When I first started my container garden, I didn’t do a whole lot of research into what sort of soils I needed for my pots. I always just figured that using regular old garden soil would work just fine. Boy was I wrong! It was taking forever for my veggies to grow, and being a naturally impatient person, I was growing concerned that my green thumb was turning into a deep purple, yikes! What I needed to understand, was that my garden is living organism, it needs to be nourished, and nurtured. And at the root of every shoot in my garden is soil. And as it so happened, it was the wrong soil.
Container soil 101? Don’t use the same soil used in outdoor gardening soil for your container soil. Outdoor soils are substantially clay-based, and clay is highly dense. The reason this is detrimental to container plants is because clay soil leaves little room for oxygen, and can inhibit root growth in a small space. Consider using a commercial potting soil or perhaps what we like to call a soil-less potting soil. A nourishing potting mixture should consist of organics and minerals. The organic elements can be things like sawdust, wood shavings, and peat moss. Then, you’ll need minerals which can include things like granite sand, or pumice. You need to combine two or more of the aforementioned organics and minerals to create a nourishing and conditioning potting soil.
If there is one thing to love about container gardening, it’s the ability to experiment with everything you grow from soil, to fertilizer to plants. You get to be a mad scientist of sorts. I came up with my own concoction and my tomatoes, strawberries and lettuce are thriving! There’s no measurements, I sort of just used a handful of each part. So get ready to get your hands dirty! Grab yourself a handful of fir bark, some ground pine needles (I actually did this with my mortar and pestle, but you can probably buy this pre-ground), a handful of peat moss, 1/4 ounce of triple superphosphate. Mix it all up, so everything is spread evenly throughout and voila, you have your first potting soil. Happy planting!