Garden Soil Vs. Potting Soil: Which Is Better?

Both, ground and container plants have different needs, and hence need different soils. The type of soil you select for your plants will impact their growth rate and health tremendously. So, if you are under impression that all the soils are same, well you are absolutely wrong. No two types of soil are created equal. This makes it vital to understand them in order to select the best one.

Here we have discussed the two most commonly used soils, garden soil and potting soil. Home owners mostly use these for their yards and in house container plants.

Garden Soil and its benefits

Garden soils, as the name suggests, are specifically developed for in-ground plants. Usually, this type of soil is free, but of course you need to add some amendments annually to ensure it stays nourished. Then again, if you choose to buy it directly from an organic fertilizer company like BuildASoil, you need not to worry about it being nutritious.

Most of the garden soils are either sand, clay or loam. However, this composition can be altered by adding natural amendments. You can even use garden soil in containers, but of course you will have to add some peat and perlite moss to enhance its porosity. Also, make sure you don’t use garden soil in containers you plan to bring in-house, since it may contain insect eggs that might hatch.

The easiest way to renew your garden soil is to simply add kitchen scraps to it. This will help in improving its texture, nutrient density and overall composition. Garden soil is chosen by most home owners because it packs very well around the plant roots, and thus help them to develop well.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the pH of unaltered garden soil will suit native plants the best. After all, the native plants are adapted to that particular soil and pH type. All in all, garden soil is an excellent choice if you plan to grow veggies or build flower beds.

Potting Soil and its benefits 

Potting mixes are developed using ingredients that help in retaining water and nutrients, as well as ensure better drainage and aeration. Some of the common ingredients in potting soils are – peat, perlite, vermiculite, coconut coir, bark, compost, etc. Potting soil is much less compactable compared to garden soil, and this helps potted plants to grow better.

Unlike garden soil, when you use potting mix or soil for outdoor containers, you need not to add any amendments to fix it nutritional level. In fact, potting mixes are developed in such a way that you can use it right from the bag. You simply need to fill up your container with the potting soil and add the plant, and that will be all.

Some potting mixes also have compost, fertilizers, bone meal and worm castings added in them, and thus can improve the growth rate of your plants.

Lastly, it is important to understand that both potting soil and garden soil have different compositions, and are used for different purposes. Garden soil is best when used for outdoor plantation, whereas potting soil is best for container plants. Therefore, depending on your requirement, you can select any one of them.

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