Organic Container Soil

One of the bonuses of the container garden craze is that containers allow anyone to be a gardener even if their garden is just a sunny windowsill. Space isn't an issue with potted plants.

In addition to being space conscious, gardening in containers enables more people to grow plants because it's possible to get the soil just right without a lot of labor, and good soil is the foundation for a successful garden.

I recommend using an organic potting soil for container gardens for two reasons. First, organic potting soil has good water retention properties, but still drains well. Second, containers need frequent watering. This leaches nutrients from the soil, but because organic amendments release nutrients over time, there is less chance for nutrients to be depleted.

I like to make a batch of this organic soil mix to have on hand whenever I feel like planting a container. I store it in a bin with a lid. It's a great blend for shrubs, perennials and annuals.

Organic Potting Soil Recipe


  • 1 Part Bagged Topsoil (No Additions Such As Fertilizer Or Water Retentive Polymers)
  • 1 Part Compost – Friability, Trace Nutrients, Water Retention
  • 1 Part Bagged Builder's Sand - Drainage


  • 2 Tablespoons Cottonseed Meal Per 8 Quarts of Soil - Nitrogen
  • 2 Tablespoons Soft Rock Phosphate Per 8 Quarts of Soil - Phosphorous
  • 2 Tablespoons Greensand Per 8 Quarts of Soil - Potassium

Additional Feeding

Organic Potting Soil Getting the soil right is the first step in this process; the second part is to continue fertilizing the plants throughout the growing season with an organic fertilizer. I use fish emulsion, but if you want to go vegetarian or can't stomach the strong smell try worm castings, alfalfa or corn gluten.

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