit your plants much more than just plain old dirt! Otherwise feel free to go with whatever soil mixture suits your needs (e.g., sandy loam versus clay).


So, there you have it—a quick and easy DIY potting soil recipe that you can use to grow some of your favorite plants. Keep in mind that this recipe is just a starting point for making your own potting soil; feel free to experiment with different ingredients until you find what works best for your needs!


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