How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide


Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 8 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)

Want to learn how to make potting mix at home? This one-of-a-kind, double-sided and laminated Guide shows you how to make a durable, high quality potting mix. In just 4 easy steps with illustrated instructions and tips. This Potting Mix Recipe is ideal for most plants and allows you to customise it to your own needs. You'll learn what specific ingredients to include to supercharge your potting mix to make it last longer and provide vital nutrients for healthy plants.

A handy chart will help you choose the best ingredients to substitute or add to suit your requirements. You'll also learn how to adjust the soil pH level of your mix.

The Conversion Chart makes it quick and easy to follow the quantities in this recipe and measure them in Litres, US or UK Gallons. No guessing needed!

BONUS: Includes 5 Organic Seed Raising Mix Recipes. [Scroll down to read more]

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How to Make Potting Mix at Home

Follow the Subtropical Planting Guide for sowing suggestions

This Potting Mix Recipe has important properties for growing healthy plants. The ingredients in this recipe play vital roles including drainage, aeration, water and nutrient retention, plant food, root support, microbes, durability and thermal insulation. When you control the quality of your soil health, your plants will also be healthy. That means less pest and diseases to manage and greater joy as a gardener!

What are the Benefits of Making your own Potting Mix?

  • You save money compared to buying many commercial premium quality potting mixes.
  • You can also save money by adding ingredients to make your potting mix last longer.
  • Safe ingredients – you control the outcome you want with no hazardous chemicals.
  • Save time and reduce water usage – your own potting mix will NOT dry out quickly or repel water like many commercial mixes based on cheap pine bark. This recipe holds moisture longer, requiring less frequent watering.
  • It’s convenient – you can make up exactly the quantity you need.
  • It’s satisfying, fun and rewarding being self-reliant and you can share these skills with others.

Who is this Potting Mix Guide for?

Perfect if you:

  • are a gardener at any skill level wanting to make your own soil mix recipes;
  • are a garden club member wanting to optimise results for competitions or your own garden;
  • are a teacher/educator and want an indestructible teaching aid for student gardening classes;
  • want to grow nutrient-dense food and healthy plants in a high quality soil that holds nutrients and moisture longer;
  • are sick of using expensive bagged potting mix or have poor soil that dries out too quickly;
  • want to avoid chemicals and have total control over the soil your plants grow in;
  • need to save money by making your own soil mixes;
  • want one recipe that enables you to make a variety of potting mixes for different plants;
  • want an easy-to-use potting and organic seed raising mix recipe guide to use year after year;
  • are looking for the perfect present for gardening friends and family.

How to Make Potting Mix at Home – Guide Features:

How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide with laminated surface and tick boxes

The guide has a laminated surface so it’s easy to tick boxes and wipe clean

  • List of equipment and materials; ingredients; and optional nutrients and soil amendments.
  • Laminated for long-term, practical use indoors or out in your garden shed.
  • Tick boxes so you can mark off each ingredient, equipment and materials with a whiteboard marker pen [not included] to make sure you have everything ready. Wipe off after use.
  • Detailed, illustrated step-by-step instructions with tips.
  • Instructions on how to change the pH of your potting mix if required.
  • Conversion chart for measurements used in this recipe, making it quick and easy to convert litres into US or UK gallons.
  • Comparison chart showing you the valuable roles each ingredient plays in your mix. The chart enables you to easily substitute or add ingredients to your recipe that best suit your needs and budget.
  • This attractive guide makes an economical gift that will last for years.
  • Compact size for keeping on your fridge with a magnet [not included].

BONUS Organic Seed Raising Mix Recipes

Looking for an organic seed raising mix recipe? In addition to the DIY Potting Mix Recipe, with the many variations you can create, this Guide also has five easy organic seed raising mix recipes. These seed raising mixes contain a key ingredient that helps boost seed germination. So, if you want to successfully raise seeds and healthy seedlings, these recipes can help improve your success.

This double-sided, laminated guide is a great value tool that you can use year after year. A sustainable choice!

Product specifications: A4 size; double-sided; laminated; full colour; waterproof.


I live in the US/Europe. Will the measurements in this recipe work for me?

The Conversion Chart provides a list of volume measurements in litres and gallons (both US and UK). So this makes it super easy for you to customise the recipe to units of measurement you’re familiar with.

Make your own homemade potting mix in small or large quantities to suit your needs

What if I want to make a larger or smaller quantity of potting mix?

This recipe makes a total of 36 litres = approx 9.5 gallons (US) or 8 gallons (UK). So you can simply halve, double or multiply the quantities to suit your needs. Generally, this quantity of potting mix is suitable for most people to fill several average sized pots. So you can make a batch at a time and use it all at once or store it. No expensive equipment is needed and the weight/volume is easily stored, even in small spaces. Because it’s lightweight, this potting mix is also easy to carry, even if you make a large quantity. Perfect for balconies and rooftop gardens.

How do I know if this Potting Mix Recipe will suit my needs?

Generally, this Potting Mix Recipe suits most plants and has been designed so you can adapt it to suit many different situations. For example: Are you time poor and want to water and feed your plants less often? Need a heavier mix for an exposed windy area so your pots don’t fall over? A moisture-holding recipe for thirsty plants in a dry climate? A more acidic or alkaline soil for specific plants? No problem! Because there are a variety of optional ingredients you can add to your mix to suit these and many other conditions, this recipe is really flexible.

How do I source the ingredients in this recipe?

The ingredients in this Potting Mix Guide are easily available at most hardware stores, nurseries, horticultural supply/produce stores and on Amazon. Even if you can’t find one ingredient, it’s not a problem, because by using the comparison chart in this Guide, you can still make a high quality potting mix. This Guide has been designed so you can succeed by following principles.

The comparison chart lists 10 commonly available ingredients that perform a wide variety of roles to help you make the best choice for your location and budget. So this makes it easy for you to substitute with another ingredient that will do a similar job. This chart also enables you to confidently adjust the soil mix, so you can make up a variety of different potting mixes, and know they will work. You can download a helpful DIY Potting Mix Ingredients Shopping List here. If you still need help after purchasing your Guide, simply email me and I’ll assist you in sourcing the ingredients personally.

I usually buy a bagged potting mix. Can I improve it by using this Potting Mix Recipe?

Absolutely! If you find it convenient to start with a commercially available potting mix, you can always improve the characteristics of this mix. So, for example, you can increase the moisture and nutrient-holding capacity of your regular potting mix, by adding some or all the suggested ingredients in this recipe that perform those roles. This will be very useful to stop your bagged mix becoming hydrophobic (repelling water) and it will also reduce the frequency you need to fertilise.

I have another question not answered here. Can you help?

Of course! Click on Discussion (just above this product description) and Leave a Comment with your question or use the Contact Form to send your query. You can also read tips in my article on making potting mix.

How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide
5 (100%) 4 votes

Additional information

Weight 34 g
Dimensions 300 x 215 x 1.5 mm

6 reviews for How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Beren Coulthard

    Commercial potting mixes have always been a disappointment, but I have been daunted at the prospect of making my own mix. Not anymore! Now that I have The Micro Gardener’s simple, easy to follow step by step guide I feel enthusiastic about mixing up a brew. The laminated instruction sheet is so practical and user-friendly I highly recommend it. It has been too hot and dry for me to put it to use yet, but I think it is beautifully done and now that the weather is wet I am raring to go.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Merryl Bartley

    Some time ago I made up a basic Word document just for the potting mix recipe itself with the info from your site. Of course it got battered, dirty and faded even though it was in a plastic sleeve. This laminated guide is SO much better, and having all the additional information in one place is fantastic. You’ve thought of everything, well done 🙂 My plants love the potting mix, and I love your website – a huge amount of resources that I refer to frequently.

    • Anne Gibson

      Thanks so much for your feedback on the product and website Merryl. Glad to hear you’re getting use out of your Potting Mix Guide and it will last you years! I’ve been outside making a batch for my own pots today and it’s just like baking a cake. Add the ingredients to the bowl, mix well and use. It’s fun and easy. Hope our paths cross again some time this year. Cheers Anne

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ron Harders

    Great info. Plants growing like crazy.

    • Anne Gibson

      Thanks for your feedback Ron! Thrilled to hear you’ve been having such great results with this potting mix recipe.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5


    The Potting Mix Guide is very informative and easy to understand and the fact it’s laminated is an added bonus as can use and not worry about it being damaged and then losing the print as has happened so many times in the past. Can’t wait to try.

    • AdminAnne Gibson

      Thanks for your feedback on the Potting Mix Guide Jessie. Being waterproof, it should give you many years of use outdoors. Enjoy making your own mixes. Cheers Anne

    • jessie

      Hi Anne Unfortunately at this stage I haven’t had to opportunity to start. I’ve been away and only came home on Friday. Fortunately I have all the required ingredients to start. As of this week am reconstructing my garden and preparing for the winter harvest keeping fingers crossed, we are still in throes of summer too hot to plant, but will be starting up the seeds will keep you informed.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5


    Love the mix–used it for last few years — I to like to mix a whole batch and save for when I go out and garden.

    • AdminAnne Gibson

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with making your own potting mix using this recipe. Great to hear you love it! Warm regards Anne

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Theresa Letch

    THE POTTING MIX RECIPE GUIDE is well done, easy to understand but very comprehensive, and the conversion chart makes it user friendly.

    I also like the sections on balancing soil, and soil nutrients and amendments, when you are in the garden and you don’t have much time you don’t want to be thinking about what to do and how to do it.

    Having it laminated is great. I can take it outside and not worry about it being damaged !!!!

    • Chandler

      Is this available in an electronic form? I would rather not wait the week (or longer) it would take to get here.

      • Anne Gibson

        Hi Chandler, this Potting Mix Guide is only available in a laminated double-sided format, not as a digital file. It is designed to be used for many years as a waterproof outdoor tool. I ship to the US every week. If I send Monday (our time) you should have it by no later than 7 March. Cheers Anne

    • Debbie Sheegog

      Hi,I have been learning through experimenting over the years, resulting in many lessons so I feel as a constant student of gardening, so to speak, but confident with tried and true ways to do things. I love your whole page!
      This was great, and I am all for this. I would love to also share more information, as I thank you for sharing. I also have a really simple recipe, if you don’t mind, I can leave it here for those of us who for example, have lower back issues and have to mix up batches w/ help into a wagon that can be easy to move or scoop from. I got this from a degree’d woman, who has decades of professional experience in her own landscaping company. It works so well that it’s silly-easy, and the natural topsoil you choose can be varied depending on what the store has. The basic ingredients, and remember, always go for the most organic, natural you are able to find: Mix all- (into a wagon works so well for me), one portion of organic top soil; one portion of mushroom compost; one portion Black Cow compost; one or use your judgement on this, a portion of peat moss. It stays under my house where I can access it by scoops from the wagon if it’s a small project, rather than pulling it out, and when I need just a gallon or 2 so put it into a plastic container I am able to lift. I have had incredibly good garden soil developing now for several years, where there was once only sandy stuff, or at one home, clay. It breaks down over time as it also takes care of the new plantings, and eventually the entire bed is constantly being renewed; along with the good hard-wood nicely shredded, (no pine straw is good as mulch, as it does not break down), and no big pieces of wood in the nice, fine mulch. I really see the way they both break down over the years , and other people seem shocked at how well the former-lower blooming gardens that now we see are growing into beautiful blooming ones. I am thrilled when I see earthworms because they are great help for creating these areas. I use this mix in container gardens, as well,(though I do usually add in mostly soil intended for containers with the mix), in the ground as I mix it with the soil dug out kept to the side,for the new planting so as to keep a bit of the old w/ the new, and back-fill it carefully with the mix. I swear by this mix, and as I said, it’s simple. I find the ingredients usually best luck for all of them at a Lowe’s’Garden Center as the mushroom compost is normally there, but not at all stores. Note: tricks for roses and my Hydrangeas- toss a handful of epsom salts around each bush now, early February in my coastal N. C. garden. Rake it in lightly. Whatever it does, my friend &”pro guide” is always right, and I have never had such awesome blooms that go all summer, the hybrid roses are in the ground, and they were in full bloom at least twice totally this past summer. All of the plants around the garden-surround at our beach house were dug up a few years ago and replanted due to a broken aged water system which we replaced with a new drip watering system, and after replanting them, they were immediately doing great. I use organic fertilizer as an extra boost when doing the epsom salts, as well, like Osmocote which my pro friend advises me to use. Read the ingredients, discover that it , too, is a natural product. Another way to extend the amount of soil mix: if you have soil sitting around in which once lived potted plants now gone , add it into the large mix, (as long as they were not diseased!) Best of luck to all! I will keep up with the tips here!

      • Anne Gibson

        Thanks for sharing your experiences Debbie. Improving your soil with organic matter will always make a huge difference. I personally don’t promote the use of peat moss as this is not a sustainable product, whereas coir peat is a byproduct of the coconut industry and readily available. Earthworms are a great barometer of soil health. The more you have, the healthier it is. Hoping you have lots more success in your garden and thanks for reading.

  7. Barbara Nichols

    I have been having a lot of problems with commercial potting mix and gnats appearing in my indoor plants. The mixes I have tried take too long to dry out and I think this is the reason for the gnats. I planted some ivy cuttings 2 weeks ago in a 4″ pot and the soil is still wet. Will your soil recipe help prevent gnats? Does is have as much organic matter as Miracle Grow? I read the organic matter is what the gnats like to feed on.


    • Anne Gibson

      Hi Barbara

      I have been asked this question before as gnats seem to be a common problem with people using Miracle Gro potting mix. It seems there are far too many of their customers who’ve used this product and consistently had the same issue with fungus gnats for it to be a coincidence. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in potting mix, which then hatch, grow and start flying around your house.

      Scotts who make the Miracle-Gro product are well aware of the problem but their only “solution” is a chemical one – one of their own products encouraging you to waste even more money! This company is an agent of Monsanto and one whose products I personally WILL NOT USE OR RECOMMEND.

      If you are not aware, on 7 September 2012, “The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, a producer of pesticides for commercial and consumer lawn and garden uses, was sentenced … in federal district court in Columbus, Ohio, to pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for eleven criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which governs the manufacture, distribution, and sale of pesticides. Scotts pleaded guilty in February 2012 to illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds, falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels, and distributing unregistered pesticides.” Overall, they paid $12.5 million in criminal fines and civil penalties for illegally including insecticides in bird food products and for other violations. Disturbingly, according to the EPA, “The misuse or mislabeling of pesticide products can cause serious illness in humans and be toxic to wildlife.” They knowingly allowed their products to kill wild birds for over 2 years before the product was recalled. I urge you to read the full article so you can make an informed decision about what you buy in future. Would you trust a company like that? This is a thought-provoking article that examines the ethics of supporting such companies.

      If you are going to buy a commercial potting mix product, make sure you check who makes it and what’s really in it. There’s some interesting info on Miracle-Gro here.

      These are a few other suggestions for minimising the occurrence again:

      • To remove any gnats inside your home without chemicals, try making your own sticky traps. The idea is they are attracted to the colour and get stuck there. You can make sticky boards from cheap yellow cardboard or a yellow plastic plate as they don’t need to be waterproof indoors. Use 6 cm x 15 cm or 30 cm x 30 cm as a size guide depending on the area you have to cover. Spread with petroleum jelly, glue or spray oil to form a sticky surface. Attach with a paper clip and hang or secure to a stake above your pot. Replace traps weekly or when full. Traps should be positioned 60 – 70 cm above the plants to be effective if hanging. Yellow sticky traps can be used for white flies, winged aphids and leaf mining flies too although you’re unlikely to get these indoors! (See a photo here).
      • Consider not using Miracle-Gro mix. I would personally repot the plants and start again with fresh potting mix and reuse it outdoors where the gnats won’t bother you. Poor soil mix may already contain the gnat eggs.

      My first advice to avoid this ever happening again is simply make your own potting mix – then you know EXACTLY what ingredients are in it and can control a high quality soil without contaminants. My How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide shows you how to control the quality and make a nutrient-rich, healthy soil to grow your plants in. Read what other customers have to say.

      I hope this helps Barbara.

      Regards Anne

  8. Ernest Flatt

    I am growing micro under lights. For the first time. I am a vocational Instructor, but this is my first attempt to grow Micro greens. My question is, They grew just fine but then I noticed that they all leaned over as if someone had stepped on them. My students all say they did not mash them. But why did they all lean over, instead of standing straight up like I see everyone online does?

    • Anne Gibson

      Hi Ernest
      That’s an easy question to answer! They lean over because there is insufficient light and they are straining towards it. So you need to move them closer to a natural light source such as a window as the lights are not giving them what they require to photosynthesize. Unfortunately, this results quite quickly in ‘leggy seedlings’. See my article on how to prevent and fix this problem. You may also find my Seed Starting Guide – Quick Tips for Starting Seeds Successfully helpful.
      If you want to also have great success with microgreens, the mix you grow in makes a big difference to seed germination and the nutrient value. I created this How to Make Potting Mix Guide with 5 seed raising mix recipes for not only the home gardener, but as it’s laminated, it’s a great long term resource for teachers and students. You can use it to make a wide variety of different recipes, compare results, and substitute with other ingredients. It’s designed to teach principles so you have the confidence on what properties of different ingredients make up a successful soil or seed raising mix.
      I have the best success with microgreens when I make my own seed raising mix AND sow the seeds according to the best moon cycle. This is when the gravitational pull of the moon is drawing soil moisture either up into the leaf sap (ideal for sowing leafy greens and herbs as they grow quickly) or down into the root zone (best for sowing beetroot, radish, onions to swell the seed or bulb encouraging quicker shoot growth). You can read more about working with nature and how moon phases affect plant growth in the benefits of moon gardening.
      I also created a quick video to show the results of just one of my experiments with sowing garlic in different moon phases and the results when planted just 2 days apart, were quite astounding. This may be a great discussion for your students to engage in. If you are interested in buying the guides as a teaching aid, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help you with bulk pricing or you can save on a bundle here.
      Kind regards Anne

  9. Rated 5 out of 5


    Hi Anne I have been making and using your garden mix. Make a large batch and keep on hand for potting and refreshing an old garden bed. A little while ago after pulling out all the finished plants, I refreshed the bed and transplanted a bunch of chives from another spot. They absolutely love it. They look more like spring onions. So do the garlic chives. Put some springs in and taking off like a rocket. They certainly love it. I will send photos. The tomatoes are so huge. So will continue making and yes trying to plant and sow by the moon calendar.

    Thanks for all you wonderful and informative tips.


    • Anne Gibson

      Hi Jessie
      Thanks so much for the update on how you’ve been using your home made potting mix in your garden. So happy to hear your plants are all thriving now with the extra moisture and nutrient-holding potting mix. Making your own soil makes the world of difference to meeting plant needs for water and food. I love success stories and hearing such great news! Plants that are grown in healthy soil thrive and are pest-and-disease resistant. So less problems to have to fix too.
      Great to hear you’re using the Moon Calendar too, to optimise your timing for planting. Look forward to future updates Jessie.
      Happy gardening,
      Cheers Anne

  10. Rated 5 out of 5


    Hi Anne
    Forgot to mention, I’ll continually be updating as I remember or as things occur. We have an equestrian centre where I live and there has been horse poo for the taking. How sustainable it is I don’t know but it can’t be too bad. It breaks down reasonable quickly and no weeds. Sometime last year hubby got me a few bags and I just left in a corner in the back yard for the past 12 months. Yesterday I was tidying up and found these bags. Tipped into a wheel borrow and its the most luscious soil. The worms have gotten into them and worked their magic. I will now mix with my home made soil. I will be starting more bags to put aside for future use.

    Something for those who may have access to horse poo.


    • Anne Gibson

      Thanks Jessie for sharing how you are composting your horse poo in bags. I’ve done the same too. A friend of mine has horses up the road and it’s a great source of nitrogen-rich organic matter. One thing to be aware of is that horses of course are given vet medications on a pretty regular basis. I allow any manures to age well and activate with liquid seaweed and molasses to help it break down faster by feeding the microbes. Adding a small amount of zeolite from your potting mix recipe will help absorb any chemicals present. A good insurance policy of sorts! You could try buying a large bin with a lid and drilling holes in the base and sides. Position in your garden with the moist horse poo and allow the earthworms to come up from the base and turn into compost. Soldier flies will also lay their eggs in there and their larvae (little grubs) are exceptionally fast decomposers. They’ll do the work for you in no time. This may be a faster solution than just leaving in the bags. Then you can use the compost in your potting mix. Let me know how you go!
      Cheers Anne

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