Soil is the cornerstone of any healthy garden, but what do you do when you have to repot a plant and don’t have enough soil on hand?
Many gardeners would probably resort to using garden soil in their pots but is this a good choice and can you use garden soil in pots without any problems?
It is possible to use garden soil in pots if it is mixed with other products such as sand or compost. These help to improve the drainage and consistency of the soil making it easier for plants to grow and access nutrients and moisture. Additionally they help to improve aeration and can make the soil warmer and more suitable for potted plants.
What happens if you use garden soil in pots?
The problem with using garden soil in pots without adding anything else is that it won’t drain properly because there isn’t enough air space between particles of clay or silt which are present in garden soils.
This means that water will remain trapped in the soil which can lead to waterlogging, no air getting to the roots and rotting of the plant.
When garden soil in pots is used without anything else it will typically lead to plants being stunted and wilty, if they survive at all.
Garden soil can also contain pests and diseases and may have been exposed to chemicals such as weedkillers, all of which can be harmful to your plants and which could result in their death.
Will garden soil kill my potted plants?
It’s always best to avoid using garden soil for your potted plants due to it’s potential for disease and poor drainage both of which can kill plants.
You are always better off using a good quality potting compost that contains all of the nutrients that your plants need.
Are garden soil and potting soil the same?
Garden and potting soil are not the same, garden soils are typically used in garden beds and potting soils in containers.
Potting soils can contain composted manures which contains extra nutrients for plants plus sand or grit to help improve drainage while garden soil is usually just clay, silt or loam without any added ingredients.
Potting soils do not contain any natural soil.
Where can I buy potting soil if I can’t use garden soil in pots?
If you need potting soil but don’t have any available, garden centres are a good place to look as they will often sell soils that can be used with your potted plants.
You can also get good quality composts and soils, that are suitable for potted plants, online, at places such as Amazon and there is a wide choice and selection available.
It is not a good idea to use garden soil in pots as it can contain pathogens and garden chemicals such as weedkillers which can be harmful to your plants.
It will also make the garden soil heavier than potting soil making it more difficult for your plants to grow.
You should always choose a good quality potting soil or compost for your potted plants.