It starts with the soil!

Our goal at ColorScapes goal is that gardeners have success!  Especially for the younger generation gardening is scary….because you have failed before!  Who likes failing?  You kill a few plants and your done or at least you consider yourself a “black thumb”.   Don’t give up so easily, with the right information it can be fun, really!  Without that info it can be a bummer.

I was reminded of the complexities of gardening when I sent my husband out for some soil.  I told him we would be planting seeds, probably tomatoes.  A day later I see my mom filling pots with soil for seed planting.   I greet her and then promptly say, “That is the wrong soil.”  She said, “I know, Dave got garden soil.”   Oh, garden soil!  I look closely at the bag of Miracle Gro soil and there is a beautiful picture of a tomato on it and in large letters says “For Flowers and Vegetables”.  It is easy to see why he got confused, it looked so beautiful.  That big tomato on the front and it said “Vegetables”!  Some of you are reading this wondering, What is wrong with garden soil? Garden Soil is to put in the ground or literally in your garden.  It is dark and rich and a great amendment to add to your existing soil.  But not what you want to plant tomato seeds in or anything the is going to be in a pot.

Garden soil. Not for tomato seeds. Great to add to your landscape beds or garden.

There is SO much lingo you need to know for success!  When in a bag garden soil is not for seeds or even to put in pots, but rather to amend your existing garden soil.  It is easily distinguished by its dark appearance with no perlite (those little white specks). Potting soil is what you put in pots and yes it does matter!  Needless to say, we got the right soil and right now the tomatoes are up and growing well! tomato seeds are happy in this potting soil.

When someone asks me for topsoil my response is “What are you going to plant?”  If you are planting flowers (perennial, annuals or flowering shrubs) you are actually going to want composted soil to add to and create your landscape bed.  Composted soil actually has nutrients in it to feed your plants (for up to 2 years – yes that means very little if any additional fertilizer needed), where most of the time what is termed “topsoil” is very low in nutrients and the main component of it is sand.  Which is fine if you want to grow grass, but to grow just about anything else composted soil is the way to go!

Composted Soil

Okay, so here is the run down:

Garden Soil = Bagged soil to put in the ground and amend you garden or landscape beds

Potting Soil = Bagged soil to put in a pot.

Topsoil = Best to fill in holes in the ground or plant grass seed.  Usually purchased in bulk, by the cubic yard.

Composted soil =Best to grow any flowering plant and even landscape plants. Till into your existing soil.  Usually purchased in bulk, by the cubic yard.

So for today, the lesson is start with the right soil and you CAN have success!


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