How to Make Potting Mix With Peat Moss


For avid gardeners, good-quality commercial potting soil can add considerable expense to the household budget. For cost-conscious gardeners, homemade potting soil is a good way to economize, while creating a mixture that works best for your particular gardening needs. Start with a good, basic recipe that provides plenty of drainage, air circulation and nutrients, and adjust the recipe as needed.

Step 1

Place 1 bushel of peat moss in a clean wheel barrow, or a large container such as a garbage can. Moisten the peat moss before incorporating the additional ingredients.

Step 2

Mix in 2 bushels of vermiculite, a sterile, porous, lightweight material that, when added to the peat moss, will help to retain moisture, nutrients and air.

Step 3

Add 1/2 cup of balanced, all-purpose fertilizer such as an 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer will have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Stir in 1/2 cup of garden limestone, which will help to maintain proper soil pH.

Step 4

Mix the potting soil thoroughly, then sift the mixture through a piece of hardware cloth to break up any large chunks. For general-purpose potting soil, use 1/2-inch hardware cloth. If you plan to use the potting soil to plant seeds, use finer, 1/4-inch hardware cloth.

Step 5

Store the potting soil in a large, airtight container or a plastic garbage bag.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheelbarrow or clean garbage can
  • Vermiculite
  • Balanced, all-purpose fertilizer
  • Garden limestone
  • Hardware cloth
  • Airtight container or plastic garbage bag


  • Penn State Department of Horticulture: Homemade Potting Media
Keywords: peat moss, potting soil, potting mix

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.