What is the best soil for my garden? Before choosing the right growing medium or “soil” for your garden its good to clearly define what your goals and wants are for your crop. Are you a person who likes total control from start to finish? Perhaps you want a rich, nutrient dense, ready to go soil that will sustain plants for a good amount of time before requiring feeding. It really comes down to your style and how you want to plan your garden. Below we will break down some various types of growing mediums and provide some insight into what makes each one shine and better yet why it might be the best soil choice for you.
Enriched Potting Soil Mixes:
Enriched potting soil mixes are great because they are fortified with high levels of nutrients which get your garden off to a great start. Whether its for beginners or experienced growers, a high-quality potting soil mix will provide the perfect medium for your crop to thrive in. These mixes usually have high enough nutrient content to completely not only sustain the plant’s life but encourage abundant, lush growth. This can make starting plants and getting them thru the vegetative stage as easy as just watering with plain water as needed. Let’s take a look at some of the best soil mixes available.
FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil is perfect for containers and is ready to use right out of the bag. This nutrient-rich mix is a powerful blend of Pacific Northwest sea-going fish, crab meal, shrimp meal as well as earthworm castings—one of nature’s finest soil amendments. This mix also contains perlite as well as mycorrhizal fungi.
Nutrient-rich Happy Frog Potting Soil is highly recommended for container gardens. It is ready to use right out of the bag and is pH-adjusted to allow for maximum nutrient uptake. This unique mix is alive with beneficial soil microbes as well as mycorrhizal fungi that dramatically expand root development enabling plants to feed more aggressively.
Nectar For The Gods Potting Soil Blend #4 is Nectars most popular blend. It’s free from bark and fillers and features coir fiber that is rinsed on-site with Oregon rainwater. It is buffered with limestone to reduce salts. Other ingredients include: sphagnum peat moss, perlite, pumice, mycorrhizal fungi, yucca meal, kelp meal, bone meal, diatomaceous earth, clay, basalt, oyster shell (for pH adjustment), humus and lime (for pH adjustment). Potting Soil Blend #4 is ideal for indoor and outdoor use, and suitable for multiple feedings per week.
Soilless Growing Mediums
Soilless growing mediums are basically defined as “inert”. This means they contain very little, more usually no nutrient content at all. Soilless growing mediums are usually composed of an organic substance that provides good aeration as well as water retention (two very important aspects of a quality medium for plants). The most common sources or ingredients of a soilless medium is coconut fiber and peat moss or a combination of plus perlite. Growers like using soilless growing mediums because it provides total control of the plants diet from start to finish as well as the fact that it can be more cost effective.
PRO-MIX HP provides a superior growing environment for plants that require increased drainage and oxygen. It’s Canadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, dolomite and calcitic limestone fortified with beneficial endomycorrhizal fungus to strengthen roots and increase plants’ ability to fully use available nutrients. 3.8 cubic feet of compressed PRO-MIX equals about seven cubic feet in use.
PRO-MIX BX contains a beneficial mycorrhizal inoculum, Glomus intraradices, that attaches to and colonizes root systems. This forms a beneficial relationship with plants. This boosts nutrient availability, reducing the risk of hazards associated with transplanting, and the plant returns the favor by providing soluble sugars to the fungus. PRO-MIX BX with Mycorrhizae is suitable for most vegetable transplants and wide variety of plant species. 3.8 cu ft of compressed Pro-Mix equals about 7 cu ft in use.
Bush Doctor Coco Loco Potting Mix has the ability to hold more than its weight in water while still draining well. The coir in Coco Loco behaves like little sponges, offering nutrients and water as needed by the plants. Lower humidity reduces the possibility of attracting mold and root rot and leaves insects less likely to bother potted plants.
Seedling Soil Mixes
The best soil seedling mixes provide a well-draining, lightly fertilized medium that will encourage a good start and strong root system. A well-draining seedling mix will encourage the seedlings roots to grow out. The light nutrition will not burn the sensitive plant and provide just enough boost to get it going.
FoxFarm Light Warrior Seed Starter is the ultimate growing medium for starting seeds, cuttings and transplants. In addition to earthworm castings that help plants thrive, Light Warrior incorporates humic acid to assist in seed germination. The beneficial microbes enhance root development and similarly nutrient uptake. Light Warrior is perfect for seed germination, cuttings as well as new plant starts for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
Black Gold Seedling Mix consists of perlite, dolomite lime, double-screened Canadian sphagnum peat moss as well as an organic wetting agent. This is a light medium great for germinating most plant varieties.
Flowering Soil Mixes
The best soil mix for fruiting and flowering will generally contain a greater amount of phosphorus and potassium. This is great for gardeners who like more flexibility and who like to transplant their plants right before flowering.
FoxFarm Strawberry Fields Fruiting & Flowering Potting Soil is brought to you directly from the flower children of the Sixties and Seventies. Love, peace and happiness is poured into every bag of Strawberry Fields. Designed to pump up your blooms, fruits as well as berries with no hang-ups.
Guerrilla Growing Soil Mixes
This category of soil mixes is very niche and specific but all the same VERY useful to the right grower. It’s safe to say that a guerrilla growing mix will contain high levels of nutrients. The soil should sustain a plant for a very long time allowing the grower the space between visits. While not enough to totally sustain the plant from start to finish, they will provide the plant a good start. How easy is that?
Roots Organics Original Potting Soil is a natural and organic indoor and outdoor growing mix and a ready-to-use container media. This is designed fast-growing and heavy-feeding plants. It is also great to use as a potting soil additive or amendment to revitalize and improve structure of soil. Its recipe enables better drainage as well as encourages a vigorous root structure.