Best Potting Soil For Vegetables of 2020: Top 6 Picks

Last update: Oct 25, 2020

Do you know that potting soil is essential in providing a healthy housing for your harvest?

Without the best potting soil for vegetables, you won't be able to get the freshest home-grown plants.

Here are the best potting soil for vegetables you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
  • Best for Top Growth: Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
  • Best for Flushing Harmful Bacteria: Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants for All Plant Types
  • Best for Root Growth: Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Organic and Natural Potting Mix
  • Best for Starting Cuttings: Miracle-Gro 74978507 8Qt Seed Starter
  • Best for Moisture Retention: Black Gold 16 Quart All Organic Potting Soil
6 Best Potting Soil For Vegetables
Best Overall
Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
    Best for Top Growth
    Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
      Best for Flushing Harmful Bacteria
      Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants for All Plant Types
        Best for Root Growth
        Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Organic and Natural Potting Mix
          Best for Starting Cuttings
          Miracle-Gro 74978507 8Qt Seed Starter
            Best for Moisture Retention
            Black Gold 16 Quart All Organic Potting Soil

              Best Overall: Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix

              Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
              Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix
              9.8Outstanding
              Pros
              • Organic use

              • Unique formula of coconut coir

              • Contain Burpee plant foot

              • Feed up to 3 months

              • Hold water well

              Cons
              • Prone to infestation

              This Burpee Potting Mix utilizes a unique formula from a renewable resource which is coconut coir. It's basically the husk and shavings from coconuts.

              Of course, it's enriched with Burpee plant food for juicier harvests.

              As gardeners, we always want to stay as organic as possible. So, from the ingredient stand-point, this Burpee mix has the advantage of being organic.

              Now, in practice, I can tell by looking at the soil. There are little white things called perlite in the soil.

              We do want to have that in our growing mix. It helps prevent the coconut coir from compacting. And the reason we don't want the coconut coir to compact is that we need the soil to be exceptionally well-draining, loose, and fluffy.

              This mix has a nice spongy texture to it. It actually makes it difficult to overwater.

              It is also a budget bag containing 8 quarts usable in up to 3 months with less than 20 bucks.

              Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Coconut coir

              pH

              6.5

              Container Size

              8 quarts

              Fertilizer Analysis

              N/A

              Highlight Features

              Coconut coir controls moisture and holds more water. Contain Burpee plant food. Feed to 3 months

              Verdict

              Overall, this mix is going to do an outstanding job of providing proper drainage and absorbing moisture for more delicious vegetables.

              Best for Top Growth: Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

              Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
              Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
              9.6Outstanding
              Pros
              • Reasonable price

              • Long feeding

              • Contain key nutrients

              • Absorb water and drain well

              Cons
              • Not organic listed

              • Rocks in the soil

              When topping a plant, you need soil that provides sufficient nutrients for the plant to grow more colas. In this case, I suggest this Miracle-Gro potting mix. It helps you grow your plants twice as big.

              The soil will keep your vegetables fed for up to 6 months. Essentially, the soil provides anchorage and support for the roots. It also offers proper drainage in the container.

              All of those factors give a firm foundation and key nutrients for spectacular results.

              As far as I'm concerned, I haven't seen any flies or gnats in my soil. If any, it's not coming from the soil.

              There are actually rocks in this mix, small and big ones but they don't matter to me. It sucks water in and holds well without causing any growth of mold. Or at least I haven't been experiencing.

              Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Soil, bark, peat moss, phosphates, nitrogen, potash, etc.

              pH

              N/A

              Container Size

              16 quarts

              Fertilizer Analysis

              N/A

              Highlight Features

              Feed plants up to 6 months. Grow plants twice as big

              Verdict

              If you're topping your vegetation and want them to grow fast, fat, and juicy, apply this soil.

              Best for Flushing Harmful Bacteria: Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants for All Plant Types

              Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants for All Plant Types
              Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants for All Plant Types
              9.2Outstanding
              Pros
              • Organic mix

              • Mycorrhizae aids roots

              • Great for veggies and fruits

              • Fluffy a well-drain soil

              Cons
              • Have wood chips

              • Smelly

              The Organic Potting Mix has been my favorite soil when it comes to treating bacteria.

              Notably, it contains mycorrhizae, which is a fungus that attaches itself to the roots to help the plant uptake nutrients and moisture. It is vital for the plant's healthy growth systems.

              But why is it important?

              After times of cultivation, we unintentionally strip the topsoil off and destroy the good bacteria in it. So, we need to put it back.

              Here you are

              This Organic Potting Mix comes with an all-natural mix enriched with mycorrhizae to aid the root growth. It flushes out harmful bacteria like how our gut works. Thus, it enhances the nutrition levels in the soil yielding larger production.

              What's great is these essential nutrients are optimized for edible plants, which target your precious veggies.

              Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants for All Plant Types Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Coconut coir, composted pine bark, peat moss, perlite

              pH

              8 quarts

              Container Size

              N/A

              Fertilizer Analysis

              N/A

              Highlight Features

              Unique mix contains Mycorrhizae enhance root establishment. Worm casting enzyme acts as a flushing agent

              Verdict

              This organic soil protects the roots from bag bacteria and optimizes the health of the plants for higher yield.

              Best for Root Growth: Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Organic and Natural Potting Mix

              Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Organic and Natural Potting Mix
              Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Organic and Natural Potting Mix
              8.8Great
              Pros
              • Keep plants from dehydrating

              • Control moisture

              • Absorb water well

              • Organic listed

              Cons
              • Not on the budget side

              Mopey plants with roots that suck water need soil that hydrates them all the time. This mix with water converse will protect your plants against dehydration as well as overwatering.

              More than that, the soil contains yucca and coir that are responsible for providing unique moisture control qualities. It imbibes liquid like a sponge and transfers nutrients to grow the roots.

              In reality, when I add water, the soil expands 3 times. So, as adding the soil, you need to fill water and soil concurrently gradually.

              When opening the bag, the soil has a pleasant rich earthly smell to it. This 16-quart bag works well in both containers and ground. It is also ideal for using to raise planting beds.

              Later I found that the ingredients also include alfalfa meal, bone meal, kelp meal, and earthworm castings for the sake of the root.

              As a result, I got my potted tomatoes grown to its size without spotting too many bugs coming from the soil.

              Miracle-Gro Nature's Care Organic and Natural Potting Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Sphagnum peat moss, processed forest products, coir, perlite, organic fertilizer and yucca

              pH

              N/A

              Container Size

              16 quarts

              Fertilizer Analysis

              NPK

              Highlight Features

              Organic soil with yucca and coir that keeps excellent moisture and liquid, keeping plants watered

              Verdict

              It's great to have such a potting mix that keeps water in which is essentially beneficial for root-growth.

              Best for Starting Cuttings: Miracle-Gro 74978507 8Qt Seed Starter

              Miracle-Gro 74978507 8Qt Seed Starter
              Miracle-Gro 74978507 8Qt Seed Starter
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Formulated for fast root growth

              • Fluffy when watered

              • Lightweight formula

              • Retain water well

              Cons
              • Not wholly organic

              • Sphagnum peat moss is not a renewable resource

              Again, Miracle-Gro is taking one more slot.

              This seed starting mix is a charm for starting cuttings. It features a special formula for fast root development at the early stage of a stem. That helps prepare for later growth and maximum production.

              Because the process of starting plant cuttings requires a good medium, this Miracle-Gro soil adds the brand's patented plant food.

              The formulation comes with sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and fertilizer.

              In fact, this soil bag doesn't feel as spongy as the Burpee when I balled it. But still, it's a very good mix from a visual and feeling comparison.

              Miracle-Gro 74978507 8Qt Seed Starter Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, Miracle-Gro plant food

              pH

              N/A

              Container Size

              8 quarts

              Fertilizer Analysis

              NPK

              Highlight Features

              Designed well for seedling and cutting. Enriched formula for fast root growth

              Verdict

              Anytime I think of potting soil for growing from stems, this Miracle-Gro Starting Mix comes to the mind. It is a repeating purchase.

              Best for Moisture Retention: Black Gold 16 Quart All Organic Potting Soil

              Black Gold 16 Quart All Organic Potting Soil
              Black Gold 16 Quart All Organic Potting Soil
              8.6Great
              Pros
              • OMRI listed organic

              • A lot of peat moss

              • Well water retention

              • Loamy mix

              • Budget

              Cons
              • May develop gnats

              Many herbs and veggies are in high demand for water. Thus you need soil that keeps moisture in well for as long as possible.

              I used this BlackGold bag for my basil and lettuce pots. It's light and fluffy soil with lots of air in it. There is a lot of perlite in it, so it's going to give your plants plenty of room to breathe, not become waterlogged and drown.

              Squeezing the soil, I could feel it's very spongy thanks to peat moss. It is peat moss that keeps water in, while making the soil light and fluffy.

              Actually, I intended to add more worm castings. But after a while potting the soil, it was not necessary.

              You can grow virtually anything in this soil, especially plants that are drown-tolerable.

              Black Gold 16 Quart All Organic Potting Soil Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Earthworm castings, perlite, pumice, and organic fertilizer

              pH

              6.5

              Container Size

              16 quarts

              Fertilizer Analysis

              NPK

              Highlight Features

              Plenty of peat moss to retain moisture. Listed for organic use. Rich and loamy for all gardening applications

              Verdict

              This bag is just well worth the money and I'm going to keep buying it for my moisture-loving veggies.

              How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Vegetables?

              When speaking of soil, many people think that's something they dig from the ground. But potting soil is very different from the actual in-ground soil.

              Potting mix is mostly made of organic materials that takes up about 45% of the whole blend. The rest is inorganic materials, water and air.

              What Is Potting Soil?

              Before jumping to buying the right potting soil, let's learn a bit about potting mix.

              Like I mentioned before, the potting mix is actually composed of organic materials like peat. This peat is usually labeled as stagnant peat moss. It makes up the majority of the mix.

              Some other potting mixes will offer coir instead because of some environmental reasons.

              As a fast, those two things are the base. Then, a small amount of perlite is added; after that can be small pieces of bark, some twigs, sometimes, vermiculite. Those are amendments. When added to the base, they change the soil's characteristics.

              Now is the important part.

              Here is what I think when I'm choosing the potting medium.

              Plants Anatomy

              This is the first thing you should think about. Ask:

              • Where did the plant come from?

              • What is an appropriate habitat?

              • What kind of conditions does it like?

              Many vegetations like high humidity. So, of course, they need a well-draining mix. And you don't want to start out with a mix designed for dry-preferred vegetables like beans, pepper, asparagus, tomato, or okra.

              A bag of all-purpose mix with peat moss, some perlite, and organic material can serve the plants well.

              Nutrition and Moisture Retention

              It's quite important to have the soil retaining moist and essential nutrients to feed the plants.

              Look for soil with ingredients that hold liquid well like peat moss, coir, or yucca. Either it's organic or non-organic, draining soil will make you water more frequently.

              Which Brands Make The Best Potting Soil For Vegetables?

              Burpee

              Burpee Seed Company is a leading brand in supplying quality seeds and plants in America. It's no wonder that they know how to make the best potting soil for vegetables that bring high production. At Burpee, the innovation lies in the breathtaking results. There is not much to say but highly recommend this brand.

              Miracle-Gro

              This is a repeating brand name on my list because they have a wide range of potting mixes that serve each particular growth. Plants fed with potting soil from Miracle-Gro are expected to have a miraculous development. Particularly, the vegetation is usually bigger in size and production. Try and see it yourself.

              FAQs

              What is the difference between soil and potting mix?

              So, can you just dig up some dirt, put it in the container, and start growing?

              Absolutely no.

              In soil basics, potting soil and potting mix are different.

              Soil is an essential material in a plant's life. In nature, it takes years for fertile soil to be created. It happens only after natural ingredients start to decompose like leaves and flowers. Those materials will turn to nutrients to the soil.

              Native soil, especially urban topsoil, is shallow and lack in nutrition. It usually has the wrong pH, plus either is too heavy or too dry. It's also deficient in oxygen penetration.

              Or if the soil is too porous, it doesn't hold enough water for proper plant growth.

              That's where bagged soil comes in to control that your plants have what they need. We call it potting soil.

              It's a medium containing formulation to maximum plants' development. The soil packs a number of beneficial ingredients that are healthy for the growth of the soil.

              In general, the potting mix provides a richer nutritional environment than plain soil. However, using a potting solution will cost you a bit of expense as the soil needs to be replaced periodically.

              Can you use compost instead of potting soil?

              Adding compost to garden soil can make a good recipe for your particular plant. But in all scenarios, this type of mix is not optimal if you don't have efficient experience.

              One of the major concerns with compost is it doesn't have the firmness to hold plants when it's windy. But if you have the veggies covered, there should be no problem.

              Anyhow, it's a good idea but make sure you know how to craft the mix with compost correctly.

              Can I mix garden soil and potting mix?

              Yes. These two types of soil can be mixed together in a few cases. For example, you will need to raise the bed in the ground with native soil and potting soil at the top layer.

              For the best result, you will need to mix compost to the garden soil to provide a more suitable mix for bedding.

              At the right ratio, you should have an optimized mix for the plants you are growing. Try to consider other factors like the type of plant, location, and your own time to obtain the best blend.

              Can I use garden soil in containers?

              As you know, garden soil is very dense which means it is not well-drained. If you fill it in a container, there will be fewer air vents for circulation.

              Many cases have shown that growing plants in pots filled with garden soil resulted in roots choking and drowning.

              Ideally, garden soil is more trusted for in-ground growth. Its most popular application is to be used as a layer of the raised bed.

              What is the white stuff in potting soil?

              It's perlite, organic material in the combination of potting mix. Perlites are white particles in the medium. Basically, perlites are volcanic rocks heated to 1,800 F to create a porous, lightweight, and sterile material.

              Its role in the potting mix is to provide better drainage. However, the material doesn't hold moisture or nutrients well.

              The other white material is vermiculite, which is heated mica added to help the soil retain moisture and nutrients. It also helps aerate the soil.

              Conclusion

              Now, have you recognized that dirt alone is so interesting to know?

              That's why gardening is not only a hobby but also art.

              And the art of choosing the best potting soil for vegetables is a worthy thing to know. I hope you have got the basics of dirt and understand what your plants want.

              If you're going to ask more about potting soil, garden soil, soil for plants, fruits, vegs, perennials, anything, please drop the comments below. I'm right here.

              Happy gardening.


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