Get to know when and where to use what soil in the garden – South Coast Sun


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When it comes to gardening and growing, “down to earth” is not just a compliment – it’s a necessity. We all know that healthy gardens start with healthy soil, but different plants also have different requirements.
Do you know which bag of soil to select when faced with the wide range available at your local garden centre? Don’t worry – we have a few simple tips to help you get your “soil’s worth” next time you invest time and money in your garden.
If you are planting a seed, use professional germination mix.
This lightly blended, soil less mix is carefully formulated for optimal seed germination. Fill your trays with this delicate mix, sow your seed and watch them grow.
If you are planting out seedlings, use seedling mix.
Transplant seedlings from germination mix directly into seedling mix for cavity trays, flower boxes or window boxes. This will ensure that you grow healthy and resilient transplants with strong root systems.
If you are planting lawn, use compost.
Dig compost into your existing garden to enrich the earth before laying down instant lawn or sowing your choice of grass seed.
If you are feeding an existing lawn, use lawn dressing.
This is usually done in spring. Scarify your lawn and apply a layer of organic lawn dressing to transform your dull grass into a lush meadow of green.
If you are adjusting soil levels, use topsoil.
A good quality topsoil is best for filling holes in your lawn or adding height to flower beds. It can also be used in large raised beds, mixed with compost, to create better growing conditions.

If you are planting in a container, use professional potting mix.
This is the “just right” soil of the gardening world. It’s suitable for most plants so fill your pots and plant directly. Potting soil has added fertilizer and the correct amount of raw material to maintain the ideal water retention/ drainage balance and retain enough water to keep your plants healthy.
If you are planting new plants in the garden, use compost or landscapers mix.
Use either compost mixed with existing garden soil, or landscapers mix – a ready-to-use topsoil/ compost blend. Both contain organic materials and add beneficial microbes, micronutrients and macronutrients to your soil.
If you are planting acid-loving plants like fynbos, azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas, use acid compost.
Before planting out acid-loving plants be sure to mix acid compost into your garden soil. Use this combination for acid-loving pot plants as well. For seasonal feeding simply mix acid compost into the top layer of soil around the plants and water well.
If you are planting out vegetables, use compost.
Vegetables require large amounts of nutrient-dense soil to produce healthy edibles. Mix a generous amount of compost into your vegetable patch each year. Consider adding a little kraal manure and vermicompost to produce an award-winning crop.

If you are repotting your beloved orchid, use orchid mix.
This is usually done every one to two years, after flowering. Remove the plant, knock out any of the old mix and cut away dead roots. Then replant directly into orchid mix, which contains organic fertiliser to nourish the annual bloom, as well as charcoal to maintain a moist, but healthy root environment.
If you are planting succulents, use succulent mix.
Succulents require a well-drained medium to thrive. Plant your aloes, crassulas and other succulents directly into this mix for the best results. Remember to provide plenty of sunlight and do not over-water.
If you are planting herbs, use herb mix.
Whether you’re planting herbs into pots, containers or boxes, this is your top choice. Plant seedlings directly into filled containers. The extra fertiliser in herb mix will enable your herbs to flourish for at least three months before you’ll need to supplement with liquid fertiliser.
If you are planting bonsais, use bonsai mix.
Due to a lack of space and nutrients, bonsais need repotting fairly regularly. Do this before the growing season and use bonsai mix to resupply your tree with essential nutrients, while still ensuring sufficient drainage. After three months, start to liquid fertilise or top with a slow release fertiliser.

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