potting soil vs. garden soil? - Knowledgebase Question

St. Louis, Mi
Question by travisbmoore
May 3, 2009
What's the difference between potting soil and garden soil? Is there any way to use one for the other use?
Also, are there any benefits/negatives to using organic soil for my house plants/trees? (I use organic in the fruit/veggie garden)
If I am wanting an organic fruit and veggie garden, do I have to have a seed and plant that starts off not being declared organic and then not use pestisides?

Answer from NGA
May 3, 2009


There are certain requirements for being certified as organic and one of the criteria is to be pesticide free for 3 years. So, not using pesticides and growing things from seed will certainly help you attain your goal of growing organically. Potting soil is made up of mostly shredded bark, sand and vermiculite which makes is a loose and well draining medium for lots of different plants; garden soil is mostly clay, sand and some organic matter. It is usually just fine for most outdoor plants and you can improve it with the addition of compost, aged manure, shredded leaves, etc. For outdoor planting I would use regular garden soil and amend it with organic matter. Then keep chemical pesticides out of the garden and you'll be as organic as possible in your growing. Enjoy!

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