Let’s talk about dirt. Seasoned gardeners may recoil at calling soil dirt, but it’s essential to make a few key distinctions. Gardening enthusiasts will tell you that dirt has no place in gardening. Dirt is the grime and dust that collects on belongings, while soil is the life-sustaining sustenance that vegetables, trees, shrubs, and many plants derive their nutrients from. Soil is a blend of sand, silt, and other organic matter, and it’s best for in-ground planting.
In the world of gardening and landscaping, containers and raised beds are a great way to take advantage of vertical space and bring in contained plant life to hardscaped areas of your property. In containers, the best soil to use isn’t actually soil at all. Soilless potting mix is by far the preferred medium for container gardens and raised beds.
What Does “Soilless” Mix Mean?
Soilless potting mix, like soil, is a blend of organic matter. In containers, the soil is likely to become compacted and waterlogged, whereas soilless mix allows water to drain well and your plants to thrive. Soilless potting mix is a blend of peat, wood chips, coco coir, perlite, vermiculite, and typically some slow-release fertilizer. Each landscaping company and nursery will have their own unique blend that they prefer, but they’re all designed with the same commitment to healthy plants.
Why Should You Use Soilless Mix in Your Container Gardens?
It’s important to note that soilless potting mix comes at a higher premium than soil mixes, such as topsoil and enriched topsoil. Some of the most significant benefits of using soilless mix for your container garden include time-saved, less maintenance, and healthier plants. Compared to the less expensive soil-based options, soilless mixes offer you more control over your plant’s environment.
Some of these benefits include:
- Fewer pests, diseases, and other contaminants
- Customizable to your desired level of drainage, water retention, nutrition, and air content
- Lighter containers for easy moving
- Great for starting plants from seed