The pandemic has created a huge following for container gardening. Urban and small-space gardening is still on the rise, houseplants and even vegetables are filling up social media posts. However, some beginners seem to get confused between potting mix, topsoil, and organic compost.
Potting mix and topsoil
A potting mix contains inorganic and organic materials and may also include mineral soil and a little sand. Bags of potting mix marked as “sterilised” means that the mix can kill weed seeds and pests. Some potting mixes are marked as “soilless.” Instead, they contain peat moss and organic compost for moisture retention, and vermiculite or perlite for drainage. Some potting mixes are specially made to accommodate the needs of specific plants. These will usually be labelled as orchid mix, flower potting mix, etc.
Topsoil is usually sold in bulk and is delivered to a garden for direct dumping to create new planting beds or improve existing garden soil. So, topsoil is used mostly for outdoor gardening.
Using potting mixes
Potting mixes are great for container gardening, indoors or out. They are not designed for outdoor ground gardens where the planting beds can be stepped on or the ground cultivated. Perlite and vermiculite will break down under this pressure and eliminate their benefits.
The potting mix must be moistened with warm water before potting plants. This will ensure even moisture throughout the container or pot. Never allow the potting mix to become overly dry.
For maximum effect, potting mixes can be replaced once each year. The used potting mix can be recycled and mixed with organic compost and dumped in planting beds, if you have one. Some gardeners replace only half of the existing potting mix each year. If a container becomes infected from disease or insect problems, the potting mix needs to be entirely replaced, ensuring the plant’s life, and no infections carry into the next season.
When buying potting mix or compost, do your research before making a purchase.
You can also ask advice from Labrador Landscape Supply
Simple DIY container gardening still means selecting the right type of potting mix or organic compost. The garden experts at Labrador Landscape Supply will be happy to help and advice for your container garden, or any garden size, for that matter. Call us on 07 5537 2841 because we have the best potting mixes or anything else you need for your garden or landscape. You can also visit us at https://landscape-supply.com.au/ to check out the rest of our landscaping and gardening supplies.