You may have experienced a time when you wanted to grow a beautiful plant in your house, but it didn't materialize. The reason for this could have been the use of wrong potting soil, which can make any plant develop a rather unhealthy rooting system, resulting in its untimely demise. Potting soil is also referred to as potting mix or potting compost. It helps plants, vegetables, and herbs grow in containers or pots. It's interesting to note that the demand for potting soil is relatively high all through the year because people may want to grow their plants indoors. This article will reveal all you must know about purchasing the best potting soils in 2021, and we have also reviewed some of our top picks this year to help you make a good buying decision.
The potting soil options out there are countless, but you must know that not all the options will give your plants the base they need. You should see the difference between features and the difference between both organic and inorganic soils. Instead, many people would go for organic soil for their plants because they don't come with chemicals and pesticides. Keep reading to find out more about choosing the right soil product.
Things To Consider When Getting Potting Soil
As stated earlier in this piece, there are two distinct differences between potting soil types. The organic variant is costlier and heavier than the non-organic type. Organic soils are also made using organic matter, which is not like the inorganic option made using artificial components. Also, note that the inorganic mixes usually lose their nutritional value as time goes on.
You need to know the difference between the two to ascertain which of them is best for your plants. This guide will explore a few things you should consider before buying a particular type of soil.
Nutrient retention and moisture
Your choice of potting soil ought to be capable of holding essential nutrients and moisture because plants need them to grow. Before buying, always confirm if the soil can retain nutrition well. You can quickly ascertain this by checking the product description and reading the ingredients listed in the mix. For instance, with inorganic soil, peat moss ought to help with the retention of moisture and nutrients, which means that having more peat moss will lead to better soil performance.
Aside from nutrients and moisture, your plant requires good airflow to thrive. It would help if you looked for potting soil that provides this. The perfect earth always comes with light and fluffy mixes, perfect for this purpose as they give maximum airflow. Also, the soil mix you go for ought not to be too dense when wet because this will help prevent it from developing molds.
The density of soil is vital, and you ought to know if it will be perfect for your plants before you purchase the soil mix. You may test this by poking it using your finger, and if it is flexible, it is the right choice.
Also, note that the potting soil ought not to become compacted when water is added because it will lead to the plant's roots becoming hard via the earth. One other way you can test the density of the soil is to lift the bag just before you open it. If the load is heavy, it is safe to say that the earth is full of fillers like mulch or sand, and this soil type is not suitable for growth.
Avoid buying potting soil before you research the list of ingredients contained in it. The perfect potting soil should not offer only one type of nutrient because your plant needs variety. The more the nutrients, the quicker your plant will grow.
Tips For Maintaining Your Potting Soil
The first thing you must know is that you should never use soil from your yard or garden because it contains weed seeds, fungal diseases, and insects. Buying a potting mixture is always the most innovative way to go.
As far as watering the soil is concerned, you can do that once a week, depending on the weather. But note that plants will need more water during the summer because the warm weather will cause the quick evaporation of the moisture even before the plant uses it, and the larger your plant gets, the more water they will need. Remember to water the soil and not the leaves or flowers. Pouring water directly on the leaves may cause scorched leaf spots or fungal diseases.
Plants that grow in the ground are known to require less fertilization than those which grow in containers. The more you wet your soil, the quicker the nutrient will be lost from the earth. If you want the best crop yield, you should feed your plants using soluble fertilizer every few weeks.
How To Use Potting Soil
For newbies in the world of gardening, there are a few things you ought to know before you place your plants inside containers. If you want to use a big container to plant, ensure you put it in the place the plant will live. Moving the container from one place to the other can be stressful because it is pretty heavy.
Also, make sure you use containers that come with drainage holes because this boosts the outcome. If you don't have access to such containers, you could drill holes in the containers to achieve this. By doing this, you will not overwater your plants. Remember to check the moisture needs of your plants. Too much water may lead to your plants getting damaged.
Under-watering your plant may also lead to issues similar to overwatering, which is why you ought to water the plants at will one time daily.
Based on the buying guide and product descriptions, we can confidently say you can't go wrong choosing any of the products on our list. It would help if you were on the lookout for soil potting with a quality base for most plants and one that is easy to use. Also, you should consider the nutritional content, water retention capacity, and user reports to assess whether a potting mix is the right pick for your plants.
The Ocean forest potting soil is a combination of the best components of the sea and earth. This mix is the perfect potting soil containing all your plant needs to grow. The Ocean Forest is a powerhouse blend of guano, earthworm castings, and seadog fish. Other constituents include sandy loam, forest humus, and sphagnum peat moss, which give the soil an aerated light texture.
This soil has a pH between 6.3 and 6.8 which gives it optimum fertilizer uptake. Also, you do not need nitrogen fertilizers at first as you can instead try organic blends to boost growth and development.
Suitable soil pH for optimum fertilizer uptake
Light and well aerated
Rich in nutrients
Prone to growing mold overtime if kept in the bag without proper storage
Espoma created the unique AP8 8-Quart organic potting soil aiming to solve outdoor and indoor gardening issues. The soil is composed of water-conserving formula, which improves water retaining capacity and lowers drought stress for plants. Also, this brand is noted for producing its items in an environment-friendly atmosphere.
Furthermore, this potting mix is Myco-tone enhanced using diverse mycorrhizae strains, which helps facilitate soil water absorption, lowers drought stress, boosts the root system, and makes the plants resistant to transplant shock.
Get the most out of your indoor container plants while using the Miracle-Gro indoor potting mix. This unique mix is made with the right ingredients making it suitable for different container plants, and it is also made to be gnat proof. Additionally, this mix is made with an easy-to-water formula, making it easy for you to re-wet the soil. The mix doesn’t compost or bark, which means you don’t have to worry about shelter fungus gnats.
If you are in the business of growing vegetables, organic herbs, or flowers in patio containers or beds, this unique growing mix will make the job easier. The potting mix by Burpee is designed to release the needed nutrients quickly while giving you much-needed plant food for up to three months. The mixture is made to retain as much water as possible, making it ideal for all-season use.
It comes enriched with Burpee plant food
Help grow plants instantly
Good air and water retention
Can grow mold if left in storage after opening for a prolonged period
Kenzoplants Organic potting soil mix is custom made to give your plants optimum germination. The soil mix is made up of carefully screened blonde sphagnum peat, organic fertilizer, and forest gold. These materials are needed to give your plant all they need for proper growth and development. Also, this soil is packaged using reusable bags, which helps keep the soil fresh when you store it. All you need to do is open the bag and pour the earth into your preferred container, and you are good to go.
This starting potting mix soil offers optimum water retention for your plant roots to absorb, thus making your plants have enough aeration and moisture. The garden mix is ideal for herbs, vegetables, germinating cuttings, succulents, fruits, ornamental plants, and the likes. One other unique feature of this soil is that it is a natural product making it perfect for newbies.
There are not too many potting soils that offer the quality the Black Gold All Purpose Potting Soil offers. This potting soil is made using the Canadian sphagnum peat moss with forest humus, worm casing, and pumice. It is a slow-release fertilizer that is added to boost the plant and optimize its performance.
Other unique features include the fact that it is a multi-core controlled-release fertilizer that is multi-purpose and perfect for all types of plants. It is ideal for hanging baskets, patio containers, and for planting house plants.
The Wonder Soil Premium Organic Potting mix is reputed as the only dry compressed coco mix with amendments of worm casing, kelp, mycorrhizae, perlite, etc. With this soil, you can confidently grow your plants at a faster pace with solid roots. You don’t have to bother about peat as it is free of it, natural, and safe for your pets.
One unique feature of this little bag of potting soil is that it expands up to four times its natural size when mixed with water. Also, it is easy to carry and helps you conserve important shed space. Additionally, the soil is ready to use, which means all you need to do is transplant your plants into the container while you add the soil mix. The potting mix has excellent water retention as well as aeration and drainage around the root area.
If you are a plant parent, then you know how important it is to get the best potting soil mix for your plant babies. A wrong mixture can lead to a lot of damage, like root rot, improper drainage, and more. This organic potting soil mixture contains vitamins, macronutrients, proteins, and everything that a plant needs to grow properly. Unlike other potting mixes, this product comes in discs that can easily fit any 3 to 4-inch pot. Besides, each disk contains a high amount of coconut coir that improves the drainage system and prevents roots from standing in water for a long time.
Each disk is made to fit any pot with a circumference of 4 inches
As the disks contain coconut coir, they help in proper root growth
Contains Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, and other macronutrients that helps in proper plant growth
The disks are not individually wrapped, due to which it becomes messy while separating them
Potting Soil FAQ
Q: Does potting soil expire?
A: Peat moss and other ingredients in potting soil are known to decompose, causing loss of nutrients through compaction. Ideally, potting soil should be replaced at the start of every growing season, and opened bags should be used within half a year.
Q: Is it advisable to reuse my potting soil?
A: Note that potting soil could be revived and used again even though it comes at the risk of disease infestation. However, avoid reusing soil from a container that has been used to cultivate a diseased plant.
Q: Do I have to add fertilizer?
A: Containers lose nutrients after watering regularly, which is why you will need added nutrients. Halfway through the planting season, you should apply water-soluble fertilizers.
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