Is Dirt – Right?

When you’re planting a garden, you use the dirt on the ground. If you’re growing household plants, can you use that same dirt? After all, dirt is dirt right? Well, not necessarily. To make their chances better, you need to use soil that is right for your household plants. Whether you will use topsoil or potting soil will be determined by where you are planting your flowers and vegetables. The ingredients are different between potting soil and topsoil, with each having its purpose and the way it should be used.

Potting Soil vs. Topsoil

There isn’t much in common when you compare potting soil and topsoil. In actuality, there isn’t any “soil” in potting soil. It needs to be aerated and drained well, and every manufacturer of potting soil will have a unique blend that is all their own.

They combine several ingredients like bark, coir or coconut husks, sphagnum moss, and vermiculite that give it a texture which will hold growing roots, deliver moisture and nutrients as well as allows the potted plants to drain properly.

On the flip side of things, topsoil doesn’t have any specific ingredients. This means you can scrape soil from a weedy field or other spaces that may be mixed with compost, manure, sand, and any other ingredients. However, topsoil doesn’t work well alone. The purpose of topsoil is to be the conditioner and not an actual medium for planting.

Which is better for what?

If you are using containers for planting, potting soil is what you need to use. This will have the right level of moisture and the right texture to grow plants in a small area like a container. There are potting soils that are formulated specifically for certain plants like African violets. However, each container plant needs to be in some potting soil because it is a sterilized soil that has had fungus and other organisms eliminated to prevent spreading to your other plants.

For your outdoor gardening, you will most likely need to improve the soil that is in the ground already. To do this, you will want to create a 50/50 mixture of the existing soil and the soil that will make it healthier for gardening. Water drains differently with each type of soil. So, by mixing two soils together, the moisture will drain through both and not pool up.

To get detailed information about the different soils in your area, visit the local nursery. They will have the expertise and information to help make your garden and plants healthy.