Potting Soil: Should You Buy Organic?

Despite how well you care for your garden, how often you water, and what plants you choose to grow, if you don’t have the right soil, then all of your hard work could be for nothing. But it can often be difficult to decide what kind of soil is best: organic or non-organic.

This helpful guide will give you a good primer on the differences between organic and non-organic soil as well as their many benefits.


What Is Organic Soil?

Organic soil is basically just soil (sand, clay, or silt) that contains organic material, such as microorganisms, worms, decaying plant material, and other living substances. Often, it will have manure, compost, or mulch added to it in order to add nutrients or moisture.


What Are the Benefits of Organic Soil?

The main benefit of organic soil is that it is free from man-made chemicals, pesticides, and genetically-engineered material. Another benefit is that there are a wide range of different organic soils, which means you can find the right soil for your plants, whether you’re growing orchids or succulents.

If you want to go all-natural, then organic soil is the best choice for you. However, even soil that isn’t organic could be beneficial to your garden.


What Is Non-Organic Soil?

Like its name implies, non-organic soil doesn’t contain any organic, living material. Different kinds of non-organic soil include:

  • Vermiculite, a shale-like natural mineral that expands when exposed to heat
  • Perlite, a mineral that is formed from heated volcanic glass
  • Expanded clay aggregate, a porous clay pellet


What Are the Benefits of Non-Organic Soil?

Just because non-organic soil isn’t organic doesn’t mean it isn’t good for the environment. Lots of non-organic soils include recycled materials like Styrofoam, which allows the soil to hold water better.

Often cheaper than organic soil, non-organic also has a neutral pH level, which means it’s great for all plants. Non-organic soil will also not contain many of the contaminants that are found in organic soil.


In order to make sure that your garden, potted plants, and other greenery grows to its fullest potential, it’s important that you choose the right soil. Organic soil offers many great benefits to your plants and will help keep them healthy and happy, while non-organic has a lot of the same benefits at a slightly cheaper price point.

To learn more about the soil needs for your specific garden, ask an expert at your local gardening center who can point you in the right direction.


Originally published on pietcasier.org


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