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Good Dirt: Choosing The Best Soil For Your Plants

Blog Post Cover – Good Dirt: Choosing The Best Soil For Your Plants

As you pick out plants for this year’s garden or for your houseplant collection, make sure you add soil to your shopping list! But with all the options available, how do you know which soil mix is best for your plants? Here’s some tips to help you get your hands dirty.

Why Do You Need New Soil For Outdoor Plants?

Here in middle Tennessee, our natural soil is heavy clay. Clay doesn’t allow for good drainage, which can cause plants to develop root rot, and it’s not the most nutritious soil. While some plants can tolerate it, particularly our native plants, you can’t go wrong with amending it with an outdoor soil mix as you plant your landscape. This will add nutrients to the soil that will help your garden grow big and strong and keep water from drowning and rotting your plants.

Bulk vs. Bags

Do you have a large landscaping project? Consider getting your soil in bulk rather than in bags. Bagged soil is great for smaller projects, like container gardens or repotting houseplants. Soil bag sizes are often measured in cubic feet, and one yard of soil is equal to 27 cubic feet.

Garden Soil vs. Topsoil

At Martin’s Home & Garden, we offer both garden soil and topsoil in bulk. But which one is best for your garden?

Topsoil is dirt with no added organic matter. If you are filling holes or simply trying to grow grass, this will be best for you.

Garden soil is a mix of topsoil, compost, and other organic matter. It is rich in nutrients and best for growing plants. If you need to fill a raised bed or amend the clay in your landscape, this will be the best option for you.

Why Are There Different Potting Mixes For Outdoor Plants And Indoor Plants?

Are you creating a container garden for your patio? Do you need to repot a houseplant? As you look at your potting mix options, you may notice some of them are labeled for outdoor plants and others are labeled for indoor plants. Why is there a distinction?

Outdoor potting mixes are usually heavier. The weight helps prevent it from being blown away by the wind or washed away by rain. It also retains water more than an indoor potting mix does. This is a good trait in this situation because plants in containers already dry out faster than plants in a garden bed – just make sure the container has a drainage hole so that the plants don’t rot.

Here’s some of our favorite outdoor potting mixes:

Specialized Houseplant Potting Mixes

Some plants can be very particular about their potting mixes! If you have a houseplant that is a bit of a diva, make sure you have the best blend for them. Cactuses and succulents tend to prefer a sandier mix that dries out well. Orchids and bromeliads like a potting mix that includes lots of bark, mimicking their natural epiphytic conditions. African violet potting mixes meet these floral prima donna’s picky preferences.

Find Garden Soil At Martin’s Home & Garden

Our Murfreesboro garden center has everything you need to help you give your plants their happiest home! Visit us on Broad Street and let our experts help you pick out the potting mix that’s best for your garden, or shop all soil online now.