Is There A Difference Between Outdoor Soil, Potting Soil, And Potting Mix?

Is There A Difference Between Outdoor Soil, Potting Soil, And Potting Mix?

Joe SkinnerDec 15, '20

If you’re new to gardening and are potting plants and planting outdoor garden beds, you may be wondering what type of soil is right for you – outdoor soil, potting soil, or potting mix? What’s the difference, anyway? Find out in this quick blog from The Soil King!

 

Outdoor Soil Is Specifically Designed For Outdoor Gardens, Not Potted Plants

Outdoor soil is also called “topsoil.” This is soil that has been enriched with compost, vermicompost, or other types of organic matter, and it contains a lot of great nutrition that outdoor plants love.

Compared to potting mix or soil, it holds water longer and it’s heavier and a bit more dense in texture, since it has no additives like vermiculite or perlite. It’s also cheap. Because it’s dirt. In fact, you could say it’s dirt cheap. Get it?

As you may expect, outdoor soil is the best for outdoor garden beds and flower beds. It shouldn’t be used in pots or in containers, since it does not drain properly and will not allow the roots of the plants to breathe.

However, for large outdoor container gardens, you can use a mix of potting soil and topsoil to ensure adequate drainage, but keep the cost of soil relatively low.

 

Potting Soil & Potting Mix Are The Same Thing, And Should Only Be Used For Potting

The terms potting soil and potting mix are actually synonymous. This refers to a mixture of compost, vermicompost, and other materials like perlite, vermiculite, and sphagnum moss. And despite the name, it actually contains no soil at all!

This is because topsoil can carry fungus and other pathogens that may attack your plants. Potting mix is sterile, so it’s safer for indoor and potted plants. The organic compost and other materials provide nutrition for the plants, while other ingredients like perlite and vermiculite help keep the “soil” loose and allow it to drain. This prevents soil compaction around the roots of plants, which can kill them.

Some types of potting soil or potting mix may also contain chemical fertilizers that are formulated for a specific type of plant, like flowers or succulents.

 

Get The Outdoor Soil Or Potting Mix You Need From The Soil King!

At The Soil King, we’ve got all the soil and gardening supplies you need whether you’re planning outdoor beds or just repotting a few potted plants. Shop online now, or find our products near you to get started.