Organic Container Gardening Soil – How To Prepare Pots For Planting

Organic container gardening soil is not the same soil you use in your non-container garden. The soil from the ground is often too heavy for use in containers. The soil compacts to quickly which results in poor drainage and poor plant growth. Prepare your pots with a light soil that is free from disease and weed seeds.

Preparing the Pot

potting soil

Your first step in preparing the pots for the organic gardening soil is choosing the right containers. Remember to plant in containers that are at least one-third the size of the mature plant. Once you have your containers, ensure that there is adequate drainage. Most terra-cotta pots and commercial planters have holes in the bottom for drainage. If necessary, drill extra holes around the bottom edge with a ¼-inch drill bit. Your pots do not require many holes, but you want to be sure the water does not simply sit in the soil and cause root rot.

Preparing a Drainage Base

Once the container is full of soil and the plant, often it is not moved. For this reason, you want to ensure that the drainage holes do not get clogged with the organic container gardening soil. A good way to prevent this is to use pea gravel. Pea gravel is small stones and is available at home improvement centers or plant nurseries in bags. Pour a 1-inch layer of pea gravel evenly in the bottom of your container. The soil sits on top of the pea gravel and the gravel allows the water to drain sufficiently through the container.

Organic Container Gardening Soil

container gardening soil

There are special organic blends of potting soil available at home improvement centers. You might also choose to use compost as a soil for your containers. Many people opt to make their own organic container gardening soil, especially if they have many pots to fill. Mix together one part potting soil, one part sand, and one part compost. Add some peat moss to aid in moisture retention and some organic perlite to help with drainage.

Fill the containers to within 2-inches of the top rim. This allows room for mulch after planting. Prepare all of your pots with your organic container gardening soil of choice within a week before you plant your seedlings and seed. The soil will have an opportunity to settle and warm to the surrounding temperatures. Mix your soil slightly before planting to allow oxygen into the soil and break up any compacted areas.


About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...

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