Proper Soil Mix For Evergreen Container Plants And Trees

Proper Soil Mix For Evergreen Container Plants And Trees

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By: Heather Rhoades

Container gardening has become a very popular form of gardening in the past few years. It only stands to reason that people would want to plant evergreen trees and shrubs in pots as well. Using evergreen container plants is an excellent way to add winter interest to your container garden or to add formality and structure to your year-round container garden.

One of the most crucial parts of growing evergreen container plants is the soil. Your evergreen tree pots need to be filled with soil that will not only meet the nutrient and water needs of your evergreen container plants, but provide stabilization for your container tree as well.

Soil Mix for Evergreen Plantings

The first thing to consider is the weight and size of your container. If your tree container is very heavy and very wide, than you probably do not have to worry too much about the possibility of the tree and the container falling over in the wind. In this case using only a soilless mix is acceptable.

If the tree container is not heavy enough or wide enough, than the container tree stabilization is at risk. This can be combated in two different ways. One is to fill the bottom 1/3 of the pot with gravel or pebbles. This will help the container tree stabilization. Fill the rest of the container with a soilless mix.

Many times some people will recommend that topsoil be mixed in with soilless mix, but this would not be a wise idea due to the fact that evergreen container plants need excellent drainage in order to grow as it should. Topsoil in a container can become compacted and hard, even when mixed with other soils. The topsoil will eventually impede proper drainage. Evergreen tree pots that do not have good drainage can develop root rot and die.

In order to improve the drainage for your evergreen container plants, you may want to add grit or pumice to the soilless mix.

Also, make sure that you add plenty of slow release fertilizer to your soilless mix for your evergreen container plants. This will help with making sure that your evergreen tree has plenty of nutrients to keep it growing well.

The addition of some mulch to the top of the soilless mix in the container will not only help retain appropriate levels of moisture, but the mulch will help to slightly acidify the soil as well, which most evergreens like.

Growing evergreen container plants and trees can be a fun and interesting addition to your container garden. With proper care, your evergreen trees will live happily in their containers for many years.

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Read more about Container Gardens

Miracle Gro Potting Soil Mixes Complete Review

Quality soil is the foundation for healthy plants and Miracle-Gro has an exciting range of top-quality soils for most plants. We take a closer look at what they have to offer.

With so many different types and varieties of Miracle-Gro soil mixes available, it may be intimidating or sometimes difficult to choose just one.

In this article, we have compiled a list of all the Best Miracle-Gro mixes and soils available.

But that is not all, along with the various types you will also find just about everything you need to know about them. Finding the best Miracle-Gro soil to suit your needs and requirements has never been easier!

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Find out what’s beneath your feet

In many cases, using your own topsoil as a starting point makes good sense. For one thing, if you’re filling more than a few deck planters, buying bagged soil for raised beds at your local garden center gets expensive. But before you start shoveling, now is a good time to test your soil. Knowing your soil’s pH is essential, so you can create optimal conditions for your crops — or choose plants likely to thrive. Rainy, woodsy areas tend towards acidic soil, while droughty regions are likely to be alkaline. If you live near midwestern prairies, your garden may be close to neutral pH. Sometimes you can find clues just by observing the local weed volunteers: plantain, oxeye daisy, sorrel and moss growth indicate acidity, while Queen Anne’s lace, chicory, and chickweed love alkaline conditions. Blueberry shrubs, potatoes and tomatoes like acidic soil, but many other vegetables will sulk if the pH is too low — or too high. Between 6.0 and 7.0 is ideal for vegetables.

Five pounds of lime per 100 sq. feet will raise your pH by 1

Luckily, adding compost to either acid or alkaline soil will buffer the pH, bringing it closer to neutral. For acid soil, you will also add some lime (dolomitic lime will help if you also have a magnesium deficiency). Five pounds of lime per 100 square feet will raise your pH by 1 point, although clay-heavy soils may need more. Applied sparingly, wood ash will also help alkalinize. If you want to increase your soil’s acidity, generous amounts of shredded leaves or peat moss will help lower the pH. Your soil test will also shine a light on any major nutrient deficiencies, pointing the way to the most relevant amendments.

Best Soil For Growing Plants

FoxFarm FX14053 12-Quart Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil:

Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix, 8 Quart:

General Hydroponics pH Control Kit

[2 Pack] Soil Testing Kit – pH Meter, Moisture and Light 3 in 1 Tester, Water Monitoring for Weed, Seed Potting, Tree Growing, Greenhouse, Farm, Home, Garden, Lawn, Indoor and Outdoor Plants Care:

How To Grow Vegetables At Home in Pots:

How To Start A Flower Garden In Your Front Yard:

How To Grow a Small Vegetable Garden At Home:

What is the best soil for growing plants?
There are three main types of soil: sand, silt, and clay. The best soil for most plants for optimum growth is a rich,
sandy loam. Loam is an even mixture of the three main types of soil.
In most cases,
you will need to amend your soil with compost.
Depending on how compact your soil is, you may also want to add peat moss and sand. However, there are many plants that are well adapted to growing in particular types of soil.

Different Plants for Different Soils

Soil is generally described by the amount of sand, clay, and silt it contains. This is known as texture. Soil texture is directly related to nutrient quality and drainage capabilities.
Sandy Soil

Sand is the largest particle in soil and does not hold nutrients well. The following plants are well-adapted to sandy soil.

Blanket Flower
Adam’s Needle
Clay Soil

Soil with a large amount of clay are heavy and do not drain well. The following plants are well-adapted to clay soil.

Bee Balm
Butterfly weed
Black-eyed Susan

Silty soil is powdery with high fertility. Unfortunately, soils that are high in silt can become waterlogged very easily.
The following plants are well-adapted to silty soil.

Swamp milkweed
Yellow iris
Japanese iris

If you’re growing houseplants, you might think it’s a good idea to simply scoop some soil from your yard to grow your plants in.
This is actually a bad idea. Garden soil actually contains bacteria, which can be harmful to your houseplants.
There are a two options if you don’t want to use commercial potting soil.

Sterilize the Outside Soil

If you opt for your outdoor soil to grow your indoor plants,
you’ll first need to pasteurize it in order to eliminate any diseases, as well as insects and weeds.
Spread it on a cookie sheet and bake it in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Although this process does not smell too good, it does take care of the bacteria.

After the soil is sterilized,
you will likely need to amend it with peat moss and sand.
These are things that will allow proper drainage and air flow while still retaining the right amount of moisture.
Commercial potting soils are similar in that they include peat moss and vermiculite along with a slow-release fertilizer.
Together these things create a soil mix that holds nutrients, retains moisture, and provides ventilation for the roots of the plant.

Another option is to make your own potting soil. When you create your own mix, you can control the quality of the soil.
This recipe is for a lightweight soilless planting medium.

1/2 cubic yard peat moss
1/2 cubic yard perlite
10 pounds bone meal
5 pounds blood meal
5 pounds limestone

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container.
Beautiful Garden

One of the keys to a beautiful garden, whether it is outside or a container garden inside,
is understanding the soil requirements of particular plants. Always take a soil sample if you are unsure about which kind of soil you have.
Since most soil is a combination of sand, clay and silt, it is sometimes difficult to know just what your soil needs in order for your plants to thrive.

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Soil & Compost


Planter Mix

Watsonville – $58 / cubic yard

Fantastic for planting vegetables, flowers, herbs, sod, and more. This organic gardening soil is packed with long term benefits and will supply your plants with all of the essential nutrients and minerals to thrive. The combination of growth mediums provides for heavier more structural consistency, perfect for long term organic gardens and orchards. This living soil contains millions of beneficial microorganisms introduced from two different types of compost. This is NOT a potting soil.

Ingredients: Forest humus, Organic Super compost, Peat moss, NuFiber, Topsoil, Coarse Sand, Aged Redwood, Granitic Rock Dust, Chicken litter, Fish meal, Meat & Bone meal, Gypsum, Ancient Volcanic Ash, and Oyster Shell.

  • Outdoor garden areas
  • Raised beds and planters

Recommended fertilizer: All Purpose Mix or Bio-live by Down to Earth Fertilizers.

Pro Potting Soil

San Jose – $110 / cubic yard

Watsonville – $103/ cubic yard

Superb all-around soilless potting mix provides essential nutrients for a wide range of plant types. This quality blend of organic soilless mediums, organic fertilizers, minerals, and organic amendments promotes exceptional growth, root development, and yield. This dependable recipe creates an ideal environment for fungi and microorganisms to thrive, while allowing for proper water drainage/retention and increased soil aeration. Gro-Pro is a reliable and versatile soilless mix that can meet a vast array of gardening needs including everything from seed starting to sustained growth of multi-season perennials. It may also be used as an amendment to replenish soil nutrition and improve soil tilth for existing gardens.

*Use in combination with our Super Soil for heavy feeding plants.

Organic Ingredients: Coco Coir, Canadian sphagnum Peat moss, Forest humus, Perlite, Clean Red Lava Chip, ⅜” Pumice, Worm castings, Fish bone meal, Fish meal, Crab meal, Shrimp meal, Kelp meal, Alfalfa meal, Soy Protein Hydrolysate 14-0-0, Langbeinite, Azomite,Volcanic Basalt, Oyster Shell, Gypsum, Humic acid, Mycorrhizal fungi, and Beneficial bacteria.

  • Raised beds and planter boxes
  • Indoor or outdoor container gardening
  • Potting plants

Viridis Blend

Watsonville Only – $86 / cubic yard

This premium planter mix is a potent combination of our two most popular blends Planter Mix and Pro Potting Soil. The perfect choice for those having trouble deciding between the two. This blend combines the long term nutrients and more robust structural benefits of our Planter Mix, with the exceptional water drainage/retention and the fast acting marine derived nutrients of our Pro Potting soil. It is the perfect starter for building a self-sustaining organic garden.

  • Outdoor flower and vegetable gardens
  • Raised beds and planters
  • Potting plants

Prepared Topsoil

Watsonville – $45 / cubic yard

This dark and rich topsoil blend has been carefully crafted to be the ideal landscaping soil. Similar to a 50/50 mix of compost and topsoil. It contains sandy-loam, organic super compost, sand, granitic rock dust, and gypsum.

  • Ideal for planting trees, shrubs, or grass
  • Supplementing clay dominated soils
  • Building large mounds

Recommended fertilizer: Bio-Turf (Down to Earth brand)

Super Soil

**Watsonville Yard Only**

**Seasonal Mix – Call for Availability**

Simplify gardening of high yielding, fruiting annuals.

Our Organic “water only” potting soil is specially formulated for extreme plant growth and development over the course of an entire season. Designed for proper water drainage/retention and increased root zone aeration. Contains sufficient organic fertilizers and amendments to take your heavy feeding, fruiting crops all the way to the end of season. Fertilizers are selected for specific time release qualities for vegitative and blooming periods. Loaded with extra perlite, 10% worm castings, mycorrhizal fungi, and beneficial bacteria. pH balanced. Just add water and watch them grow!

Coco coir, Forest humus, Peat moss, Perlite, ⅜” Pumice, Worm castings, Garden Compost, Fish bone Meal, Seabird Guano, Feather Meal, Bat guano, Bone Meal, Kelp Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Soy Protein Hydrolysate 14-0-0, Oyster Shell, Azomite,Volcanic Basalt, Humic acid,Greensand, Dolomite lime, Ag Lime, epsom salt, Mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma, and Beneficial bacteria.

  • Indoor and outdoor container gardening
  • Raised beds and planter boxes
  • Potted plants

**This is a “hot mix” and should not be planted directly into! We recomment a mixture of Super Soil and either Pro or Green potting soils for optimum growing conditions. **

Greenhouse Blend

**Watsonville Yard Only**

We designed this organic soilless mix with just a few key ingredients to provide an inert “blank canvas”. It is ideal for the aspiring amateur or professional gardener who prefers to implement his or her own custom fertilizer regimen. It consists of all organic structural growing media plus a triple dose of the highest quality organic worm castings. No additional fertilizers are added. To facilitate increased water drainage and aeration, extra perlite is added to this mix. pH balanced.

Organic ingredients: Coco coir, Peat moss, Forest humus, Perlite, and Worm castings.

  • Raised beds and planter boxes
  • Indoor or outdoor container gardening
  • Potted plants



Super Compost

Watsonville – $30 / cubic yard

Super Compost is produced from 100% recycled yard trimmings and is certified through the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), so it may be used in organic farming applications. This nutrient rich compost conditions the soil and improves aeration, drainage, water and nutrient-holding capacity. Super Compost is a great addition for heavy clay soils particularly at new home sites and good pre-plant conditioner for new lawns and other landscaping purposes.


  • Condition and improve existing soil

Redwood Compost

Watsonville – $31 / cubic yard

Redwood compost is Nitrified composted Redwood fines.

  • Condition and improve existing soil.

Coco Coir Rehydrated

**Watsonville Yard Only**

This eco-friendly alternative to peat moss is derived from the husk of the coconut. It is consistent and uniform in texture and 100% biodegradable. It is a completely homogeneous material composed of millions of capillary micro-sponges that absorb and hold up to eight times its own weight in water. With a natural pH of 5.7 to 7.0, plus an unusually high cation exchange capacity, coir is ideal for heavy feeding plants. Unlike peat moss, coco coir is hydrophilic and will re-wet easily without using wetting agents.

Our final product is super washed with clean fresh water to provide very low level EC. Buffered with high calcium solution.

Organic ingredients: Coco coir, Gypsum

  • hydroponics
  • commercial potting soil mixes
  • direct soil amendment
  • compost amendment
  • liquid absorbing compound


**Watsonville Yard Only**

Derived from dairy fiber by a proprietary process that involves extracting excess liquid and allowing the manure to naturally heat up under aerobic conditions in a rotating drum. The finished product tests pathogen free and is suitable as a planting medium, soil amendment, or livestock bedding material.

  • Renewable/Sustainable
  • Retains Water
  • Provides Plant Nutrients
  • Provides Soil Aeration
  • Provides Beneficial Microorganisms
  • Improves Soil Structure
  • Pathogen Free
  • Multiple Uses
  • Promotes Dairy Industry Sustainability
  • Economical

NuFiber is a premium organic soil amendment made from processed dairy manure. The dairy manure is pressed by a mechanical screw press that separates the liquids from the solid materials. The fibrous materials present in dairy manure are essentially the natural plant fibers present in livestock feed rations such as corn and alfalfa that the cows do not fully digest. After leaving the press, these natural plant fibers are placed in a slow turning drum.. During that time, the NuFiber heats up naturally under aerobic conditions killing most pathogens and removing more moisture.

Nufiber is a sustainable and renewable substitute for sphagnum peat moss and coco coir and can be used as a stand alone planting soil or in potting blends or as an agricultural soil amendment. The finished NuFiber is an odorless, fluffy product similar in appearance and texture to peat moss.

How much soil you need for a raised bed?

One more thing you may be asking is how much soil will you need in your raised bed, regardless of which mix you choose? This handy online soil calculator will get you started.

For a specific calculator on how much peat moss, vermiculite, and compost to purchase if you go with Mel’s Mix, this soil mixture calculator will help you know how much of each to obtain.

What about you? What blends of raised bed soil mix have worked well (or not so well) for you?

Watch the video: Top 8 Best Fruits To Grow In Pots. in Containers


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