Soil is not just dirt. Healthy soil is a combination of minerals, organic matter, living microorganisms, water and air.
For indoor gardening
Using a sterilized soil is usually ideal to prevent unwanted bugs in your home. Soil listed as 'indoor potting mix' typically is sterilized soil. This mix is lightweight, nutrient rich and holds moisture well. You can check out our organic potting soil mix HERE which works great for indoor spaces, seed starting and container growing.
For outdoor container and small raised bed gardens
Use a high quality, organic potting mix for your small outdoor growing space and supplement your soil mix with an organic fertilizer.
You can also make your own outdoor potting mix. All ingredients listed below can easily be found at your local garden supply center.
HOMEMADE POTTING MIX RECIPE:
1 part sphagnum peat moss or coir fiber
1 part vermiculite or perlite
1 part compost
1.5 TBSP lime per gallon of sphagnum peat moss. Skip this if using coir fiber. Peat moss is acidic and lime is needed to neutralize the acidity.
Add 1 TBSP organic granular fertilizer per gallon of potting mix (our Organic Starter & Transplanter Fertilizer is excellent for new potting mixes).
For garden beds and plots
Organic potting mixes for garden beds and plots can be purchased at your local garden supply center.
It's also easy to make your own potting mix for your raised beds. Here is the basic recipe: Equal parts Coarse Sand, Topsoil and Compost.
I'll break down each ingredient to understand the type and purpose for each.
Coarse Sand: Also called horticultural sand or builders sand. This sand is gritty and measures about .5mm-1mm in size. The purpose of sand is to improve drainage in your soil.
Topsoil: This refers to the top layer of soil (usually between 5-10 deep) and where the highest concentrations of organic matter and microorganism live. If you have nice, weed free topsoil available to dig up, you can use that. If not, top soil can be purchased at your local garden center.
Compost: This is decomposing organic matter. There are a few types of compost to consider: Farmyard manure (aged animal manure), homemade compost, leaf compost, mushroom compost and vermicompost (worm casting). Our typical blend is 80% homemade compost (made from decomposed plants, wood, and food scraps) and 20% Worm Casting and/or Farmyard Manure. If you aren't ready to start making your own compost, mushroom, leaf, farmyard and vermicompost can all be purchased commercially.
Starting off right and maintaining healthy soil
To give your soil that extra boost for success, I recommend using our Organic Starter & Transplanter Fertilizer which contains basic nutrients for soil and plant health and is rich with mycorrhizal fungi. “Myco” comes from the Latin word for fungus and “rhiza” is Greek for root. These “fungus roots” are greatly beneficial to most plants. The plants and fungi form a symbiotic, or mutually beneficial, relationship where the plant gives the fungi sugars and the fungi gives the plant food and access to more water. Plants then use less energy in search of water and food within the soil and can devote more of their energy to leaf and seed production. Monthly application of organic fertilizer will keep your soil and plants healthy and productive.