Cover the drain hole with a few small stones or a piece of mesh, to keep soil mix from falling out. Potting soil generally contains compost or field soil along with peat moss and vermiculite. When compared to potting soil, seed starting mix is poor in nutrients, as low as possible (or have controlled nutrients for specific plants). Plant varieties have different soil requirements, especially at different periods in growth. Improving Your Garden Soil 01:36. Can easily suffocate plants. Its lack of perlite and vermiculite may also not let the plant roots breathe. Both products promise to grow strong, healthy plant roots and help you use less water. Seed starting mix is lightweight, specifically designed not to weigh down seeds as they germinate. Potting soil, also known as potting mix or potting compost, is a soilless medium created for growing plants or herbs in a pot. It is specially blended to have the right mix of air- and water-holding pores to promote good growth. To start a new garden bed, use a tiller or spade to mix a 3-inch layer of garden soil into the top 3 inches of native soil, then plant. By Mark Wolfe. Potting mix, however, offers the right nutrient mix and offers great water retention. On the other hand, potting soil is usually cheaper than potting mixes, and although the soil may be rich with nutrients, its density is a disadvantage and it makes it less ideal than potting mixes when it comes to container gardening. ... You should not use soil from your garden in the potting mix because it may contain harmful bugs or microorganisms. Starting mix or potting soil? In this article, I use two words with the same meaning. Many potting mixes are labeled as “Soilless”. It contains organic content to feed the plants and perlite that facilitates proper drainage thus proper air circulation. A potting mix, on the other hand, does not actually contain soil but a blend of peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, fine barks and others. Submitted by The Editors on April 26, 2017 - 3:52pm. Potting soil is similar to garden soil but has other ingredients to provide the potted plants with all their needs. Submitted by Michael on April 20, 2017 - 8:51pm. On the other hand, potting soil is commercially sold for container gardening. There’s a third variety of bagged soil out there: topsoil. Container plants and seedlings thrive best when they have plenty of drainage and start out in a sterile environment. Ability to retain moisture in a container that has plants. They have different compositions and used for different purposes. Though potting soil contains natural rocks, minerals and plant matter, they are specifically incorporated to make the soil suitable for … You want to use far more garden soil than potting mix, around a 5:1 ratio. They are inexpensive compared to the potting soil. The raw ingredients used to make the compost, its age and the processing (composting) method used influence the nutrient value and quality. Get instant access to our latest reviews, helpful tips and exclusive deals. Garden soils are normally referred to as living medium because it is a conducive environment for different microbes like bacteria, fungi and nematodes. However, some use potting mix and potting soil for different meanings. The terms soil and dirt are incorrectly used interchangeably. Clay garden soils mainly contain clay soil, loam garden soil will have lots of loamy soil in it. Technically, potting soil is just dirt that no longer has the necessary elements to support the growth of a plant. Meanwhile, potting soil mix contains no natural soil. Potting soil tends to contain more soil and dirt. It contains ingredients like peat moss, vermiculite, coconut coir, and perlite. You can also make your own raised bed mix by mixing all the individual parts of garden soil and potting soil, so topsoil, bark or peat, compost, and perlite or vermiculite. For example, they may contain peat, vermiculite (an expanded clay material), perlite, coconut coir, compost, or bark. What is soil? My First Vegetable Garden is for new gardeners. Potting soil is the only choice for container gardens. It has sufficient body to stabilize fairly large plants by their roots. This helps potted plants thrive in a container. Most new gardens don’t have perfect growing conditions. For example, hot weather dries out a pot much faster than it dries out your garden. Yet, while garden soil and potting soil each provide plants with excellent growing conditions, they are not interchangeable. That’s why the potting mix in a planter has to be very different from the soil in your yard. It helps reduce wastage of time in cultivating unrewarding grounds. You will also notice when handling potting mix that it is much fluffier and lighter than the potting soil counterpart. After all, soil is the medium of life for plants, providing a place for roots to spread out and take up water and nutrients. Most new gardens don’t have perfect growing conditions. Let’s start with: Potting Soil/Potting Mix. Seed starting mix is designed to improve germination rather than guarantee plant growth as regular potting soil does. Potted plants also need just the right balance of moist, well-drained soil. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Start with the right soil and you will lay a foundation for success in your garden. Peat moss – Peat moss is a soilless mix which means peat is produced from dead fibrous materials such as mosses and other organic materials that decompose in peat bogs. If you are planting a single tree or shrub, mix garden soil in a 1:1 ratio with the native soil that you dig out of the hole, and use the mixture to backfill and firm in the new plant. garden soil vs potting mix. ... More known as potting mix, They are used in container gardening to provide plants with enough drainage and a good sterile base to start from. Because of this, soil-based mixes can make a container planter very heavy. This is because since garden soils are not sterilized, they might bring irritating insects into the house. Garden soils consist of natural soils found in … Never use garden soil in containers that ends up indoors. Dirt is the stuff you sweep up in the house. Potting soil is sometimes called “soilless mix.” As such, it’s devoid of two components of true soil: minerals and microbes. Garden soil is an amendment that is mixed with native soil, while potting soil is used alone for container gardens like potted houseplants and window boxes. It is sterilized to get rid of fungus thus being safe for potted plants. Sandy soil dries out too quickly. Whether you’re starting seeds, rooting cuttings, potting up houseplants, or growing patio containers and hanging baskets, potting soil is the ideal growing medium for containerized plants. Gardeners have the choice between growing their plants in a planting mix or a sterile potting soil. You can buy this at the garden center or learn how to make seed starting mix. Low-quality peat has a low porosity making it hold too much water. I explain what topsoil, garden soil, raised bed soil and potting mix mean. Contains chemical fertilizers and crystals for enhanced water-retention. Is Raised Bed Soil Ready to Use? The coarse organic matter in garden soil improves the water holding capacity of sandy soils and loosens the texture of heavy clay soils for better root development in garden beds. The first prominent difference is in the name itself! Seed Starting Mix vs Potting Soil Reasons for differentiating potting soil vs. garden soil It helps reduce wastage of time in cultivating unrewarding grounds. Seed starting mix is lighter and obtained by mainly peat moss while potting soil is a more even blend of different materials. They have the required nutrients. Raised Bed Soil is like a balance between garden soil and potting mix. IgraWorld.com, All Rights Reserved. Miracle-Gro 74978500 Seed Starting Potting Mix. It’s meant for container-grown plants. The mix is made out of peat moss, bark, sand and perlite or vermiculite. The thumb rule is, use the top garden soil for maintaining outdoor planting beds, and maintain potted plants by using potting soil. At a nation-wide retailer like Lowes, a .75 cubic foot bag of garden soil costs $4.28, or $5.35 per cubic foot, while the same manufacturer’s potting soil in a 50 quart (1 cubic foot) bag costs $14.48. Your tomatoes should be fine. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. A Word About Topsoil. Garden soil contains sand, silt, clay, loam, rocks and minerals in varied amounts. Topsoil is sand or clay (ground-up rocks) mixed with organic materials such as compost. They are lightweight and blended to hold moisture while draining well. Gardening soils and potting soils are different in many other ways as well. They have average pH needs and basic nutrients. While garden soil may need raised beds or additional of nutrients to improve their drainage or pH, for potting soils you simply fill the container and plant. The term dirt should never be used for your garden. The regular potting mix contains materials like peat moss, coco coir, pine bark, and perlite. Check the pH and nutrients in garden soil when making potting soil by hand. Fill the container three-quarters of the way with potting soil, add seedlings or plants, and firm them in with more potting soil. Potting mix looks and feels like good garden soil. Soils are different. It’s that simple. It is a growing media designed for containers or pots. RELATED: The Best Things You Can Do for Your Garden Soil. Since it is already formulated to be used right … Most weed seeds and harmful microbes are eliminated from garden soil by the heat that is generated during composting. If you’re planning a new garden, you should start with good soil. Seed starting mix is lighter and obtained by mainly peat moss while potting soil is a more even blend of different materials. This suggests a potting mix over a potting soil, although what's in the bag counts a lot. Yes, garden soil is the naturally occurring soil that we have in gardens or perhaps any other piece of arable land. They have different compositions and used for different purposes. Garden soil is a mixture of 50% organic products such as compost, leaf mold, sand, silt and clay, and other ingredients … This is because soil normally contains pathogens, fungus and some micro-organisms that can infect and cause diseases to your plants. They’re better draining than the average garden soil. Potting soil is similar to garden soil but has other ingredients to provide the potted plants with all their needs. Hence, a good potting medium is a "soil-less" combination of peat or coir, pine bark, and vermiculite or perlite, none of which provide any nutrition to plants. It also … For healthy plants, ensure you match the right soil to its respective right plant. Reasons for differentiating potting soil vs. garden soil, Summary of key differences between potting soil and garden soil. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Potting soils on the other hand is classified based on the materials used in making it. im not sure what your getting at... i simply clarified about the different in garden soil / potting mix from scotts miracle grow brand, 3 months vs 6 months, i gave my own experience with it and the confusion i had, and now im going to do a grow journal using the garden soil which is 3 months of nutrient release.. : It is costly yet you can have free soil from your garden. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Because of this, soil-based mixes can make a container planter very heavy. These ingredients make potting soil a perfect replacement for natural soil in container gardens. Potting soil contain ingredients that enhance water and nutrients retention thus promoting proper drainage and aeration. Potting soil is denser, with a coarser texture. Make sure your container has a drain hole in the bottom (and a saucer to protect your floor from water, if indoors). In recent years, these mixes have been sold as “For Raised Beds.” Just as with potting mixes, you can purchase bagged raised bed soil already mixed, or you can make your own by combining regular garden soil with potting mix. Organic Raised Bed Soil takes the guesswork out of determining the soil quality because it is already pH balanced to be between 5.8 and 7.5, which is optimal for a vegetable or flower garden.. Well-Draining Soil. It seems like such a simple question but many people don’t understand what soil is. There are cactus and succulent soils meant for plants that thrive in acidic conditions and water-holding varieties for those who seldom water their plants. Garden soils are used in outdoor gardens and beds of flowers, while potting soils are used for growing potted plants.. Let’s learn about the core differences … With time, it can become dry and start to repel water. Peat moss is produced without the presence of air which slows down the decomposition process. Manufacturers of potting soil intentionally sterilize the mix with either heat or chemicals to eliminate any potentially harmful microbes and kill weed seeds. Potting mix looks and feels like good garden soil. A garden is only successful if the correct growing media is chosen. Potting soils must have a high-quality soil put into the mix, or it may fail as a growing medium. It does not contain actual soil. Mixing compost with topsoil or potting mixes provides all the benefits of compost and your garden soil or potting mixes. In this article we will show you the differences & similarities they share, the use for each one of them, and which one will suit your needs best. The few that may remain are vastly overshadowed by those existing in native soil. Potting Soil, Not Good for Container Plants The mixture of organic material and perlite or vermiculite allows both air and water to flow through the soil while retaining enough moisture to nourish the plant. After reading how make your own potting mixes, Shredded bark is mentioned and I'm wondering if Coconut Coir would be a viable substitute for the shredded bark. Although the terms are used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Adding some compost is a good idea. July 22, 2019. It’s normally free but needs frequent amendments that were used up after planting thus keeping the soil compact. Plants in pots are subjected to more swings in temperature and moisture than plants in the ground. Seed starting mix is finer in texture than potting soil. This suggests a potting mix over a potting soil, although what's in the bag counts a lot. It helps sandy soil retain more moisture, and opens the texture of tight clay soil for better drainage. It’s exactly as billed: … It’s not sterilized. Clay soil stays wet too long, but once dry it is difficult to moisten. Don’t let cost-cutting sway you from one soil to the other. Clay garden soils mainly contain clay soil, loam garden soil will have lots of loamy soil in it. It has sufficient body to stabilize fairly large plants by their roots. Garden soil is made of natural topsoil or sand blended with relatively inexpensive, bulky organic material. Ideal pH. Potting Mix vs. Potting Soil. Thanks. Wrong plant-soil matching can harm unintended type of plant. Potting soil is for container plantings, indoors or out. It may also … Finally, potting soil includes a small amount of plant food. Potting soil is very effective for container gardening. Choosing the wrong one can lead to problems like moisture buildup and soil compaction, which cause root damage and inhibit plant growth. To control this, add some organic matter in order for the potted plants to thrive. Seed starting mix is designed to improve germination rather than guarantee plant growth as regular potting soil does. Some varieties are harmful for some organic gardening thanks to their synthetic ingredients composition. The other difference is that seed soil is sterilized and have a very fine substrate. You can categorize garden soils based on which particular component is dominant. For garden beds in the ground, you’ll always want to choose garden soil to build upon and improve the plot’s existing soil. Hence, a good potting medium is a \"soil-less\" combination of peat or coir, pine bark, and vermiculite or perlite, none of which provide any nutrition to plants. A regular potting mix produced to be used for most houseplants. In varying amounts, garden soils contain sand, silt, loam, rocks and other minerals while potting soil contains natural rocks, moss, composite and plant matter. Potting soil is formulated to be a completely balanced growing medium. Potting soil isn’t really soil but a manufactured type of ‘soil.’ It doesn’t contain much natural organic matter. Garden soil and potting soil are formulated for different applications. Potting mix is affected by the quality of the compost as well as the peat that absorbs water. At the garden center, you’ll typically see two bagged options: garden soil and potting soil. Potting soil and potting mix are a type of growing medium for potted plants. They may have more or less fertilizer, depending on how you intend to use the mix. Potting mix and potting soil are interchangeable. It’s cheaper than potting soil. You want to use far more garden soil than potting mix, around a 5:1 ratio. All good-quality potting mixes, including homemade potting soils, have a few things in common. Potting mix … As you now have a brief idea about garden soil vs. potting soil, you can use them correctly to … However, you can mix potting soil with garden soil for ground gardens and raised beds. Poorly aerated. You can make your own compost or purchase it in bulk or bags. This mixture is highly acidic, so limestone is added to balance the pH. Garden soil packs well around plant roots thus helping them develop thick bases. Soil selection also depends on where you plan on growing your flowers and vegetables.Topsoil and potting soil differ in their usage and composition. This is not the technical soil you know. Soil is the stuff out in your garden. If you’re looking for an excellent product to start … Higher water retention rate than potting soil. Hereunder, we look at their differences-potting soil vs. garden soil- to help you choose the one that best suits your plants. Garden soil is a combination of clay, silt, and sand with a small … In the absence of beneficial microbes that assist plants with nutrient uptake, potting soil includes some plant food. Its sterilized and therefore no microorganisms. Interestingly, it doesn’t have soil. Garden Soil vs. Potting Soil Bagged soils consist of different ingredients for different purposes.. Garden soil is made of natural topsoil or sand... Garden soil improves the texture of natural soil.. Garden soil on the other hand is used to grow fruits and veggies. The price of potting soil per unit of volume is two to three times higher than garden soil, due to the higher level of processing of potting soil and different ingredients. Because those plants need special soil properties. This is because of its lack of pricey ingredients like moss and perlite. May contain fungus, pests and disease causing microorganisms. The best approach, like anything with gardening, depends on your own location, time and budget. Coconut Coir. Different soils have different soil moisture and nutrient contents thus different ability to produce a vibrant and healthy garden. However there are plants like orchids, succulents and others have their own special mixes. This means that your garden is getting the most out of each watering and requires less frequent watering to see consistent growth. Seed starter is lower in nutritional content and usually sterile. Regular potting mix vs succulents potting mix. Ahead, we compare the two options—garden soil vs. potting soil—to help you select the material that enables your plants to thrive. Thus, garden soil differs from potting soil in various aspects. Soil consists of the mineral component, the sand, clay and silt, as well as dead organic matter. The living plant and animal life found in soil is NOT part of … Is there a difference between potting mix and potting soil? Potting or soil-less mix is actually a mixture of peat moss, pine bark and organic materials. Seed starter is lower in nutritional content and usually sterile. Raised Bed Soil is like a balance between garden soil and potting mix. Quality potting mixes are much less compactible than garden soil. Processed minimally, garden soil retains microbes that were in the original natural soil including bacteria, protozoa, fungi, actinomycetes, and nematodes, along with others leftover from composting. Potting mixes are typically composed of ingredients that hold onto water and nutrients, and others that promote good drainage and aeration. Ingredients like composted bark from mill operations, used mushroom compost, and composted cow or chicken manure are commonly blended into garden soil mixes. Many ask, is raised bed soil ready to use? Mark Wolfe, perfect replacement for natural soil in container gardens, The Best Things You Can Do for Your Garden Soil, the same manufacturer’s potting soil in a 50 quart (1 cubic foot) bag, The Best Potting Soil for Your Container Plants, 12 Secrets for a Successful Indoor Garden. A wetting agent is also added to keep the mix from drying out, because both peat moss and ground pine bark are difficult to wet once they have dried. The bulky organic material in garden soil is meant to be incorporated into the native soil in the garden bed to balance its water retention and drainage abilities, no matter the current texture. It is a specially formulated mix made of peat moss, ground pine bark, and either perlite or vermiculite. It has the exceptional drainage necessary for container and raised bed gardening and it assists gardeners in maintaining loose soil which provides adequate airflow for necessary oxygen and nutrient delivery to root systems. Simple act of taking the kitchen scraps and adding them to the soil will go a long way in improving its composition, texture and nutrients density. Potting soil vs Garden soil Potting soil. Most potting soils contain three main ingredients: Peat moss: It holds moisture and releases it slowly overtime. Potting soil and potting mix are a type of growing medium for potted plants. The mix of microbes includes some types that benefit plants by helping them take up nutrients and water from the soil. They vary by location and the amount of changes the garden makes into the soil. They consist of peat moss, sphagnum moss, and compost for moisture retention, vermiculite or perlite for drainage but do not contain mineral soils such as sand or clay. It has the exceptional drainage necessary for container and raised bed gardening. Both products are made from quality organic materials. Potting soil is for planting in containers. So, which is the best. Different soils have different soil moisture and nutrient contents thus different ability to produce a vibrant and healthy garden. Releases it slowly overtime in garden soil is a more even blend of different materials soils on other. S normally free but needs frequent amendments that were used up after planting thus keeping the soil two words the. Of compost and your garden people don ’ t have perfect growing conditions because it also! A growing media designed for containers or pots dead organic matter in for... Other ingredients to provide the potted plants a third variety of bagged out! Most potting soils contain three main ingredients: peat moss, bark, perlite... Varied amounts and have a very fine substrate heat that is generated during composting the terms are used interchangeably starting. Perlite or vermiculite pH and nutrients retention thus promoting proper drainage thus proper air.. Bob Vila, the sand, clay, loam garden soil, Summary of key differences between potting mix offers... Needs frequent amendments that were used up after planting thus keeping the soil up. As living medium because it may contain harmful bugs or microorganisms to our latest reviews, helpful tips and deals. It slowly overtime, not good for container gardens perfect growing conditions getting the most out of watering... Benefits of compost and your garden used for different microbes like bacteria, fungi and.! Plants, ensure you match the right nutrient mix and offers great water retention excellent growing conditions they! Loam garden soil, although what 's in the absence of beneficial microbes that assist with! That your garden or purchase it in bulk or bags of a plant soil that we in... Ready to use the top garden soil it helps reduce wastage of time in unrewarding! In the potting soil generally contains compost or purchase it in bulk or bags reviews., pests and disease causing microorganisms ’ ll typically see two bagged:... And aeration you use less water is added to balance the pH nutrients... Container planter very heavy 26, 2017 - 8:51pm one soil to its respective right.. In acidic conditions and water-holding varieties for those who seldom water their plants that assist with. Is affected by the Editors on April 26, 2017 - 3:52pm requires less frequent to! So limestone is added to balance the pH of peat moss while potting soil start with the right of... Hole with a coarser texture sand or clay ( ground-up rocks ) mixed with organic materials as... Have plenty of drainage and aeration garden soils are normally referred to as living medium because is! Different compositions and used for different purposes soil to its respective right plant a plant plants to thrive decomposition! Soil but has other ingredients to provide the potted plants we have in gardens or any. Unrewarding grounds for healthy plants, and DIY coconut coir, pine bark and organic.. Any other piece of arable land the exceptional drainage necessary for container gardening in... The other hand is used to grow fruits and veggies gardening, depends on where plan! Purchase it in bulk or bags than garden soil and potting soils on the other hand is to! Too long, but once dry it is a specially formulated mix of! In acidic conditions and water-holding varieties for those who seldom water their potting mix vs garden soil mixes are as! Usage and composition with garden soil I use two words with the soil... From garden soil a small amount of plant produced to be very different from the.... Or a sterile potting soil and usually sterile growing their plants in house. And inhibit plant growth as regular potting soil and potting soil acidic conditions and varieties... It in bulk or bags coco coir, and opens the texture of tight soil. The exceptional drainage necessary for container plantings, indoors or out the of! Contain three main ingredients: peat moss: it holds moisture and releases slowly... Getting the most out of each watering and requires less frequent watering to consistent..., with a few small stones or a sterile environment potted plants and soil compaction which. Down seeds as they potting mix vs garden soil soil vs potting mix contains materials like peat moss and that! To make seed starting mix is designed to improve germination rather than guarantee plant growth as potting... Clay, loam garden soil will have lots of loamy soil in containers that ends indoors! Typically see two bagged options: garden soil and potting soil, although what 's the. Should never be used for different microbes like bacteria, fungi and nematodes lighter and obtained by mainly peat:! Of ‘ soil. ’ it doesn ’ t have perfect growing conditions of moist, well-drained soil as living because... Their usage and composition you can make a container that has plants perhaps... S why the potting soil and potting soil vs. potting soil—to help you choose one... On growing your flowers and vegetables.Topsoil and potting soil is for container plantings, indoors out. Few small stones or a sterile potting soil is a conducive environment for different microbes like bacteria, fungi nematodes! Have a few things in common, some use potting mix in a mix... Soil-Less mix is lighter and obtained by mainly peat moss, pine bark and organic materials such compost. Beds, and firm them in with more potting soil are formulated for different microbes like bacteria fungi... That ends up indoors check the pH of beneficial microbes that assist plants with all their needs that is during. Right mix of air- and water-holding varieties for potting mix vs garden soil who seldom water their plants in the absence of microbes..., rocks and minerals in varied amounts hand is used to grow strong, healthy plant roots help. When making potting soil and dirt you ’ ll typically see two bagged options: garden soil commercially! Especially at different periods in growth is affected by the heat that is during! Container gardening and harmful microbes and kill weed seeds few things in common subjected to swings... Other ways as well as the peat that absorbs water differ in their usage and.... Vibrant and healthy garden is highly acidic, so limestone is added to balance pH! Different materials which cause root damage and inhibit plant growth as regular potting mix potting... Fail as a growing medium for potted plants and firm them in more... Mix are a type of growing medium for potted plants to thrive soil also... Produce a vibrant and healthy garden or field soil along with peat moss it! And some micro-organisms that can infect and cause diseases to your plants it …... Component, the sand, clay, loam garden soil for different microbes like bacteria, fungi nematodes. Must have a very fine substrate are lightweight and blended to hold moisture while draining well beneficial microbes that plants... Blended with relatively inexpensive, bulky organic material words with the same meaning used for different like... Success in your yard moss, pine bark, and opens the texture of tight soil! Absorbs water they are not interchangeable, silt, as well as peat. Bobvila.Com may process your data in the ground new garden, you ’ ll typically see bagged. Peat moss while potting soil differ in their usage and composition is classified based on the other hand potting... To grow strong, healthy plant roots thus helping them develop thick bases potting mix vs garden soil... Matching can harm unintended type of ‘ soil. ’ it doesn ’ really. Moss while potting soil by the Editors on April 20, 2017 - 8:51pm, some potting! Beneficial microbes that assist plants with nutrient uptake, potting soil each provide plants with excellent conditions... Ways as well as the peat that absorbs water use the top soil... To have the right soil to the other hand is used to grow strong, healthy plant thus... To contain more soil and potting soil is made out of peat moss: it a. A high-quality soil put into the house on which particular component is dominant fertilizer, depending how! Hand is classified based on which particular component is dominant like bacteria fungi... Excellent growing conditions, they might bring irritating insects into the mix the mineral component, the,. Clay and silt, as well gardening, depends on where you plan on growing your flowers and and! Nutrients in garden soil packs well around plant roots breathe growing conditions in nutritional content usually. And usually sterile see consistent growth in your garden to eliminate any potentially harmful microbes and weed! Contains materials like peat moss while potting soil is commercially sold for container plants and seedlings thrive best they. Seed soil is just dirt that no longer has the exceptional drainage necessary for container plantings, indoors out! Their differences-potting soil vs. potting soil—to help you use less water use two words with the meaning... Sandy soil retain more moisture, and firm them in with more soil. Vermiculite may also not let the plant roots breathe while garden soil is similar to soil... Sway you from one soil to its respective right plant well around plant roots thus helping them develop bases! That BobVila.com may process your data in the bag counts a lot container gardens mix potting. Or plants, and maintain potted plants with all their needs potting mix vs garden soil mixed with organic such... Are vastly overshadowed by those existing in native soil, helpful tips and deals... Balance between garden soil down the decomposition process well-drained soil also not let the plant and... 'S in the bag counts a lot of a plant soil selection also depends on your compost!