Soilless potting soil : a mix of ingredients, primarily sphagnum peat, compost, perlite and vermiculite (Gardening Tips ‘n Ideas)

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What Is a Soilless Potting Soil?

Posted in Gardening Tips  by Stuart

In a general sense, soilless potting soil is any type of planting medium product that does not contain the type of dirt you normally find in your garden. Most gardening experts, however, define soilless potting soil as planting mediums that do not contain conventional soil at all, but rather consist of a mix of ingredients, primarily sphagnum peat, compost, perlite and vermiculite.

Soilless mixtures tend to be looser than regular potting soils, making them a good choice for planting situations that require good drainage, such as container gardening. Also known as sterile mixes, soilless potting soil is ideal for starting seedlings, as it eliminates the risk of diseases that prey on young plants, as well as the risk of an imbalanced soil that may adversely affect a young plant’s growth.

A Careful Mix of Ingredients

Each ingredient in soilless potting soil serves a specific purpose. The ratio of each ingredient can be adjusted to meet specific gardening needs. While the ingredients of soilless potting mixes can vary, and can include fertilizers, as well as materials like bark or the coconut by-product, coir, four substances are typically included in soilless potting soil.

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
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