Fool-Proof Soil Mix

by Jeff J.
(Marlboro, NJ)

If you're new to gardening it is easy to feel overwhelmed when you go to the nursery in search of garden soil. There are so many different brands, blends and mixes to choose from and some of the choices are terribly expensive. What to do?

Here's a fool-proof starter mix that works well in raised beds, planters and pots. Plus it's very economical.

Go to your favorite big-box store or local nursery and purchase like amounts (usually available in 40 lb bags) of their generic topsoil, composted manure and composted peat humus. Blend these three together in equal amounts as needed and use for all of your gardening soil applications.

Since the manure and peat humus are already blended into the mix, you shouldn't need to add any ferilizer during your first year of planting.

Here's to your gardening success!

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Fool-Proof Soil Mix
by: David B (Meatless Living)

You're right, Tom. The best way to get started with backyard gardening is to dive right in and get your hands a bit dirty. Even if you make a few mistakes, you'll soon have a learning experience under your belt and to your credit!

My favorite gardening reference is "Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers For Metro Houston"
by Bob Randall, Ph.D. It's written for use on the Texas Gulf Coast but would probably also be appropriate for the central Florida area.

In the book Bob Randall says that the leaf problem is almost always a fungal problem. If you don't want to use fungicides, your best approach is to keep your vegetable beds well mulched throughout the year and don't overwater in the sprinigtime.

The book's a bit pricey, but you can buy it on Amazon if it's not available at your local nurseries.

by: Tom

I like the way this page dove right into the obvious question that brings one here. The mixture to start with , regardless of what type of garden that is going to be planted. I container garden and use whatever I can that can be used to grow things. I find that other than the costs that might make you think it will grow things better, items sold for container gardens don't necessarily work to any great extent. Go on your own, read as much as you think you need and while doing that, grab a container and plant something you'll quickly accumulate enough questions and information to realize you know more than you think you did. If you find a good site that gives information on identifying the problem areas and diseases of the plants ,,, please share it with me and all those who would like to have it. I'm sure they will share theirs with us also Thanks for listening
TOM at

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