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Potting Soil Benefits for Vegetables

Potting Soil Benefits for Vegetables

If you are into gardening you might already be aware of the fact that the choice of soil in which you decide to grow your plants will have an impact on the health and growth of your plants.

Having your plants growing in the wrong soil will cause your plants to grow an unhealthy rooting system. For better results, you’ll have to carefully choose your soil depending on the specific plant you decide to grow,

Investigating on the right soil to use might be a time-consuming task as the information available is scattered and sometimes contradictory.

For this reason, we have prepared this essential guide on potting soil. Indeed, if you are looking to grow vegetables in your garden or a container, the best choice for you would be using potting soil for vegetables. If you are interested to learn why make sure you keep reading this article.

Potting Soil for Vegetables

What Is Potting Soil?

Potting soil is generally made of a mixture of ingredients that promote drainage and aeration while keeping water and nutrients for longer, ensuring a healthier growth for your plants. It is also referred to as potting compost or compost mix.

There are plenty of options for different potting soils that will be more or less suited for certain kinds of vegetables. For example, there are organic and not- organic soil which will provide your plants with different types of nutrients.

Potting soil is suitable to be used both indoors and outdoors, but make sure you read the label to know what ingredients are included in the mix so that you are aware of what it will be best for. For instance, if your potting soil has actual soil as an ingredient, it will be a great soil to be used outdoor, both in containers or on the ground, but it will not work as well for indoor container use.

Using potting soil for vegetables will be extremely beneficial to the growth and health of your plants, but you’ll need to properly maintain it too. Avoid watering it too frequently as that might cause the nutrients to wash off, but also don’t rely too much on the water retention property of the soil: try to water your soil at least once a week, or more often, depending on the plant requirements.

Benefits

Among all the types of soil, using potting soil for vegetables is probably your best solution. Potting soils work very well for acid-loving plants but it is also a great water retainer, meaning that if you are one of those people that tend to forget to water your plants, this soil will reduce the negative consequences by holding on the water for longer, for the sake of your vegetables.

In general potting soils are easier to manage because you won’t have to add any extra nutrients or change the pH. On the contrary of other soils, potting soils are ready to use straight out of the bag and include all of the necessary nutrients while providing appropriate drainage and the right percentage of organic matter for healthy growth.

Always check the ingredients of the soil you decide to purchase, as some potting soils might also contain fertilizers, compost or bone meal that improve the quality of the soil while promoting healthier growth for your vegetables.

Another benefit of using potting soil for vegetables is that this kind of soil reduces the probability of your plants to contract diseases, especially if you choose to buy a “sterile mix”. If you have starting seeds, it is highly recommended to plant them in potting soil as seedlings are most vulnerable for diseases and potting soil limits the chances of them contracting any kind of disease.

Best 3 Potting mixes

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Conclusion

All in all, even if potting soil tends to be more expensive than other kinds of soil, the investment in potting soil for your vegetables will be more than worth it. Your plants will be healthier and better off, with fewer possibilities of contracting diseases.

Of course, it will not be the potting soil alone that will help you have a beautiful and healthy garden. But with the right care, frequent watering and adequate lighting, you are guaranteed outstanding results when using potting soil for vegetables.

Seed Starting Mix: What Makes The Best Mixture

Seed Starting Mix: What Makes The Best Mixture

If you already know what seed mixes are all about, you can jump to the end of this article to see my number one pick:

The Best Seed Starting Mix

If you are still reading, then let me first explain more about what seed starting mixes are?

What is Seed Starting Mix?

Starting mix is the media made specifically for seed germination unlike potting soils or compost. Gardeners use it to plant vegetable seeds to get a head start before the season, or if they have problems in their soil that reduce germination rate.

Why are they made specifically for seed germination?

Before I answer this question let me first tell you what seeds need to germinate:

Light Soil Texture

Since young roots don’t have enough strength to navigate through thick soil such as topsoil mixed with organic materials. They need a thinner and easy to navigate media.

Lots of Water

Water is the most important factor when it comes to germination. It plays a big role actually.

For a seed to germinate it has to absorb a lot of water first to break its coat and second to activates its enzymes which break down the food reserve into chemicals to be used in the plant’s metabolism.

It is like your car key. Without it, you can’t drive your car anywhere.

Oxygen

Oxygen soil ratio is another very important factor for seed germination. Root growth is very sensitive to oxygen ratio in the soil. If roots didn’t get enough oxygen, its growth will be Inhibited and the whole plant will not grow to its full potential.

A project between the Department of Irrigation and Soil Science at Los Angeles and the Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition at Riverside shows the reaction of sunflowers root growth toward various oxygen treatments.

The project indicates the following:

  • If the oxygen diffusion rate was under 40, improvement to soil aeration should be made for ideal plant growth.
  • If the diffusion rate was under 20, roots will not grow.

You can tell that these roots in the picture above belong to a full grown plant, yet oxygen still affects its growth dramatically.

That’s why oxygen is even more important in the early stages of germination.

Because seeds depend on oxygen as the main source of energy, until the first couple of leaves grows and starts photosynthesis.

Now let me show you why some gardeners prefer seed starting mixes for sowing seeds indoors, under the light of these germination requirements I just mentioned.

A good mix depends on its ingredients because it gives it the characteristics it needs for seed germination.

A Good Seed Starting Mix Consists of:

Perlite & Vermiculite: Due to the nature of their surface and structure, both Perlite and Vermiculite has the ability to trap as well as drain moisture, along with providing excellent aeration. Which makes them excellent ingredients for a seed starting mix.

Peat Moss: Peat Moss has a high retaining water capacity, good martial for aeration and holding fertilizers. It considered a base for any mix for growing vegetables.

Coconut Coir: Can be a substitute for peat moss cause it a renewable source which means it is eco-friendly.

Starting mixes made of a mixture of Perlite or Vermiculite and Peat Moss or Coconut Coir, are an excellent medium for high seed germination and healthy seedlings.

Each material proved seeds with the ideal water, oxygen and texture conditions for germination.

And now…

The Best 2 Seed Starting Mixes

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  • Printed USDA Certified Organic on the bag
  • All natural
  • Weight 6 pounds

Ingredients:

  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Peat humus: Unlike the partially decomposed peat moss, Peat humus is a highly decomposed organic material that builds up in the lower levels of peat bogs. Comes from Hypnum moss and its water capacity is lower than peat moss
  • Myco-tone: An Espoma’s blend. It consists of 11 different stains of Mycorrhizae

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  • OMRI listed organic and by the organic materials review institute for the production of organic food and fiber
  • 8-quart bag

Ingredients:

  • Canadian sphagnum peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Wetting agent

Conclusion:

There you have it. You now know why you should use a seed starting mix for your indoor sowing for next season or indoor gardening.

Now what needs to be done is experimenting with the product above. Yes, other gardeners may say this or that is better than the other, but in the end, see the best for you and stick with it.

Till we meet again keep gardening 😀