I have made up my own, Kale, but I don't use enough to really do that. There are always weed seeds in mine that I could neutralize by baking the soil for awhile in the oven. When I have made up my own I would use equal parts of soil from the garden, peat moss, and perlite.
How much and long and temps when baking.I understand that the smell is unforgivable is that so ? Do you have to leave the house to "neutralize" ? (Does it in fact rid you of those weed seed?)
I understand there is a correct way of doing it not to kill the needed micros.I have gotten such conflicting explanations and "facts" that I have never done that,besides I sow too many flats I would have to start in July*lol I am however still very interested,I am certain you are a reliable source to learn from.
Do you separate the 3 ingredients or mix them well into each other?
I use a sterile soil-less mix such as Pro-Mix, which is peat, perlite and vermiculite.
I don't have to worry about uninvited guests such as soil gnats, or damping off due to fungi!
I tried years ago to make my own mix, I found it was a lot of work ,and I wasn't all that far ahead, since I had to do small batches at a time.
The smell from the oven didn't add a positive note! It was quite potent since you need to leave the soil in the oven until it reaches that critical temp (If I remember correctly is around 210F) whereby the organisms are killed, along with the benificial ones!
I didn't do the sanitizing because of what I heard about the smell but I did have to pick out the little weeds when they germinated in the mix. But I just buy a 50 pound sack of potting soil and it lasts for at least 3 years for me.
*lol not into more smells then subject to in daily life*lol
I was wondering if play sand was any good for veggie seeds I have read conflicting opinions.
I usually use sphagnum peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.
I'm leaning to towards getting away from sphagnum peat moss, takes a few hours to get moist, and little flies come with it often.Wet and seems like they germinate every 10 days or so,dont have time to play catch the flies *LOL
I think top soil has been coming 7.5 pH, Peat also.
**Wonder if any one has tested elsewhere...
I bought the peat for my new Azaleas and tested it and it was 7.5 I was bothered, being it is used to make the soil acid and was higher then my soil was.
Also my compost with manure I bought was horrible.It stuck and stained my hands and clothing and didn't smell like any compost I ever handled,more like soy products, which clearly doesn't not break down.
I have found topsoil in a bag that was really nice to work with. I haven't used topsoil for veggies...Whats your thoughts!??
Oh, okay. But 7.0 is neutral and anything below that is on the acid side. That's where we are most of the time because of all the rain. That works very well for azaleas, rhododendrons and acid loving plants. I add some lime every year to the garden to bring the pH up a little bit.
What would you add if it was alkaline to lower the pH from 7.5 to 6.5?
I don't want to raiseduh... I was confused there for a sec*LOL
I need to lower it.
Lime raises sawdust lowers but I read that once it is wet it looses it's value.
Not all sawdust is good, but it is used a lot around here to lower the pH and it also reduces available nitrogen. I think most of the sawdust used here is Douglas fir and hemlock. It is used extensively in the berry fields on top of the ground rather than tilled in.
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