The 8 Best Garden Soils

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This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in May of 2020. Designed to be integrated into native earth and help restore balance, garden soil is usually the more affordable alternative to potting soil, although either could be used as an amendment. It's generally comprised of top soil mixed with bulky organic material and compost to improve texture. However, it's not always sterilized, so as a safety precaution we suggest wearing gloves while working. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Miracle Gro Expand 'n Gro

2. Coast of Maine Organic Raised Bed Mix

3. Organic Plant Magic Compressed

Editor's Notes

June 29, 2020:

Since garden soil is optimized for integrating into your existing beds or directly into the earth, we've included a variety of both general and more specific options for your perusal. Bear in mind, while specific items such as Miracle Gro Trees and Shrubs or Jolly Gardener Veggie and Herb Blend may have been developed to cater to their namesake plants, it wouldn't be harmful to use them as an all-purpose garden soil as well.

If your soil is very dense or is mainly clay, Organic Plant Magic Compressed and Miracle Gro Expand 'n Gro are smart choices. They are filled with coco fibers, which is not only how they get their expanding properties, but also allows them to decompact your earth. Along those lines, these are both very light and easy to carry, so if you struggle to, or want to avoid lifting heavy bags, these are great options. They also will be much easier to store since they take up less space than traditional garden soils.

Conversely, if your soil is overly sandy or loamy, nutrients and water may easily be lost before plants can absorb needed quantities. All of the options on our list incorporate either peat moss or coco fiber, which help balance soil's water retention and drainage. This allows it to "hold onto" nutrients and water, giving plants the opportunity to get what they need. Items which have added microorganisms can assist plants with nutrient uptake as well; such as Happy Frog Potting or Coast of Maine Organic Raised Bed Mix.

Some of these selections, like Smart Naturals Happy Frog, Organic Plant Magic Compressed and Coast of Maine Organic Raised Bed Mix may be used as potting soil (and in some cases are even labeled as such) all on their own. You can add these directly into some pots to start seedlings or perhaps a container garden.

And of course, no matter how healthy your soil is, you'll need to ensure you have the proper tools to plant and maintain your garden.

Special Honors

Kellog Amend This highly-rated, organic option contains aged wood fines to help incorporate an airy texture to your dirt, in addition to well-rounded fertilizers such as bat guano and kelp meal to enhance your existing soil's nutrition. Not only can it balance the texture of your substrate, but it is also designed to attract beneficial microbes.

4. Miracle Gro Trees and Shrubs

5. Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting

6. Jolly Gardener Veggie and Herb Blend

7. Miracle Gro All Purpose In Ground

8. Black Gold Flower and Vegetable

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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