Difference between natural soil and potting mix
Manufacturers may call their products natural soil for potted plants (potting soil) or potting medium mix (potting mix), but often there is no distinguishing ingredient between them and they tend to be used interchangeably. However – and this is very important – some of the so-called “potted soil” products are actually soil – alluvial soil, forest edge soil and not potting mix, in which case you need clearly distinguish their basic ingredients and use them for appropriate purposes.
Notice how the product name is attached to the packaging, and now we will explore the difference between potting soil (natural soil) and mixed soil. growing media in the pot.
Derived from the growing conditions of the plant
Seedlings and seeds grow best when they are planted in a medium with good drainage and the ability to break down the top layer easily for the seeds to germinate. In this case, we need a medium that has a mix of some natural soil (peat, forest edge, alluvial soil) or coir, pine barkand vermiculite or perlite, these ingredients hardly provide any nutrition to the plants. This suggests that a potting mix should be selected instead of natural soil.
Good potting mixes (consisting of multiple ingredients mixed and bagged) are designed to remain “flexible” and not over-compressed in challenging container environments. A good potting medium will not dry out too quickly but will resist compaction so that the roots can take in water and moisture from the surroundings. The roots must also have access to oxygen, which means the medium must not be too dense.
Soil / potting mix is also available in different varieties. There are specialized substrates for cacti, orchids, roses, acidophilic plants and seed
In the opposite direction with larger crops, such as fruit trees, bonsai trees, ornamental plants often need more natural soil. Soil can be exploited directly from peat mines (forest edge land), alluvial soil, garden soil – meat soil. This type of soil is usually exploited naturally by the producer, then treated to eliminate pathogens, weeds as well as add nutrients such as cow manure, NPK nitrogen, or Humic, Fulvic at the same time, in some manufacturer cases clean land also add ingredients to make the soil more porous such as hunk bark.
For natural soil, potted plants often have a longer nutritional stability, better water retention – better moisture retention; but the soil is tighter, so it is mainly suitable for long-term crops.
Note when choosing to buy land / growing medium
Read the ingredients on the soil pack, if listed. If the product contains a lot of natural soil, it is often used for planting vegetable and flower beds, or for potted ornamental plants, or for planting lawns. Some so-called “potting soil” products contain perlite or vermiculite or sphagnum moss, but if they also contain soil, they are not ideal for young plants, or seed plants. Try to find a product that is completely soil-free and is a sterile mix.
If no ingredients are listed, consider the weight of the bag. A heavy bag may show soil as the main ingredient, so look for lightweight bags. However, it is advisable to avoid buying bagged soil products that do not specify the composition. If a manufacturer doesn’t want to list the ingredients, there could be a reason.
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Soil quality regulator
Some media contain upgrading agents, including fertilizers (organic fertilizer or inorganic) or moisture-retaining additives, such as water-retaining crystals. If you are growing organically, you may want to avoid soils with added chemical fertilizers, but the potting mix can have organic ingredients such as organic cow manure, vermicompost, bone meal, lime is completely safe for your plants. Remember, fertilizer is usually just an addition to the soil, it is not intended to prolong the life of a plant through a growing season; You still need to fertilize and water regularly to ensure the long-term health of your potted plants.
See more: 8 Australian fertilizers for plants – Healthy plants, bountiful crops
Vermiculite and perlite are common ingredients in potting mixes and are added to create a more ventilated, less draining environment. Both are natural stones.
With the analysis of the difference between natural soil and mixed growing medium, we hope you can choose the right type of soil and suitable growing medium for each type of crop.
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