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Soil & Soil Amendments

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Choosing the Proper Garden Soil

Start With the Right Soil 

Using the appropriate garden and potting soil is a key to success with your garden and house plants. Different types of soil have different water retention and drainage properties, nutrients and consistency. The amount you'll need depends primarily on the types of plants you'll be growing. Houseplants require a high level of drainage to avoid root rot and fungus. They also usually come in plastic, ceramic or nursery pots that tend to accumulate moisture, resulting in bacteria and diseases that can jeopardize your plant's health. When looking at gardening soil, your primary focus should be on nutrients and consistency. Shop Lowe's for the various types of soils based on your needs.

Garden Soil

Garden soil is topsoil that has been enriched with compost and other organic materials. This ensures that the proper nutrients are in place for plant growth. Ideally, all-purpose garden soil is meant for flower beds and garden areas that aren't contained, because this type of soil is thicker in consistency and doesn't have specific ingredients that assist proper drainage. If garden soil is used in containers, the plant's roots won't be able to breathe.

Potting Soil

Potting soil typically includes ingredients such as pumice, vermiculite and perlite. These additives are essential for proper drainage in containers and pots. Potting soil is also called potting mix because it doesn't actually contain soil. Soil can create and hold onto a lot of moisture, so it's important that you use the proper potting soil when potting plants in containers or pots. This will help to prevent fungus or other plant diseases. The mix must be sterile and contain some compost or peat moss in order to give the plants nutrients. Potting soil is more expensive than garden soil because of the ingredients required for drainage and its loose consistency. You can also make your own potting soil with a custom mix of compost and additives, tailoring it to the needs of your particular plants. Because it lacks many nutrients needed for vegetables and flowers, it's not recommended for gardens or beds.

Organic Soil

Organic soil can be used to grow your garden, flower beds or houseplants. This type of soil relies heavily on compost to provide all the nutrients the plants need. It helps the plants to aerate the soil, absorb water and oxygen, and generate biological activity. In other words, as compost is broken down it creates the specific nutrients needed to maintain proper growth. Organic soil often includes clay pebbles that create air pockets for adequate drainage, even in potted plants. The nutrients in this soil and its ability to absorb water help your plant's roots become stronger.

Start Growing

It's important to distinguish your plant growing goals before you choose your soil. Whether you're planting indoors or outdoors, the quality of your soil can keep your plants healthy and help roots develop quickly. It can even affect your air quality because it's constantly recycling the materials and nutrients and putting them back out into the air. The key to the perfect soil is a good amount of organic matter. Find your perfect soil here at Lowe's and watch your plants grow.