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Types of Potting Soil

Types of Potting Soil

You can have a variety to choose from, if you are looking for options on types of potting soil. Here's a list of the same.
Aparna Jadhav
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Pot from above
Potting soil is nothing but a mixture of soil and growth media to provide a nutritious environment for seeds to root and grow into healthy plants. There are various types of potting soil, which are used either individually or mixed with each other for better results.
Like animals and humans, there are certain nutrients that are required by plants for healthy growth as well. These are 16 chemical elements which are divided into two groups, viz; non-mineral and mineral, and are needed by all plants for a healthy cell structure, metabolism and development.
The non-mineral elements are; hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), & carbon (C), and the mineral elements are; nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S), boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn).
Since the soil is the only medium in which plants are grown, it needs to be rich in these elements and water. However, in container gardening, this soil is used for potting purposes, thus making these elements a necessity. In the paragraphs coming up, you will read about the various potting soil mixes that are available. So read on and pick one!
Different Types of Potting Soil
Container gardening can be very useful if you have a patio, a porch, or a deck to decorate it with potted plants. There are many ornamental plants, also called house plants, which look beautiful on a patio or a deck if they are maintained.
However, if you want to practice potting, you will require potting soil in order to accommodate plants with all the necessary nutrients provided in the soil. This could surely be a difficult task. But, to make this an easier job, there are various types of potting soil that are available in nature.
Even though you can make your own potting soil by simply mixing these individual soils, each of them are rich in all the plant nutrients and thus can be used individually too. Find out what could be your choices from the paragraphs mentioned ahead.
Peat Moss
Heap of dirt
Peat moss is nothing but the dead and decomposed parts of the "sphagnum moss", which is found in wet soils. It is a mixture of the moss and natural soil, thus making the soil a rich source of organic matter.
Peat moss holds about 20 times more water weight than the regular soil. This is because, the soil contains fibers from the moss remains, making the soil thick and helping in retaining as much water as possible. This property is of utmost use to container plants as they need both, the nutrients from the soil and the retained water from the moss.
Manure
Man with Compost in hand
Another excellent source of all the required plant nutrients and retained water is manure. This nitrogen rich potting soil is an organic matter that is contributed by decomposed waste of plants and animals.
Donkey dung in the forest
The first type is animal manure, that is formed when their feces and urine are naturally mixed with the soil. The next type of manure is called compost, which is the combination of both plant and animal wastes with soil. This potting soil is rich in nutrients of both plant and animal origin.
The last type of manure is the plant or green manure, which is defined as the remains of only plants decomposed in soil. These include direct sources of fixed nitrogen, thus making the soil extremely fertile for plants.
Humus
Pile heap of soil humus isolated on white background
Humus is the same as manure, but usually refers to the organic matter that exists in the soil for over a long duration of time. Manure is the soil that consists only the decomposed matter, not the degraded organic matter.
When plants and animals die and decompose in the soil naturally, they are degraded by the microbes present in soil making them a part of that soil. This process takes many years and the soil which is rich in all these degraded nutrients as well as the microbes is called humus. Therefore, humus is considered more fertile than manure.
Sand
Sand Pile
Sand is another one of the various types, which is an excellent medium for drainage and aeration.
Soil that retains water is very good for plants, but their roots can be damaged if there is excess retention, causing them to decay. Thus, potting soil needs spaces for drainage and for mediation of air, and sand is the best choice for filtering water from the soil. Therefore, it should be mixed with natural soil while making a potting mix.
As mentioned, these types of potting soil can be used individually but work the best when they are mixed with each other to prepare a multipurpose potting mix. So, give your plants a great growth medium with all the required nutrients.