Before investing in your new fiberglass planters, it is important to pay attention to the kind of soil you are choosing. If you choose the wrong kind of soil for your planters, you may find that all of your beautiful new plants may become sickly in their new home. Ideally, you should be filling your planters with high-quality potting soil if you want to give your plants the best possible environment for growing.
What is Top Soil?
As the name implies, top soil is soil that has been harvested from the top layers of a certain area. Top soil is not specifically curated for growing plants in planters. It does not have a particular ingredient list that is designed for helping plants grow. Instead, it can be a random mix of any materials that are present on the surface when it is gathered from the target site.
What is Potting Soil?
By contrast, potting soil is a specially formulated mix of ingredients that is specifically meant for plants that are in containers or planters. Due to the unique properties of a fiberglass planter, this potting soil is formulated to improve drainage, hold in more nutrients and properly assist root growth and is best suited for fiberglass containers. You can find potting soil in a range of types with different pH levels, textures and more. This way you can find potting soil that closely mimics the natural growing environment of the plants you choose and for your geographical location. It is important to note that potting soil is almost exclusively consists of materials that are made to imitate the qualities of great soil, without actually adding any regular soil at all. By doing this, the potting soil stays loose and light-weight, easily absorbing and draining water as necessary without weighty water retention that turns to mud. It is more accurate to call it potting mix than potting soil, as there is no real soil involved in the making of these products.
Long Term Effects
Ultimately, the choice between top soil and potting soil dramatically impacts the lifespan of your plants as well as your fiberglass planter. Potting soil is made to help your plants take root in the first place and continue thriving over time. You may need to add more potting soil seasonally, which will help ensure that the plants stay lively by keeping the soil porous and nutrient rich. By contrast, top soil is typically used as an additive in raised gardens or in-ground gardens where it can modify the properties of the existing soil. Top soil tends to act like mulch in these cases, helping to retain water, and changing the top layer dynamics of the native soil. In fact, top soil has more in common with compost than it does with regular soil. With potting mix, you can ensure that your plants have a long, healthy life where you can easily adjust the nutrients that they receive. With top soil, you could be introducing weeds and other harmful organic materials into the planter because you don’t know the source of your top soil.
Keeping beautiful fiberglass planters is a big investment, and you don’t want to risk your project with the wrong type of planting material. Just remember that potting mix is made specifically for use in enclosed planters where no native soil or organic material will be available to your plants. Avoid adding top soil to your planters, which could harm the plants by trapping in too much water and preventing roots from taking hold naturally as well as causing damage to your fiberglass planter.
For more information about filling your planters with the right ingredients, contact Jay Scotts today and speak to one of our planter experts about proper drainage, quality potting mix and more.