Photo Above: Marty's Garden microgreens compost container mix, with his worm farm close by!
What Should I be Looking For When Purchasing Container Soil Mixes?
First up I would like to start with indoor potting mixes, because many struggle with what to purchase to get the best results.
One huge issue with indoor garden container mixes is the smell especially if you want to grow organically.
Certified Organic mixes made for container gardens do no not contain synthesized petroleum made fertilizers, so all the fertilizers contained are 100% natural and if they are still in decomposition then there will still be an odor present. However, of you were to buy a premium product the chances are all the manures and compost will be completely broken down and just have a nice earthy smell.
When possible I always recommend organics.
If you are only growing indoor plants and not crops then I would recommend a soil mix such as Espoma, it's 100% organic has great reviews.
I also believe that this product Espoma would make a wonderful microgreens container mix for indoors and outdoors.
Read reviews and View the product here
Espoma Garden Container Mix Review 1: I used this to grow a patio tomato out on my deck. I have never seen such an obscenely healthy plant. The leaves are deep, deep green, and the little tomatoes are plentiful. They should be delicious, too, when they are ready.
Review 2: Hands down the best Organic Potting Mix I have ever used!
I started my tomato seeds after cracking them in this Organic Potting Mix a week ago, my plants are almost 2 feet high already, twice the size I am used to in the same time period! I have already purchased 10 more bags!
Below: The Authors Microgreens growing in compost, with excellent results
Which Container Mixes For Outdoors?
Avoid cheap container potting mixes that are full of wood chip and saw dust. Basically the real cheap potting soils are full of saw dust, that has been composted. Now, this type of mix may be okay for orchids, ferns etc but not for growing big healthy lush veggies or indoor plants.
Most of these cheap mixes the plants get 90% of their nutrients from the petro chemical fertilizers which are added during the bagging process.
I know this because I worked for a company in my younger years doing just that, where the main base was composted sugar cane.
The best quality soil mixes for container gardens I believe are home made or 100% certified organic blends. Some brands have had a long outstanding reputation such as this product sold at Amazon, which has great reviews.
These quality mixes contain no synthetic plant foods or chemicals. They will also contain water crystals, Ziolite minerals and even possibly worm castings.
Water crystals are essential in hot climates as garden container mixes are highly prone to drying out, especially if you are growing your plants in clay pots. Wind, sun and heat can really dry out potting mixes fast and when you have water crystals in your blends it can slow up the process providing a rink to your plants when required.
Worm castings also work like a water crystal and have an amazing water storing capacity. They also do not burn young tender roots like other stronger fertilizers and store an amazing amount of nutrients that can be easily taken up by plants.
Worm casting are wonderful for seedlings and come highly recommended, but they can at times be expensive, so my advice is to purchase or make a worm farm. This way you have free worm castings to use whenever required.
To conclude: Avoid the cheap blends and pay the little extra, so you get great results. It can be extremely frustrating when your plants get sick, contract disease or just don't grow well. If you purchase a premium blend,keep water to your plants, your almost unstoppable, and who knows, maybe your thumbs will turn green after all.
photo below: The Author Marty Ware (You can do it!)