Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Preview: Healthy Garden: What’s in the Bag?

Fine Gardening - Issue 186

Most of us care about ingredients. We read a label to know whether we’re buying a soup with noodles or one with beans, yet the process is less straightforward when we’re picking potting mix.

But why use a bagged product at all? Don’t plants just need soil to grow? For containers, the answer is no. Elevating plants changes everything. Surrounded by air, containers dry out fast. They lack vertical space for water to drain, organisms to release nutrients, and an established soil structure to support root growth. To manage these artificial conditions, we need potting mixes specifically designed to support and nurture container plants.

Reading labels is just the start

Potting mixes can include many different ingredients to meet basic plant needs. Historically, commercial mixes relied on peat moss for water retention, an ingredient with major environmental and climate change impacts. Today, alter­natives that substitute agricultural by-products, such as coconut coir, as ­water retainers are more readily available.

To read the full article and learn more about potting mix, subscribe to receive your digital copy of the newest issue of Fine Gardening magazine. 

View Comments


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."


View All

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, become a member today.

Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine.

Start your FREE trial