How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Herbs? - Guide For Beginners

Last update: Dec 5, 2019

Sometimes, your beautiful plants cannot grow that well in your home just due to the bad potting compost, which does not provide exceptional nourishment to your greens, thus preventing them from growing an unhealthy rooting system.

To avoid this bad scenario, you’d better know how to choose the best potting soil for herbs as well as some of the finest products available in the market.

  • Black Gold 1302040 All Organic Potting Soil – Best Organic Choice
  • FoxFarm FX14053 Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil - Best For Beginners And Busy People
  • Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix – Unique Ingredient
  • Miracle-Gro 70733430 Potting Soil - Best Expanding Soil
  • Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix – High Water Retention Ability
  • Premium All Purpose Potting Soil - Top Rated

What Type Of Soil Is Best For Herbs?

How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Herbs? - Guide For Beginners

Though soil dramatically varies from one area to another, herbs of all kinds share a lot of specific requirements in common.

Ideally, you should select a garden site in a sunny, sheltered location with a quality loam soil that can drain well without losing moisture and nutrients. Otherwise, you can add peat moss, compost, or aged animal manures to improve the soil.

Though a lot of herbs can tolerate and even thrive in slightly acid soil, the best pH-level for growing almost all types of herbs is neutral to alkaline (the fairly broad pH range from 6.0 to 7.5).

To make your soil less acidic, add some lime to raise its pH to keep your herbs happy. And if you want to lower pH, mix elemental sulfur into your soil.

There are some kinds of herbs that can grow particularly well in coastal gardens such as rosemary, basil, sage, coriander, thyme, chives, and lavender.

Best Herbs To Grow In Pots

Container herbs are the best choice for those having limited growing space. You can either grow them indoors or put them on your patios for maximum sun exposure.

Good characteristics for pot plants are easy-to-grow and drought-resistant herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, lemon balm, parsley, dill, oregano, and sorrel.

Who Makes The Best Potting Soil For Herbs?

Burpee

How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Herbs? - Guide For Beginners

Burpee is among the most famous brands when it comes to the best certified organic seeds and potting soil in the market.

By strictly following organic guidelines, this American company has been manufacturing Oregon-Tilth-certified products to make organic gardening possible.

Espoma Organic Fertilizer & Potting Soil

espoma-logo.jpg

With 90 years’ experience in the organic fertilizer & potting soil industry, Espoma has set standards for other brands out there. If you want to grow luxuriant herb gardens without harming the earth, you will never go wrong with organic products by this New Jersey-based company.

How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Herbs?

How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Herbs? - Guide For Beginners

Organic vs. Non-organic

Potting soil options available in the market are classified into two main categories including organic and non-organic. The former type, which does not consist of genetically-engineered chemicals and pesticides, is more preferable.

Since natural materials in the organic soil can provide your plants with all nutrients essential to their flourish, it is way beneficial than any regular soils.

However, organic vs. non-organic – which is better? It all comes to your personal preference. If you go with a reliable manufacturer, your non-organic soil still can work well.

Ingredients

It is advised to purchase a potting soil which features a wide range of nutrients for feeding vegetables and herbs. Find all ingredients included written on the bag.

Tip: Don’t select a potting soil just saying ‘fertilizer' on its bag because it does not seem to provide your greens with all essentials they require.

Nutrient and Moisture Retention

Whether you prefer organic or non-organic potting soil, make sure to check the product’s description or the ingredient list to know if it can retain moisture and nutrients essential to your plants’ growth.

For instance, as peat moss retains both moisture and nutrients, the more peat moss non-organic soil has, the more moisture and nutrients it can retain.

Black Gold 1302040 All Organic Potting Soil - Best Organic Choice

Black Gold 1302040
Black Gold 1302040
9Outstanding

Pros:

  • Made in the United States
  • Premium quality at an incredible saving
  • Certified by the organic materials review institute
  • Both indoor and outdoor usage

Cons:

  • Potential spore growth in wet soil

Richly mixed with organic fertilizer, perlite, pumice, and earthworm castings, this 6.85-lb bag of organic soil is used for growing your raised beds, houseplants, or potted plants wherever you want whether it is indoors or outdoors.

Since there is both perlite and pumice in this loamy soil, your vegetables and herbs will have optimum pore and the right amount of space for air circulation for their sturdy growth.

Despite the Black Gold 1302040’s affordability, there is a proven track record of the performance of this potting soil. Expect your herbs to start growing quicker and their blooming period to come faster than what you might’ve imagined!

Some gardeners reported that there was the potential mold growth when the soil gets too wet, though.

Product Specifications

Primary Ingredient(s)

Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Composted or Aged Bark, Compost, Earthworm Castings, RESiLIENCE, Horticultural Grade Perlite, Pumice, or Cinders, Organic Grade Fertilizer

pH

6.3-6.8

Container Size

8 quart

Feeds up to

AN/A

Weight

6.85 pounds

Fertilizer Analysis

0.05 – 0.0 – 0.0

Highlight Features

Rich, loamy mix, perlite and pumice added to ensure optimum pore and air space for sturdy growth

Black Gold 1302040 All Organic Potting Soil is an all-purpose product that can fit in specific requirements of gardeners in different regions with different climate and soil composition.

FoxFarm FX14053 Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil - Best For Beginners And Busy People

FoxFarm FX14053 Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil
FoxFarm FX14053 Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil
9Outstanding

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Good value for your money
  • Ready to use right out of the bag
  • No bad odor inside your house

Cons:

  • Not good at holding the water as other organic soils

If you want to plant vegetables and herbs in a small balcony garden or a lovely terrace garden, then the FoxFarm FX14053 Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil is the best choice.

Not only possessing everything required by your plants in just one 11.9-lb-bag, but it is also ready to use right out of the bag.

The biggest plus, though, is the light texture and formulation for drainage and aeration of fertilizer that can last for at least 30 days in this mix. It means that you no additive addition is needed once the soil starts to break down, making it best suited for beginners and those not having much spare time doing gardening.

What’s disappointing is that this organic potting mix does not hold water as perfectly as others.

Product Specifications

Primary Ingredient(s)

Premium earthworm castings, bat guano and pacific northwest sea-going fish and crab meal, composted forest humus, sandy loam. and sphagnum peat moss

pH

6.3 to 6.8

Container Size

12 quart

Feeds up to

3 months

Weight

11.9 lbs

Fertilizer Analysis

0.05 – 0.0 – 0.0

Highlight Features

Optimum fertilizer uptake, a perfect blend of good things from sea & earth.

FoxFarm FX14053 Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil saves beginners and busy homeowners much time taking care of their lovely indoor gardens.

Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix – Unique Ingredient

Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
9Outstanding

Pros:

  • Made from unique ingredients
  • Suitable for raised bed and container gardening
  • Feed plants quickly & instantly
  • Provide a slow release plant food

Cons:

  • Not suitable for these greens thriving well in dry and rough soil

This 5.2-lb bag of organic mix by Burpee is enriched with a unique plant food diet which packs everything from all the basic essentials like phosphate, nitrogen, and potassium to a renewable resource - coconut coir.

Unlike other kinds of potting soils, this sustainable resource helps maintain the soil’s moisture within any watering schedule for fragrant herbs and delicious vegetables while protecting the Earth.

As a plus, it can immediately release an essential plant food stream for at least 3 months.

Though the Burpee Organic mix can be used both indoors and outdoors, never use it with herbs that can thrive much better in rough soil.

Product Specifications

Primary Ingredient(s)

Coconut coir

pH

6.3 to 6.8

Container Size

8 quart

Feeds up to

3 months

Weight

5.2 lbs

Fertilizer Analysis

0.12 – 0.12 – 0.12

Highlight Features

Omri listed for Organic use, enriched with Burpee plant food, formulated with coconut coir

Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix works well for herbs that thrive better in wet soils like rosemary, parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, and thyme.

Miracle-Gro 70733430 Potting Soil - Best Expanding Soil

Miracle-Gro 70733430 Potting Soil
Miracle-Gro 70733430 Potting Soil
9Outstanding

Pros:

  • Grow up to 3X bigger plants
  • Hold up to 50% more water
  • Used in raised beds, in, and in-ground containers
  • Work well with various kinds of plants
  • Mulch and Soil Council certified

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Wood chips in the soil

This 2-cubic-feet Miracle-Gro 70733430 Potting Soil provides an amazing mixture of air, nutrients, and moisture that helps your herbs grow three times in size than other plants’ usual growth.

This magical expansion means that 0.33 cubic foot of this concentrated planting mix stuff can get gardeners up to 3X expansion!

Whatever your favorite greens are, you will be satisfied with the soil amount in the package. However, some users reported that these wood chips found in their soil can cause some minor issues with gnats.

Product Specifications

Primary Ingredient(s)

Compressed coir, peat moss, perlite, and fertilizer

pH

6.3 to 6.8

Container Size

0.33 CF

Feeds up to

6 months

Weight

5.05 pounds

Fertilizer Analysis

0.16 – 0.21 – 0.11

Highlight Features

Expand up to 3X when water absorbed & create up to 90% more air space

With the magical expansion, the Miracle-Gro 70733430 Potting Soil is great for those with large-sized gardens.

Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix – High Water Retention Ability

Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix
Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix
9Outstanding

Pros:

  • Made from organic materials
  • Perfect fertilizer ratio
  • Great for all indoor and outdoor containers
  • No bugs spotted
  • Safe for use around pets

Cons:

  • Not budget-friendly

The Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix is enriched with nutrients guaranteeing your vegetables’ good growth and a much bumper harvest.

What makes this product by Espoma outstanding is the Myco-Tone formula determining the amount of water that your plants need.

As this 8-quart organic potting mix retains a huge amount of water, the soil is always moist enough for your greens to grow and flourish.

Moreover, this formula makes use of up to 11 mycorrhizae strains to multiple the growing speed of your herbs without any stress. Also, it comes in handy when you want to move your container outsides or to another pot.

Though this rich blend of organic materials is the best option for commercial planters for indoor plant growing, most gardeners will find it pretty expensive.

Product Specifications

Primary Ingredient(s)

Peat moss, peat humus, Espoma's Myco-tone, worm castings, and perlite

pH

6.3 to 6.8

Container Size

8 quart

Feeds up to

6 months

Weight

4.9 lbs

Fertilizer Analysis

0.02 – 0.07 – 0.02

Highlight Features

High water retention ability & enhanced with myco-tone water saving formula.

Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix works well for commercial planters who want to grow vegetables and herbs indoors.

Premium All Purpose Potting Soil - Top Rated

Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
9Outstanding

Pros:

  • Easy and ready to use from the bag
  • Designed to improve herbs’ performance
  • Suitable for all outdoor gardening requirements

Cons:

  • A bit heavier than other products

If you are in search of something expansive to use with almost every single potted plant, whether it is perennials or annuals, shrubs, vegetables, or herbs, the Premium All Purpose Potting Soil is your best bet.

What we have to praise about this potting soil by Proven Winners is that it is fertilizer-free. Just a small amount of it can sweeten up the soil some more, thus giving your greens a healthy perfect start.

What matters, though is the medium weight of the Proven Winners premium soil. Unlike other light and airy potting soils that can be effective without any difficulty, this a bit heavier soil is less appealing than others as it might require some extra care.

Product Specifications

Primary Ingredient(s)

50-60% Canadian sphagnum peat Moss, processed softwood bark, perlite, dolomite lime, a controlled release fertilizer, and a wetting agent

pH

N/A

Container Size

1.5cu ft

Feeds up to

6 months

Weight

8.45 lbs

Fertilizer Analysis

N/A

Highlight Features

Medium-weight mix with excellent air porosity and drainage

Premium All Purpose Potting Soil is a cost-efficient product for various kinds of plants and potting situations as well as any DIY plant projects.

FAQs

How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Herbs? - Guide For Beginners

Can you use potting mix for herbs?

Garden soils - black earth or topsoil, even they are rich with nutrients, are just too heavy and dense for any potted herbs. To make them fluffier and lighter, you can well mix good, sterile potting soil with perlite at the 2-1 ratio.

Can I use cactus soil for herbs?

Rich in nutrients and able to retain a decent amount of water with a perfect acidity level for herb’s optimal growth, cactus soil can be used for different types of potted greens.

How often should herbs be watered?

Adjust the watering schedule according to the season and each type of herb’s need. For example, mint, sweet cicely, parsley, angelica, lovage, and bergamot prefer soil which is fairly moist while the Mediterranean herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme do best in slightly moist soil only.

Normally, you should water more moderately and regularly on hot summer days and less in the rainy season (about once a week). Bear in mind that watering herbs is to keep your soil constantly moist, but don’t overwater to make it soggy.

Rather than frequently light soaking, you should water your herbs occasionally enough to not make them wilt or stressed without drawing their roots to the ground.

What herbs can you plant together?

Parsley, cilantro, tarragon, and basil share requirements for lots of moisture in common while sage, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, lavender, and thyme are sun lovers that you can plant together.

Can you mix garden soil and potting soil?

Though garden and potting soils boast distinct compositions, you can mix some garden soil with a homemade potting soil for bulk contribution without encouraging nutrient deficiencies and pH changes.

Can you reuse potting soil for herbs?

Old potting soil can cause your herbs some drainage problems. Fortunately, it does not take you much time and effort to rejuvenate it.

Conclusion

No matter how severe the weather in your area is, if you know how to choose the best potting soil for herbs, your greens will absolutely have much potential for thriving.

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