Every plant needs the best growing conditions for it to thrive. Some need to be placed in full sunlight, while others can survive indoors. When it comes to soil, some plants need many nutrients, while others can thrive in standard soil types. Plants have different needs, and as a gardener, you should know what conditions are best for them. Whether you are a novice or expert gardener, this best potting soil guide is written to help you grow different kinds of plants. Learn the best potting soil and its benefits and how you can make soil and potting mixes.
What is Potting Soil?
If you are new to gardening, you might ask what potting soil is. Is it the typical soil you see on the ground? Or is it a specific type of soil? To avoid confusion, potting soil refers to any container or gardening media that has dirt in it. The dirt in the potting soil could be mixed in with other soil-less materials. What makes it different from other soil types is its nutrient-rich feature because it has decaying organic matter and minerals. Potting soil offers steady nutrition to plants.
If you want to make potting soil, know that it can consist of dirt from the garden combined with one or more of the materials used when making potting mixes. On the other hand, a potting mix can also be mixed with dirt to transform it into potting soil. It should have the right ingredients to aerate so that it can also provide nutrients for the plants. If you are creating a general potting soil, it can suit a variety of houseplants.
What to Remember When Making Potting Soil
If you consider using potting soil, you must remember the following critical things: the plant’s pH, porosity, and water-holding capacity. The pH or acidity is essential since the nutrients can be unavailable to the plant if the acidity is out of an acceptable range. On the other hand, porosity which refers to the space between soil particles, indicates the roots’ ability to access oxygen. When it comes to the plant’s water-holding capacity, it is recommended to have a drier or wetter soil environment depending on the plant’s needs.
The Best Potting Soil
The best potting soil depends on the type of plants you will grow using it. But for many gardeners, the top pick for the best potting soil is something that you can use for many types of plants. Look at a potting soil that is versatile even if you are starting. This is because this type of potting soil provides an excellent base for most plants and is easy to use. Not only that, but a versatile potting soil has well-rounded nutrition and good water retention.
The Benefits of Potting Soil
If you are wondering about the benefits of potting soil compared to ordinary soil, then here are some of them:
- Unlike dirt or ordinary soil with a problem with containers, potting soil is usually cheaper than potting mixes. What gardeners like about potting soil is that it is also rich in nutrients.
- Potting soil is highly effective for container gardening. If you want another method, you may consider composting since you can get organic compost fertilizer from humans using a good composting toilet. Besides, organic composting is ideal for potting soil.
- You can create your potting soil by utilizing the only soil from the garden or mixing the soil with other materials. Make sure to look closely at a potting mix’s label to see what it’s made from, even though pure garden soil can be organic.
- Potting soil is natural; that’s why it can last for a long time. Unlike a potting mix that breaks down over time and becomes unusable, the potting soil is always usable. All it needs from time to time is amending with organic manure or fertilizer.
- Potting soil provides less air movement since it easily gets compacted inside a container. Although it is not ideal for seed starting, there are still other benefits you can get out of it.
Guide to Soil and Potting Mixes
You can mix garden soil with compost and potting mix to provide a lighter and more suitable combination for raised beds. If you will purchase bagged raised bed soil, make sure that it is already mixed. On the other hand, you can make your own by combining regular garden soil with potting mix. Suppose you want to use more garden soil than a potting mix; remember the 5:1 ratio. You can also make your own raised bed mix. Do this by mixing all the individual parts of garden soil and potting soil, including topsoil, bark or peat, compost, and perlite or vermiculite.
Potting soil is essential in so many ways. You may consider this in gardening, especially if you like growing plants in containers. But remember, potting soil has its advantages and disadvantages. All you need is to weigh down the consequences of using it. You may refer to this best potting soil guide if you want to use it for your plants.