How to Make Potting Mix: Cheap and Easy DIY Gardening with James and Tuck

How to Make Potting Mix: Cheap and Easy DIY Gardening with James and Tuck

Hey Growers! James Prigioni and the BOSS Tuck here. Today, we're all about leveling up your gardening game with a DIY tutorial on making your soil. This is not just any soil but the golden ticket to next-level harvests. So, let's jump right into it!

Starting with Coco Coir

Our first star ingredient is coco coir. Why not peat moss? Here's the scoop: coco coir has a neutral pH and fantastic moisture retention and drainage capabilities, unlike peat moss, which can be too acidic and sometimes retain too much water. Plus, it rehydrates easily, which is a huge bonus. You can easily find coco coir blocks online, many of which are available on my website, So, let’s lay down our coco coir and start this soil party!

Next Up, Compost

Compost is the lifeblood of any excellent soil mix, and we're going for mushroom compost. Whatever is local, organic, and in bulk is best. Call your local nursery or compost facility for a delivery to your house to save some money! If that's not an option, bagged compost like Black Kow from Lowe's or other home good stores works wonders, too. I'm also adding earthworm castings for an extra nutrient boost.

The Magic of Vermiculite and Perlite

Now, let’s talk about vermiculite and perlite. Vermiculite is a champion in retaining moisture, while perlite is about improving drainage – a critical factor for healthy plant growth. For potting mixes, perlite is your go-to; for raised bed mixes, vermiculite does wonders. But hey, why not both? Mixing them gives you the best of both worlds, improving soil texture and aeration.

Crafting My Mix is Easy as 3-2-1 

Inspired by Mel's mix from the 'Square Foot Gardening' book, I’ve adapted the recipe to suit my needs over the years. I like to use three parts coco coir, two parts compost, and a one part mix of perlite and vermiculite—not too much, just enough. The result? A perfect blend ideal for raised beds and pots.

Personalizing Your Mix

This mix is just a starting point. You can tweak it based on your needs. For instance, if you use mushroom compost, remember it can be a bit depleted. So, adding an excellent all-purpose fertilizer like JP's Secret Stuff (available on just before planting will give your plants that extra kick.

Advanced Amendments

For those looking to really boost their mix, adding worm castings, kelp meal, seaweed extract, and biochar can introduce a wealth of nutrients. Healthier plants = healthier food. Just remember: It's all about balance, so don't go overboard. The key is creating a mix that supports plant health and growth without breaking the budget. You can always add more but can never take it back. 

The Final Mix

There you have it—a superb soil mix that's light, moisture-retentive, well-draining, and nutrient-rich. This mix works wonders in raised beds and pots. Remember, the initial setup might be a bit of an investment, but it's worth every penny for your garden's long-term health and productivity.

Wrapping Up with James and Tuck

Thanks for tuning in, growers! We hope this guide empowers you to create your perfect soil mix. Remember, great soil is the foundation of a great garden. So, head to for all your gardening needs, and let's get those gardens thriving! Happy gardening from me, James, and the hardworking Tuck. We'll be back soon with more gardening gold!

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