How To Easily DIY Transplant Soil Mix For Containers At Home

Let’s get one thing straight, fellow and aspiring gardeners: soil mixing is not a one-size-fits-all business. It’s a bit like preparing your favorite cocktail. You have your preferred ingredients, and the secret shake you swear by, and everyone has their own twist. In my case, it’s all about creating the perfect environment for transplanting plants. I’d say that my transplanting method is pretty good because we can produce around 200kg of food yearly in our backyard here in London which is just 8×5 meters. One of the secrets? My personal transplanting method. So, feel free to experiment and/or follow what I’m about to teach you if you feel that it’ll suit your gardening style.

The Importance of Soil Health

Imagine your potting mix as the cozy home where your plants put down their roots and kick back with a cold glass of water (or nutrients, in this case). The quality of your potting mix can make or break your plant’s well-being, affecting everything from drainage to nutrient availability to root health. Now, I understand that this is quite tricky and I have a fair share of experience being stressed about my soil when I started gardening, but you can skip that and just watch out for these things:

Drainage Drama

Too soggy or too dry – An ideal potting mix should provide adequate drainage to prevent your plants from turning into waterlogged sacks. Excess water can suffocate roots and lead to a host of issues like root rot. It will be best if you opt for a mix that strikes a balance between moisture retention and drainage, ensuring that your plants can breathe easily.

Nutrient Nirvana

Like us, plants need their daily dose of vitamins and minerals to thrive. Ensure your mix contains organic matter, perlite, and volcanic rock dust to create a nutrient powerhouse that keeps your plants happy and healthy.

Root Rendezvous

Healthy roots, happy shoots – it all starts below the surface. A well-aerated and light potting mix encourages strong root development, allowing plants to anchor themselves securely and easily access nutrients. Think of it as laying down the red carpet for your plant’s underground VIP guests – the roots!

The Ingredients for Success 

To create my soil mix, I use a variety of high-quality products, some of which may be different from what you typically use. But that’s the beauty of it! You can swap out any of these components with what you prefer or try something new altogether.

Here are the elements I bring together to whip up my soil mix:

  • A good compost mix (ask your local garden center or find online a reliable source in your area. Green waste, mature horse manure, mature mushroom compost, or homemade compost also works great) 50L
  • A few handfuls of worm casting (optional) 
  • A few handfuls of Perlite
  • And a few handful of Volcanic Rock Dust 

Creating the Perfect Blend

Now, once you’ve gathered your ingredients, roll up your sleeves and get ready to dive in. Literally. Mix all these ingredients thoroughly with your hands, making sure to reach those sulky corners if your container is a bit grumpy like mine.

Next, introduce your plant into the new pot, gradually adding soil around the roots until the pot is full. Give the pot a gentle tap on the floor and apply a slight pressure with your hands to compact the soil around the roots. Plants like firm soil so they can expand their root mass and access all the nutrients they need to meet their needs.

A Word of Caution

Some might advise you to break the roots before transplanting. Well, if you’re feeling brave, go for it. But if you’re a first-timer, I’d say tread carefully. You wouldn’t want to end your transplanting journey before it’s even begun! I would break the root mass only when you buy plants from the store and the root mass is not white and healthy but brown/yellow and all tangled up. 

And there you have it. My personal soil mix recipe. Try it, tweak it, and make it your own. After all, it’s all part of the wonderful world of home gardening. Happy gardening, and don’t be scared of experimenting as failure could teach a far more valuable lesson than success!