This guide is will help you design you own soil to grow the most broad spectrum of plants possible. This means it won't work for everything, but if you want to grow a vegetable garden, plant a tree, or plant flowers this dirt will probably be excellent for you. At some point I'll probably make an Instructable that goes into much higher detail helping troubleshoot soil problems and make optimum soil for specific plants. Check my other instructables
Generally garden soil should be well draining and nutrient rich. The goal of this project is turn whatever you do have into that, as economically as possible, or you would have just bought miracle grow at hardware store.
To mix your soil any flat surface and a dirt rake is suitable, but concrete is ideal.
I use 5 gallon buckets as a common measurement tool since everyone has those available, and wheelbarrows come in many sizes, but if you are doing it on a larger scale like I do, just use a 5 gallon bucket to measure or think of them as 1 part this, 2 parts that, and just guesstimate on the fertilizer proportions.
Coarse sand is used to help your soil drain better, but Peralite is ideal. Its that light weight white stuff, but its expensive. Use either one or a combination of both.
Use compost or manure, for organic material. Most manure is not actually straight manure anyway, like if you get the $2 bags at Home Depot, it is pre-composted so it doesn't smell.
I give 2 recipes for each type of dirt available so you can mix it appropriately for planting in ground, pots, or in a TeraHydro Box
, which personally I would recommend.
Mix your soil well, use for your garden, and treat like Miracle Grow which doesn't need fertilizer for a few months.