Potting Soil Better Than Backyard Soil

B. Carlile Tomatoes grown in coir growing medium on right, compared to average potting soil on left.
B. Carlile Tomatoes grown in coir growing medium on right, compared to average potting soil on left.

Indoor gardeners may be tempted to dig up soil in their yard for use with their potted plants. But the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) January 1 Soils Matter blog post explains that potting soil for indoor plants is best not taken from your back yard.

Bill Carlile, a soil scientist with Bord na Mona, Ireland, says “the soil in your backyard is most likely a dynamic mixture of sand, silt and loam – depending on where you live.”

“Most potting soils sold at garden stores aren’t ‘soils’ at all, but a mix of ingredients. Together, these ingredients can smooth the road to good plant growth. Potting soils are the better choice for indoor plants and starting seedlings for transplant. A good potting soil allows good, constant plant growth.”

“Backyard soils don’t have the right structure or nutrients for indoor plants – and you have the added risk of bringing in undesired weed seeds, diseases, and pests.”

To read the entire blog post, visit Soils Matter


MORE INFORMATION

Follow SSSA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SSSA.soils, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on www.soils.org/discover-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.