Garden Fundamentals - Learn about plants and gardening

Posts tagged soil

Soil and Compost – Selecting the Right One

You are in the market for some soil or compost and you visit the local nursery or big box store. There are so many products to choose from. Which one is the right one? Should you buy soil, or triple mix, or compost? Or is potting soil the right product to buy?

In this post I will try to sort out this confusion and show you which product to use for different types of jobs.

Planting trees - Soil profile showing top soil (layer O + A)

Planting trees – Soil profile showing top soil (layer O + A)

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Topsoil, Compost, Triple Mix – What’s the Difference?

Go to any garden center and you will find a large range of products that all look like soil. Many names are used including topsoil, triple mix, compost, potting soil, black garden soil, peat moss and garden soil. What is the difference between all of these products? It can be very confusing.

Some of these products are marked as certified. What does that mean? What kind of guarantee do ‘certified’ soil products offer the consumer?

These and more dirty topics will be discussed in this blog post.

TopSoil, Compost, Triple Mix - What's the Difference?

Components of Ideal Soil, by

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Fertilizer – What Do Plants Need

In my post Fertilizer: Selecting the Right NPK Ratio, I explained that you don’t feed plants – you feed the soil. Your job as a gardener is to add missing nutrients to the soil. If the soil contains all the nutrients plants need to live – the plants will do well.

The answer to the question, what fertilizer do plants need, is very simple. They need any nutrient that is deficient in the soil. If your soil is not deficient of nutrients – you do NOT need to fertilize.

But how do we know which nutrient(s) is deficient in the soil? I’ll try to answer this question in this post. In order to do that, we need to better understand what nutrients do in the soil.

fertilizer woodchips

One of the best fertilizers – mulch with wood chips

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