Proper potting soil for the indoor gardens is one step that is often overlooked. But remember, you are providing a home for a plant and the soil need to be rich in nutrients and healthy.
Many people use recycled soil, which is ok if you follow a few rules.
- Sterilize the soil to make sure it has no germs or bugs. Do this by placing it in the oven on low heat, 250 degrees, for an hour.
- Replenish nutrients that were used up in the soil. A mix of fresh potting soil and compost will work well.
- Make sure the soil drains well. You can buy soil that will drain or add the drainage pellets that can be bought in garden centers.
There are specially blended soils just for indoor plants and container plants. The mixes are more lightweight and have better water holding capabilities.
There are also soils made for certain plants. And example of such a mix would be for the African Violet plants. Cacti also have their own mix which is higher in sand. So check your local garden centers for soil mixes.
Note: outdoor soil rarely ever works for indoor plants. It’s usually too high in sand or clay. Take the time to get the right soil mix for your plants.
Most pots come with drain holes in them. If they don’t, drill them yourself. A pot or container without a drainage hole will collect water in the bottom and cause root rot. Once you have a hole in the container, place a couple of layers of newspaper or a piece of broken pot over the hole. This will allow for drainage but will keep the soil from spilling out the bottom.
- Pots do dry up fast, especially if they are small. Check the soil regularly.
- Choose plants requiring less water to make it easier to maintain your container garden.
- Water you plants from the bottom by setting in a pot or tray of water. This keeps the top of the soil drier and helps prevent soil disease.
- Most plants like misted. it gives the leaves instant water and also cleans them from dust.
- Use a pebble tray under most containers. It will catch any run off, moisture and soil. It also adds humidity to the air around the plants, which the plant will enjoy.
- Terracotta left unsealed (on the inside of the pot) will soak up a lot of your plant’s water before the plant does. If you brush on a good water sealant this prevent moisture from being absorbed. You can also mist the pot to keep it moist.
- I scratch the top of the soil on the planters to keep the soil loose. You get better aeration for the plants roots and this prevents soil disease.
Container gardening for enjoyment or for adding nutritional food to your table can be easy and fun if set up properly. And by making planters, collecting pots from sales and making your own soil or plant food, you can reduce the cost of growing plants indoors.