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The Surprising Reason Potting Soil Can Damage Your Garden

The Surprising Reason Potting Soil Can Damage Your Garden

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Setting up a new garden area has the potential to be a lot of fun. You can get some new plants in the ground and make your yard look that much nicer.

Those who are new to the world of gardening might not be sure of themselves, though. They might not understand what to do and will try to determine what the best soil to use for their new garden areas will be.

You might already know that potting soil is often used for indoor plants in pots. Can you use potting soil in the ground when planting things outside?

Read on to learn about whether potting soil is supposed to be used in the ground. You’ll gain a better understanding of the differences between potting soil and topsoil.

Potting Soil Isn’t Meant to Be Used in the Ground

Potting soil isn’t meant to be used in the ground and this means that it isn’t a good fit for your outdoor garden area. This type of soil is specifically designed to be used with plants that are still in pots or containers.

In fact, potting soil doesn’t actually contain any real soil. Generally, potting soil mixes consist of perlite, vermiculite, peat, and aged compost.

It’s very good for helping potted plants to get the nutrients and water that they need to thrive. You might have also heard that potting soil is useful for preventing potted plants from having compacted soil.

Compacted soil can prevent plants from being able to filter out carbon dioxide. This could wind up harming the plant’s roots if soil compaction issues aren’t addressed, and that’s why potting soil is so great for many indoor potted plants.

Taking care of plants in containers and pots will be significantly different from caring for plants that are in the ground. You shouldn’t use potting soil in your garden because it just isn’t designed to do what topsoil does.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Potting Soil Outside

If you are wondering why you shouldn’t be using potting soil outside, then you should know that it can harm the soil in the area. Using potting soil in your outdoor garden is likely going to dry things out because it drains so well.

It just isn’t suited to an outdoor environment and it can have the opposite effect that you want it to. If you were thinking of combining potting soil and topsoil, then you should shelve that idea.

You’re going to be much better off using standard topsoil in your garden for your plants. It might be necessary to buy better soil if your garden doesn’t have good soil, but potting soil is certainly not what you need.

You can easily go out and buy a large bag of premium topsoil that will help you to get your garden area started. This is meant to be used in the ground and you’re going to get much better results.

Understanding Topsoil

Topsoil is the top layer of the soil that you will find outside. There are different types of topsoil out there that you can use and topsoil generally consists of soil, manure, sand, and wood materials.

You’ll find that topsoil is a lot different than potting soil overall. It isn’t sterile like potting soil is and it’s possible that it might even contain weed seeds.

It’s possible to buy nutrient-rich topsoil that you can use in your garden area. This can be combined with existing soil to create a good environment for plants in an outdoor garden area.

To get your new garden to turn out nicely, you can add two or three inches of topsoil to your garden. Just take the time to mix this topsoil with the existing soil properly.

You can do this in garden areas where the plants are already planted in the garden. The plants will adapt to the new soil conditions over time so long as you don’t cover the plants.

Having topsoil such as this will create a good transitional soil layer that can help your plants. Just remember that topsoil isn’t meant to be used as fertilizer.

It isn’t going to directly infuse your plants with nutrients or anything along those lines. Sometimes it might be better to mix topsoil into your existing soil before you plant things for the season if you need to enrich the soil.

If you live in an area that doesn’t have very good soil, then you can buy high-quality topsoil and work the land a bit to create better soil. Eventually, you’ll have a good plot of land where you can grow things.

Final Thoughts

Potting soil has its uses and you’re probably going to be using it pretty often for houseplants. However, you’re not going to want to use potting soil in the ground.

Simply put, potting soil isn’t actual soil and it isn’t made up of stuff that works well in the ground. This soil drains so fast that it can actually dry out the real soil around it if you do decide to place it in the ground.

That’s going to be problematic and there’s no reason to do this. It would be better to buy topsoil to add to your garden area if you’re looking to enrich the soil.

Essentially, you’d just be wasting the potting soil if you chose to place it in the ground. It’s better to use potting soil for its intended purpose rather than trying to use it somewhere that it isn’t meant to be used.

Potting soil is great for potted plants or plants that are still in containers. It gives those plants exactly what they need and it helps them to thrive in the right environment.

If this is your first time starting an outdoor garden, then you’ll know to avoid using potting soil. It’s good to have potting soil around for indoor plants and plants that are being kept in containers, though.

Keep all of this information in mind and it’ll be a lot simpler to get good results in your garden. Taking care of your plants will be a good experience and you’ll always be able to use the right soil based on what you’re trying to accomplish.


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