Ready-Made Fertilizers and Soils

  • Fox Farm makes amazing soils, which is how I usually go if I need to buy potting soil for housing vegetables. They are also my source of liquid fertilizers.
    • Happy Frog Potting Soil – This potting mix is light, fluffy, and organic. It holds moisture very well and won’t bog down your plants.
    • Liquid Soil Trio – Liquid fertilizers deliver nutrients quickly; this trio of liquid fertilizers has what you need and delivers it fast.
  • Espoma makes amazing organic fertilizers and potting mixes. Here are some of my favorites:
    • Holly-Tone Plant Food – I use it on my Hydrangeas, Azaleas, Gardenias, and Boxwoods
    • Plant-Tone Plant Food – I use it on my veggies and flowers
    • Blood Meal – I add this granule plant food at planting and at regular intervals to add nitrogen to the soil over a longer period.
  • Miracle Grow does have products that will meet a wide range of needs. Here are some of the products I use.
    • Organic Product Line – Priced cheaper than Espoma, but still organic.
    • Miracle Grow Potting Mix – I am not an exclusive organic gardener and I am known to use the regular Miracle Grow Potting Mix from time to time. Tends to dry out a little faster, so keep it watered.

Making Your Soil

Since I have a big three-bin compost system, I end up with a lot of compost that I add to the garden. I also use it to make my potting soil or raised bed. I use the standard Mel’s Mix of 1 part compost/1 part peat moss or coconut coir/1 part vermiculite or perlite.

  • Vermiculite is great, and I prefer it for raised beds. If using it for raised beds, it is best to buy it in bulk. Here is a smaller package if you are using it for potting mix and don’t need that much.
  • Perlite can be easier to find, but I only prefer to use it in my potting mix. I bought this Aero-Soil bulk bag that will last me for several seasons.
  • Peat Moss is still my preferred medium for raised bed mixes, but it is not a renewable source. I buy the Premier Sphagnum Peat Moss.
  • I have been experimenting with Coconut Coir as a Peat Moss substitute. It has been working fine, but I have been putting less medium in the mix than I would with Peat Moss, since the Coconut Coir can be heavier. I tried several dehydrated bricks and the one I like the most is the 10 lb Coco Bliss Premium Coco Coir Pith brick.

Herbicides and Insecticides

  • Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) is a naturally occurring soil borne bacteria that kills larva of pesky larva including cabbage worms, squash vine borer, and hornworm. I like to use this Bonide concentrate as it doesn’t take much for a gallon