Garden soil is a supplement mixed with native soil, while potting soil alone is used for container gardens such as houseplants and window boxes. The wrong choice can lead to problems such as moisture accumulation and soil compaction, causing root damage and stunting plant growth.
Garden soil is topsoil that has been enriched to make it more suitable for plant growth. Modifications may include compost or other organic matter, and some soils – like perennial potting mixes – contain additional ingredients to encourage the growth of certain plant species.
For most situations we recommend these proportions: 60% topsoil. 30% compost. 10% potting soil (a soilless growing mix containing peat moss, perlite and/or vermiculite)
Potting soil can be mixed with garden soil for specific cases like raised beds, but it’s not a good mix for containers.
Using garden soil in pots can make it difficult to maintain proper soil moisture, which can lead to root rot. Reduced Oxygen Availability – Root cells need oxygen to survive. Using garden soil in containers reduces the air pockets that provide oxygen to the plant’s roots.
Garden soil is soil that contains topsoil and forest products, which are essentially wood. It is not suitable for raised beds or containers as it compacts too much and tends to become saturated with moisture, leaving little room for roots to grow.
Adding soil over grass can be another effective form of lawn repair. It is possible to pour new soil over what you have and prepare it for turf or seed. This option will save you money on the excavation cost of removing old soil and grass.
Garden soil should be distributed. Mix garden soil with your home soil to improve it. Its organic components degrade over time to enrich and enhance the native dirt with which it is mixed. Use it to plant flowers, shrubs, trees and even fruits and vegetables in your garden.
For a 4×8 raised bed, you will need 15 bags of soil (1.5 cubic feet per bag) or 21.44 cubic feet of soil. This assumes your raised bed is 8 inches high and the bags of soil you purchase contain 1.5 cubic feet of soil per bag.
In your garden bed, make a dig that is ten inches deep and located in the center of your raised bed. Put a few layers of cardboard on top and fill the core with straw bales, leaves, grass clippings or old twigs. You can use any of these materials or mix them.
The first way to fill your beds is a simple soil mix. As you might have guessed, this is the easiest route you can take. Fill your bed with a 1:1 mix of topsoil and compost mix, then mix lightly with a rake or shovel.
A raised bed doesn’t have to be very deep to be effective. Eight to 12 inches is usually sufficient. If drainage is a problem or if the plants you are growing prefer drier soil, the bed could be higher and filled with a porous growing medium. Vegetable beds should be 12 to 18 inches deep.
The best soil for vegetables contains a lot of compost and organic matter like composted leaves and ground or shredded old bark. Whatever you start, incorporate enough organic matter so that the modified soil is neither sandy nor compacted.
Copper sulfate is also a bactericide and as such is incredibly harmful to soil life. Anything with the Miracle Gro label should be avoided entirely: potting soil and garden soil in bags, “shake n feed” the blue stuff, and yes, even so-called “organic” Miracle Gro products should be avoided entirely.
To grow a successful container vegetable garden, start with great soil – not soil from your garden, but something called potting soil. These mixes, like Miracle-Gro® potting soil, contain the right mix of materials like coco coir, peat moss and/or compost to create an ideal growing environment for roots in a pot.