Updated 3/21/23: This is an on-going documentary of the different versions of potting mixes that I use for my raised beds, potted herbs, flowers, vegetables, and potted fruit trees. I cover the following three topics in this article:
- Product Recommendations for raised beds and pots
- Potting mix recipes
- How I prep and fill my raised beds
2×4 ft polyethylene raised boxes: https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/pdp/ebern-designs-ameal-4-ft-x-2-ft-polyurethane-foam-raised-garden-bed-w004383527.html
7, 10, 15, & 25-gallon black nursery plastic pots: https://www.greenhousemegastore.com/collections/plant-pots/products/large-nursery-containers
17 & 20-inch plastic terracotta pots: https://www.greenhousemegastore.com/collections/plant-pots/products/large-nursery-containers
Potting Mix #1 Recipe
This potting mix recipe makes 100-gallon and I have been using this mix for all my raised beds in 2022. I used four 25-gallon pots for this recipe. I split the ingredients into the four 24-gallon pots and mix per pot of the ingredients on my driveway and scooping it back in.
- 6 bags of Home Depot’s Kellogg’s Potting Mix
- 32 quart Perlite
- 3 cf Peat Moss (1 bulk bag)
- 4 cf Fine Pine Mulch (2 bags)
- 1 bag Black Kow or Mushroom Compost (20 pounds)
- 4 quarts crushed crab/lobster shells
- 2 quarts worm casting
- Fertilizer of your choice (I used fish scraps, vegetables and fruit scraps, and other fertilize.)
Potting Mix #2 Recipe
This recipe makes about 50 gallons worth of potting mix that I use for my raised beds and starter plants.
- 1.5 bags Jungle Growth Flower and Vegetable Professional Mix (3 cf)
- 20 lb or half a bag Mushroom Compost
- 2 cf Fine Pine mulch
- 20 quart Peat Moss
- 8 quart Perlite
- 4 scoops crushed crab and lobster shells
- 4 scoops Worm Casting
- 1.5 scoop Fertilome Start & Grow 19-6-12 fertilizer
- 1 scoop bone meal
Potting Mix #3 Recipe:
This recipe makes 25 gallons of potting mix. This version is used for raised beds, potted herbs and vegetables, and some fruit trees.
- One 64-quart bag Lowe’s Sta-Green Potting Mix
- 1 cubic ft of Fine Pine mulch
- 20 lb or half a bag Mushroom Compost
- 8 quarts Perlite
- 4 quarts Vermiculite
- 2 quarts crushed crab and lobster shells and or egg shells
- 1 scoop of Fertilome fertilizer “Start & Grow 19-6-12”
Potting Mix #4 Recipe for Blueberries, Figs, Miracle Berry, Jaboticabas
- 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part coarse perlite
- 1 part fine pine mulch
- BerryTone fertilizer (not for jaboticaba
5. Potting mix for Loquats and June Plums: any bag of cheap potting mix will do. They strive in poor soil.
Potting Mix #6 for Non-Acidic fruit trees: Longan, Avocado, Mango trees prefer loamy well drained sandy soil.
- 1 bag Sta-green Potting Mix
- Mix in 30% all-purpose-sand (not play sand)
Prepping for the Raised Boxes
- I cut a strip of the Dewitt 20-year Weed Barrier and lay it on the bottom of the raised bed. Doing so will prevent the mole and and rats burrowing a tunnel and into my raised boxes.
2. The layers of my pot/raised beds soil starting from the bottom:
- Fine pine mulch from Mulch for You
- Food scraps: fruit peels, veggies, crab and lobster shells, fish scraps
- Vegetable and fruit scraps
- Mushroom compost
- Potting soil mixture of perlite, Kellogg’s Potting Mix, peat moss, mushroom compost
- Crushed crab and lobster shells, worm casting, and some more peat moss mixed in the top six inches of soil
I have done this before and noticed a big positive change and difference using this prepping method compared to just using bags of potting mix at the big box store. The bagged potting soil by itself seems to dry up so quickly. The combination above provides natural fertilizer, calcium, root knot nemotode preventative, and medium to hold in nutrients and moisture longer.
Adding the crushed crab and lobster shells into potting soil for edible plants that’s proned to root knot nemotodes helps with prevention. It works great for cucumbers, tomatoes, and chili pepper plants. I plant all chili pepper plants in a 15-gallon pot.