What Type of Soil Should I Use When Container Gardening?

Container gardens are an increasingly popular way to add color and beauty to a space – from corporate office parks to backyard landscapes. The ability to group, move, and rearrange containers allows for innovative designs and pairings of plants that may not normally grow together; as well as to easily modify or change the look of the decor.

If you are looking to add container gardening to your home or business, one of the most important decisions to make is that of which soil to use.

You may be surprised to learn that backyard or garden soil is far from ideal for container gardening. In fact, the best “soil” to use in containers – potting soil – is actually not true soil at all.

The reason lies in the unique growing environment of the container, which requires proper drainage and adequate air flow in a restricted space. Regular garden soil will not drain properly, and gets compacted in restricted growth situations, inhibiting root growth. Soil also generally contains weed seeds, fungal spores and pests, which can encourage insects and disease.

In order to avoid these and other problems when growing in containers, experts recommend quality potting soil for the best and most beautiful results.

What Should I be Looking For?

The right potting mix will give your plant’s roots moisture, air and nutrition, while anchoring them firmly in the mixture. Therefore your optimum potting soil choice will combine organic components that both absorb and retain moisture, while still allowing water drainage and air flow. Blends which contain sphagnumpeat moss and aged compost will provide essential nutrients and a good pH balance for your plants; while perlite is a common additive useful for aeration of the potting mix.


What Should I Avoid?

Bargain potting soil may look good at checkout, but can severely impact the health and beauty of your container plants. Cheap products may contain muck or sedge peat, sand, or actual dirt, which may cost you more in the long run.

What Else Do I Need to Start Growing?

Depending on what you are looking to cultivate and which type of potting mix you are utilizing, you may need to periodically add plant food or fertilizer. One of our favorite products to add is earthworm castings, which provide the richest, most concentrated organic fertilizer available on the market.

Container Gardening Tutorial>>

The beauty and versatility of container gardens will transform your office environment, home or yard. For the best products and expert advice, whether for commercial or personal projects, stop by one of Big Earth Landscape Supply’s four convenient Tampa or Sarasota area locations. We are happy to help.

Shop Our Selection of Soil & Containers at our Big Earth Landscape Supply Palmetto, Sarasota, and Tampa location