xtrace
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Where can I find potting soil

I understand composting and I will be adding that. I will be container gardening considering I live in an apartment. Can I just use dirt right outside of my patio.

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rainbowgardener
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potting soil

No, ordinary dirt doesn't do very well in containers, tends to pack down and shut air out. Keeping soil aerated is part of the difficulty with containers. You do need potting soil which you can get in bags at any big box or garden store. You can add some compost to it, but don't get too heavy on the compost for the same reason (packing down). You need a mixture that stays light.

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Sage Hermit
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I use ordinary dirt from outside and to keep it light I break up some compost and burry it or add some wood pulp. My mini zan gardn was all low grade soil I dug up. it supported tomatoes morning glories and a few other plants just fine. I took some chop sticks and would poke the dirt when it packed in. now i use potting soil but regular soil is what I started hundreds and hundres of plants from year before last when I became obsessed with plants. to save potting soil I sometimes fill the bottom third of the pots with dirt and layer potting soil on top. I found Top soil works just as good as potting soil and is way cheaper to buy in bulk.
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opabinia51
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I have used dirt from outside but always add some soil amendments to it as well including some manure, some compost, a few rocks at the bottom of the pot to insure good drainage.

NOTE: If you have have a clay based soil, then it will compact to much and the plants will drown so, if you are going to use it in your pots, add as much compost as you can.

Potting soil does work great and I use that sometimes. it is made for pots. Really it up to your discretion.

Let us know what works for you!
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gixxerific
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FWIW I would be careful with the "topsoil" bags from lowes or home depot I believe that are white bags with a green (maybe black) label. They are like a dollar or a little over. But that stuff becomes concrete like when dried.

I would stick with a good mix of potting soil and compost. :D

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Kisal
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I much prefer to use a good potting mix, rather than garden soil. However, that is partly because I don't have space to store all the bags of ingredients necessary to make my own potting mix ... like compost, leaf mold, perlite, sand, yadda, yadda, yadda. I also prefer not to use manure on my indoor plants.

I make my own compost now, but I'll probably just continue to buy my favorite brand of potting mix. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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gixxerific
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Reading my post above about topsoil. That doesn't mean that those places or your local landscaping/nursery won't have good potting soil to buy in bags. There are many different types as well, some better for this and some better for that. So look at them you will find something right for you.


Kisal I'm not contesting you, just wondering why you don't use manure for in house gardening. I myself do, though it is composted manure. Just wondering what your reason is so I can adjust if necessary, Thanks. :)

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stella1751
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Re: Where can I find potting soil

xtrace wrote:I understand composting and I will be adding that. I will be container gardening considering I live in an apartment. Can I just use dirt right outside of my patio.
One year I dug up a bunch of garden Habaneros, potting them and bringing them in the house to overwinter them. I got as much of the garden soil off their roots as I could without harming the plants. (I didn't want earthworms crawling out and getting stepped on.) Anyway, I don't know whether it was the dirt or the plant, but I soon had tiny little black bugs all over my house :shock:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with stella, one problem with bringing in manure, dirt, or compost is that it is very hard to do without also bringing in bugs. You can bake the compost/dirt to kill the critters in it. I have done it and it works, but it smells nasty and in the meantime you have killed a lot of beneficial stuff in the soil as well.

Even my compost, not to mention my clay soil is too heavy and dense, holding moisture and packing down, for container gardening.

You could bake it, sift it to help aerate, add vermiculite or perlite, peat moss, nutritional additives... by then it seems easier and cheaper just to buy potting soil. I buy it in bulk sizes and it isn't that expensive.

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Kisal
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gixxerific wrote:Kisal I'm not contesting you, just wondering why you don't use manure for in house gardening. I myself do, though it is composted manure. Just wondering what your reason is so I can adjust if necessary, Thanks. :)
Oh, it isn't that manure isn't good for indoor plants, it's that my crazy dogs insist on digging in them and knocking the pots over. They seem to be able to smell the manure, even after it's thoroughly rotted.

I once had a Newfoundland dog who would dig up my outdoor plants if I put compost on them. In fact, he was the dog who took great delight in spreading my compost pile all over my yard, forcing me to put it in closed bins. [img]https://bestsmileys.com/clueless/4.gif[/img]
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Sage Hermit
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I considered every insect in my soil a guest in my house not a pest. They stayed in their pots and I took them in . MY favorite was the wasp and the centeped and a couple slugs feeding on my moss :) gosh i had so many bugs but they lived in my pots peacefully. some ate honey others ate moss and some ate eachother. I used neem oil and they aphids died. I ate a couple aphids is that bad?
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.



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