Modern flower stores offer a large variety of earth substrates. Ready-made soil for all types of plants is easy to find. During promotions, soil for houseplants can be purchased at a tempting price. But for a plant to grow and develop well, it is better to prepare soil for it yourself.
When choosing a soil mixture you should take into account its reaction (Ph).
Most indoor and garden plants prefer neutral or slightly alkaline soils. Certain species require alkaline or acidic soil. For chrysanthemums, pelargoniums, begonias, ferns, cyclamen a slightly acidic soil mixture is suitable. Acidic soil should be purchased for hydrangeas, camellias, azaleas. Lilies, carnations, cineraria, asparagus will grow well in alkaline soil.
Acidic soils include peat, clay-sod and loam. If sod soil is taken on chernozem, it will be slightly alkaline or neutral.
Torf is part of almost all earth substrates for flowers.
It can be lowland, raised bog, or transitional. Lowland peat is slightly acidic, highland peat is acidic. Upper peat is the result of decomposition of sphagnum moss that grows in high bogs. It has little minerals and is not very fertile. This type of peat is used to make transportation peat.
Plants are transported in it. Among its main advantages are good air permeability, hygroscopicity, lightness. But it has a high ability to hold moisture. When top peat dries out completely, it is very difficult to water it.
Bottom peat is formed in marshes, bogs of rivers and lakes.
It has more minerals and is heavier. It cannot be used in its pure form, it is wet and leads to rotting of the roots. It is used as a component of potting soil.
Peat can improve the quality of potting soil by making it light and friable. Peat soil is used for germinating seeds and rooting cuttings.
Factory-packaged peat can also be used for plants in pots. For soil substrates, soft, loose peat with a uniform structure is suitable.
Any soil substrate is not without sod soil.
It is most suitable for palm trees. You can make it yourself. Meadow sod soil, on which legumes and grasses are grown, is ideal. To prepare the soil mixture, it is better to take soil from the upper layer. Soil that is near the roots and under them will do.
Such soil is enriched with nitrogen, which helps plants to develop fully. This soil can be found in an ordinary pasture, in the woods, by the mole heaps. Loam is a soddy soil of the middle belt. Clay in the composition of the soil helps to retain moisture, retain nutrients. This property helps to reduce the number of fertilizers.
As the indoor plant grows, increase the amount of sod soil.
Sod soil will help prevent the earth substrate from drying out quickly. It is especially good to add such soil to the pots of plants that are taken out on the balcony in the summer.
There is nothing difficult about making this type of soil. The best quality deciduous earth can be taken from hazel, maple, and linden. Oak and willow soil is not suitable for many indoor plants, as it contains many tannins. In old-growth forest, you can take soil from any layer of soil. In young trees, preference should be given to the top fertile layer of soil.
Deciduous soil with the addition of sand is suitable for rooting cuttings and growing seeds.
In most cases greenhouse soil obtained after cleaning greenhouses is used. It has a very valuable composition. It is a good fertilizer for plants. It is not easy to find, so you can replace it with biohumus soil, which is sold in flower stores.
The main thing is to buy a quality product, not a fake. Biohumus is manure processed by earthworms. It contains useful live microorganisms, it is rich in organic matter and therefore used to enrich the soil mixture.
This soil can be taken from the compost pit that you have in every cottage. This includes manure, garbage, and decomposted waste.
This type of soil is suitable for growing azaleas, orchids, begonias, violets and gloxinias. It contains decomposed needles. This soil is considered poor, loose, acidic.
Experienced florists for their houseplants choose only pure coniferous soil from under trees. Collecting such soil, remove from it caught branches and cones. It is difficult to find good quality pine soil because there is a lot of sand in the soil under the plants.
This component for the soil mixture can be bought in the store. It is found in substrates for bromeliads and orchids.
If the plant has rotting roots, charcoal is added to the pot. It can also be used to treat wounds, cuts in the roots, stems and leaves of the plant.
Sand is an important ingredient for making an earth substrate. This component should be taken very seriously. Red colored construction sand should not be added to the soil.
It is not suitable for plants, because it contains harmful compounds of iron. River sand should be preferred. It is used without prior preparation. Sea sand is washed well before use to remove the salt.
After the earth mixture is ready, it should be steamed to remove harmful insects and weed seeds. The heat treatment will help get rid of root nematodes, earthworms, and millipedes. You will need a large pot and sand for the procedure. At the bottom of the pot place clean raw sand, on top lay the other components of the soil mixture.
The container is placed on the fire and heated. Evaporating water will warm the soil.
The heat treatment has its disadvantages. Due to high temperatures useful soil microorganisms, which help to assimilate organic fertilizers, die. To avoid problems, the number of microorganisms is maintained with special preparations containing soil microflora.
Secrets of Perfect Soil - Video
Secrets of Perfect Soil