Garden soil works fine for growing things in the garden, but there’s no place for it in your houseplant pots. Use it indoors, and garden soil turns hard. Houseplants can’t thrive in cement-like soil. They need sufficient drainage and aeration. Not to mention soil their roots can grow freely in. Houseplants also need nutrients to grow healthy and strong. With a few materials, you can easily make make your own indoor plant soil.

1. Mix together two quarts of clean sand, topsoil and peat moss in a bucket. Mix in 1/2 cup charcoal and 1/2 cup perlite.

2. Stir in just enough water to make the indoor plant soil damp. Place the soil into an old, large roasting pan. Level it out so the soil is not more than four inches deep. If it is, divide it into two pans.

3. Preheat your oven to 180 F. Stick a potato down deep into the center of the pan. It should be completely covered with soil. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

4. Make a small hole toward the center of the foil, but away from the potato. Place a meat thermometer through the hole and into the soil.

5. Place the roasting pan of soil into the oven. When the meat thermometer reaches 180 F, set the oven timer for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the pan and check the potato. If it’s cooked done, that means the heat of the oven passed through the soil successfully. Your indoor plant soil is now sterilized. Allow it to cool before you use it.

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