Family Food Garden may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
With all of the different types of soil available on the market it can be hard to know which is the right one for what you need. To add to the confusion, it isn’t always called potting soil, it is sometimes referred to as potting mix or potting compost.
You can plant herbs, vegetables, and flowers in pots in this soil. This is a popular solution for those that like to garden and nurture plants all year round that can be taken indoors during the winter. Different potting soils contain different ingredients so it is important to know what your plants require.
Did you know that some potting soils contain soybean, seaweed, and hummus? Do all plants require these ingredients in their soil? The answer is no, not all plants, but most plants won’t mind them.
We are going to talk about the five best potting soils of 2020 and pinpoint their pros and cons, as well as talk about what we like and dislike about the product in general. By the end of this review, you should have a better idea of what soil you want to get for your plants
|1. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil
|2. Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Planting Mix
|3. FarmFox Happy Frog Potting Soil
|4. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix and All Purpose Plant Food
|5. Sun-Gro Black and Gold Soil
Our Best Potting Soil Reviews and Comparisons
1. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil
FoxFarm Ocean Forest organic potting soil is a rather light and airy soil full of earthworm castings, Pacific Northwest sea-going fish and crab meal, bat guano, and much more. It has been designed to reinforce healthy growth habits and sturdy plants.
- Contains 12 quarts of nutritional ingredients
- pH adjusted between 6.3 to 6.8
- Encourages strong branching
- Each bag contains 11.9 grams of soil
What We Like About FoxFarm Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil
The soil holds moisture well without drowning the plants and the roots also stay healthy and free of pests, mold, and mildew. It’s appropriate for land plants and aquariums. This soil will not cloudy up the water in an aquarium.
What We Don’t Like About FoxFarm Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil
Although the soil is advertised as organic, note that the product hasn’t yet received official organic certification. Also, due to it containing only natural compost, you may find gnats in the bag when you open it.
- For gardens and aquariums
- Hinders mold growth
- Promotes sturdy natural growth
- pH suits fertilizer uptake
- Not certified organic
- FVery clumpy
2. Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Planting Mix
Use this soil in pots or in the ground, whatever you need at the time. It stays airy and gives the roots space to grow while holding in 50% more water than other potting soils.
- Suited for the ground or in pots
- Feeds up to 6 months
- Plants grow 3 times bigger
- Expands by 3 times when wet
- Holds 50% more water
- 90% more air space
What We Like About Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Planting Mix
The soil really does expand when you water the plant, so less is more. It is so full of plant goodness that it can revive a half-dead plant and bring it back to good health within weeks.
What We Don’t Like About Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Planting Mix
The soil can start to mold and become inhabitable for the plant when not mixed and cared for over a long period of time. It isn’t the type of soil that can be potted and left alone to do its own thing.
- Soil is not dense
- One bag goes a long way
- Easy to use
- Can be mixed with other potting soil brands
- Has a tendency to grow mold
- Vegetables do not like the soil much
3. FarmFox Happy Frog Potting Soil
The soil is ready to use straight out of the bag. The pH levels have been adapted for optimum nutrient uptake.
- Recommended for container gardens
- pH adjusted
- Ready to use from the bag
- Promotes strong plant structures
- Full of beneficial bacteria
What We Like About FarmFox Happy Frog Potting Soil
The soil doesn’t stay wet after you water your plants, instead, the roots of the plant drink the water right away. Better yet, you won’t find insects and other uninvited guests in the bag.
What We Don’t Like About FarmFox Happy Frog Potting Soil
Some plants that require high levels of calcium or magnesium will become deficient very quickly in this soil unless it is mixed with fertilizers. In recent months the soil has changed and is mixed in with sticks and pieces of wood.
- Plant seeds directly in the soil
- pH ready
- Insect free
- Stabilizes roots
- Packed with wood
- Looks like cheap garden soil
4. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix and All Purpose Plant Food
For indoor and outdoor potted plants, use the plant food mix once every 1-2 weeks on all of your plants to boost growth.
- Food is water-soluble
- Protects against over and under watering
- Moisture control
What We Like About Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix and All Purpose Plant Food
The mix feeds the plants continuously for 6 months. It’s great for new gardeners as it self-corrects over and under watering issues.
What We Don’t Like About Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix and All Purpose Plant Food
This particular soil has a reputation of being plagued with fungus, insects, and eggs. If you don’t sift through the soil before using it, you may be planting with fungus present in the soil.
- Plants grow fast in this soil
- Controls moisture
- Comes with plant food
- Corrects watering mistakes
- Can contain fungus and insects
- Can kill your plants
5. Sun-Gro Black and Gold Soil
An organic soil mix containing peat moss and forest humus as well as more natural ingredients.
- Contains screen worm castings
- Contains fertilizer
- Optimum aeration
What We Like About Sun-Gro Black and Gold Soil
Can plant outdoor seeds or use it for potting indoor plants. The soil drains well and the plants’ roots do not flood if unintentionally over watered.
What We Don’t Like About Sun-Gro Black and Gold Soil
Water runs straight through the soil to the bottom of the pot, this isn’t good because you may over water your plant unintentionally. The soil is better for outside use and for indoor potted plants.
- Reasonable bag size
- Easy to use
- Has basic plant nutrients
- Soil is loose
- Dries up fast
In our opinion, Miracle-Gro Expand and Gro soil is the overall best choice for potting soil. You can use it for both your indoor and outdoor potted plants, as well as plant seeds directly in the soil.
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.