WTF is free-draining soil? We use cookie dough to explain.
If you’re like us, you hear ‘free-draining soil’ thrown around on Facebook groups and written on bags of dirt like it’s some innate knowledge we all have. But WTF actually is it!? In this latest release of high quality journalism, we’re going to guide you through the different types of soil using the second closest thing to our hearts...food (plants are first).
WHAT IS THE BEST SOIL FOR HOUSEPLANTS?
Just like our skin, soil has pores; little pockets that hold moisture and oxygen that roots need to survive. If soil is lacking biodiversity (cue Support Pellets), or the soil particles are too fine, there’s too much moisture and not enough oxygen. It means your roots can rot and your plant gets sick. On the flip side, if the soil doesn’t hold moisture, your plant can die of thirst. Poor babies!
SOIL IS STICKY LIKE COOKIE DOUGH
A good texture for delicious baked treats, but not so much for plant-loving soil. If your soil is muddy and sticky, it’s an indication that you need more drainage. Try repotting your plant and water it with Grow Concentrate to boost the microbial content.
SOIL IS SOGGY LIKE WET BREAD
Lots of store bought plants will come in peat moss that holds significant amounts of water for long periods of time. It means your roots can rot quickly if left unchecked. It’s always best to repot your plants with Support Pellets a couple of weeks after bringing them home.
FREE DRAINING SOIL IS LIKE A MOIST SPONGE
Ok so it’s not a food metaphor, but it’s accurate AF! Good free draining soil should feel moist to touch, without being sodden. In warmer months, it should start to dry out after about 5-7 days. When watering, monitor the time it takes for the water to drain from the bottom of your pot. For a 160mm pot, 3 seconds is generally an indicator of well draining soil. Support Pellets and Grow Concentrate both increase your soil's microbial content, making it even better!
SANDY SOIL IS THE TEXTURE OF SALT:
If it takes 1 second or less for water to drain through the soil and out the bottom of your pot, you have hydrophobic soil my friend! It basically means that your soil does not hold water, and your plant is thirsty. For some plants like succulent desert dwellers, this can be great, as their root system is designed to catch quick splashes of water as it runs through the sand. But for most, you’ll want to repot to free-draining soil.
CHUNKY SOIL IS LIKE MUESLI:
Now, for some plants like orchids, barky, twiggy textured soil is ok. But most houseplants will need something a little finer, so consider adding a good quality potting mix and a few tablespoons of Support Pellets to your chunky mix.
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