Selecting the Perfect Soil
So with that looooong winter behind us, and spring peeking its little tulip and daffodil heads up all over the place, most folks are itching to get planting. It’s important to use the right soil for the right plantings, so here’s a quick breakdown on topsoil vs. compost vs. potting mix.
It’s basically what the ground is made of, but just a little bit better! (Many Rochester lawns have clay or sandy soil, whereas topsoil has more organic materials that are less compacted and more nutritious for growing.)
- Filling in holes and low spots in lawns
- Growing grass seed
- Mixing with compost for in-ground ornamental and veggie gardens (it’s too heavy for containers)
Try: Garden Magic Topsoil
A soil amendment to use when your garden needs a nutritious pick-me-up. It’s usually very rich in nutrients, so don’t plant directly into compost. A good ratio is usually 2 parts topsoil to 1 part compost.
- Homemade: made from organic materials (food scraps and yard/garden waste) decomposing in a pile or bin
- Brewer’s compost: made from the by-products of beer-making
- Composted manure
- Vegetable gardens (add some each year — producing lots of veggies each year takes a lot out of the soil)
- Tree & shrub plantings
- Ornamental plantings
Try: Port Bay Gold Compost
Made from peat, perlite, limestone, and usually a fertilizer. Potting mix is quite lightweight compared to topsoil or compost, and needs no additional amendments when planting.
- Outdoor containers (both annuals & vegetables)
- Indoor plants
Try: Van Putte Premium Potting Mix
(We use this exact potting mix in our greenhouses for all our veggie and annual plantings, and the incorporated fertilizer lasts for 4 months!)