Looking for the right substance to grow your plants in? You want to make sure you are using the right product for your produce, but the market for gardening supplies can often be quite confusing. It often depends on the brand, and a potting soil and potting mix may be comprised fo the same ingredients. Potting soil and potting mix are often used interchangeably, but they are two different things. Make sure you read the label to know exactly what is in your mix!
What is in potting soil?
Remember, potting soil is in the name, it contains soil. Potting soil may contain pathogens such as fungi or weed seeds. This means potting soil isn’t sterile and contains compost, minerals and organic matter.
What is in potting mix?
Potting mix doesn’t contain soil! It may have a label called “soilless mixes” or “soilless matter.” It is made up of organic and inorganic ingredients to improve drainage and aeration. These components can be peat moss, aged bark, pumice or vermiculite.
Potting mix is sterile and holds slow-release starter fertiliser or continuous fertiliser.
Potting mix is also lighter than potting soil! It feels more lightweight and fluffy to touch than its soil counterpart.
How do I choose between potting mix and potting soil?
When it comes to a container or raised beds gardening, potting mix is generally your best choice as your growing medium. Potting mix is lighter than potting soil, giving roots in a container more air space to grow. Remember, potting mix is also sterile! so there is less chance of disease from exposure to pathogens.
When it comes to landscape gardening and soils over a large space, potting soil is a suitable choice. Its high nutrient content will ensure your produce thrives, but it will still need added compost and organic matter so it is not too compacted.
When you are purchasing your next bag of potting mix or soil, make sure you read the ingredients list carefully.
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