Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Ilove potting soil!  In fact, in many instances a pro-active use of potting soil ranks right up there with the proper use of water on your plants, shrubs and trees. Potting soil is like an infant's milk to plants. Potting soil is gentle to the infant roots of plants just like mother's milk is gentle to the tender stomachs of infants. Obviously, I love potting soil.

What is potting soil? Usually it is a mixture of peat and other organic materials that have been composted (basically rotted) into soil and most importantly, soft and gentle which makes it easy for small stubbles of roots to absorb moisture and nutrients.

Hard soils (like pure clay) make it more difficult for roots to branch out and grow into the nessessary root systems that can sustain a healthy plant. Sandy soils although they are soft and make it easy for roots to branch out; they are also easily drained of moisture and nutrients from both sun and just plain downhill gravity. Potting soil on the other hand, is just righ because not only is it porus allowing space for the roots to grow but, it has organic material in it which leaches up and stores water for your plants to absorb as needed.

I use potting soil whenerver I put plants int he ground. I may use a 20-40lb bag to place around the roots of a new tree of shrub or, I may use a handhul of potting soil to place around the roots of tomatoe, pepper or squash plants. In every case the use of potting soil seems to almost gurantee the success of the plant.

I have found that the success of plants in flower boxes and planters is greatly increased by the use of potting soil. This success is for precisely the same reasons as mentioned above for planting directly into the soil. One hint on saving money is that in deep planters you may be able to place sand int the bottom in order to fill them to the top if the plants you are putting in the planter have generally shallow roots. Many planters may be over a foot tall but the roots of the plants placed in them may only go down 4-6 inches.