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10 Best Potting Soils

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Last Updated on January 10, 2021 by Aileen Valdivia

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Last Updated on January 10, 2021 by Aileen Valdivia

One of the most important parts of growing cannabis is choosing which type of soil is best to use. This depends on a variety of factors, such as your strains genetics and the climate that you live in. Certain strains prefer different types of soils and will either thrive or suffer depending on what you use. The part where you do your due diligence and find out exactly what your strains desire is on you, but we are here to help you choose with our list of the best potting soils available for a variety of unique needs each plant requires.


10 Best Potting Soils in 2021


1. FoxFarm Ocean Forest All Natural

best potting soils - FoxFarm Ocean Forest

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Fox Farm is a well-known brand in the soil community, especially when it comes to beginner growers and also experienced green-thumbs. Developed by Sunlight Supply Company, the manufacturer has a well trusted and well-established brand image. The Ocean Forest product is a powerful blend of “top shelf” worm castings, bat guano, crab and fish meal. It is a light and airy texture due to forest humus, sandy loam, and sphagnum peat moss ingredients. This is a great soil for any stage of cannabis growth. It is recommended by users to not supplement your soil for the first few weeks as this soil has, essentially, everything your plant needs in beginning vegetative growth. It is always wise to supplement your soil further on down the line with some flowering nutrients.

Is This Soil Organic?

When it comes to soil and natural chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus, the meaning of organic is a little bit confusing. In chemistry, organic means any chemical that contains carbon. For the general public, being organic means not to have any potentially harmful genetically modified organisms being used in the product. To our understanding, this product does not source any ingredients from chemicals or products that have been genetically engineered.

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are essential for plant growth. Some of these nutrients include but are not limited to copper, manganese, zinc, and iron. Fox Farm ensures that your plants in all stages of growth get the vital nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy grow-cycle.

Pros

  • PH adjusted between 6.3 and 6.8 for optimal nutrient uptake
  • No nitrogen fertilizers are necessary at first
  • Uses Pacific Northwest fish and crab meal
  • Comes with an ample supply of nutrients for all stages of plant growth

Cons

  • Hard on seedlings, best to start with coco coir or Happy Frog first
  • Price of this specific product is on the high end

2. FoxFarm Happy Frog

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Fox Farm is at it again with our number two rated soil! This is a great soil in addition to our first choice. This particular soil is filled with beneficial microbes to help your plant flourish, mycorrhizal fungi, and sediment that drastically increases root development. The microbes are very helpful in breaking down organic matter in the soil thus making it more easily accessible for the plant to absorb the nutrients. The Ph is adjusted like all Fox Farms products in order to allow the roots to uptake as many beneficial nutrients as possible within a short amount of time available.

Organic?

Most if not all of Fox Farms products are going to be sustainable and organic. This is an organic product and is great for seedlings and vegetative growth. Once the plant goes into the flowering stage, it is suggested to supplement it with a flowering fertilizer. Fox farm realizes the importance of sourcing ingredients that are sustainable and organic and understands there are a lot of people that desire organic products so they try to meet the needs of everyone.

Beneficial Microbes

This is a very important part of growing plants, especially in cannabis cultivation. The beneficial microbes are necessary to help break down nutrients and make them more readily available for the root structure to utilize. This leads to better nutrient absorption, healthier flower stages as well as a strong vegetative growth cycle. Because the microbes help in making the nutrients more readily available for absorption, this then leads to a much healthier plant later on down the line.

Pros

  • Contains beneficial microbes and mycorrhizal fungi
  • Ph adjusted to allow maximum root growth
  • Recommended for container gardens
  • Ready to use right out of the bag

Cons

  • Some customers say the Ph was not adjusted properly
  • Some customers say they had bugs in their product

3. Burpee Natural & Organic

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If you choose to grow with this high-quality Burpee Premium soil, you can’t go wrong. The best part is the way it slow feeds your plants, it releases a large amount of nutrients upon first planting then releases smaller amounts over the next few months. You will want to add more every 3 months to get the best results when growing. Working best above ground, this is the go-to ‘above ground’ soil. Of course, it’s affordable and heavily desirable – %100 organic relieving you of any unwanted impact on the environment.

How Organic Is It?

Let’s just say your carbon footprint is in-the-clear with this potting soil. Tested to be completely organic by quality inspection. Plus, it’s been enriched with coconut coir a fibrous material made from coconuts that assist in sustaining water in between waterings. Coconut coir is sustainable and renewable and really steps outside your average box or pot.

Drainage and Ingredients

This soil has superb drainage ability and is also desirable for those plants that you need to continuously monitor for water consumption. Given the ingredient list, it is well suited for plants that desire soil that does not hold moisture for too long. The coconut coir in this product also allows you to better monitor water consumption. Given the ability to delegate water sources equally, coconut coir is a great ingredient for those plants that need a continuous watered environment but also great for plants that desire superb drainage ability.

Pros

  • No bugs or gnats
  • Comparable to Miracle Grow
  • Great for indoor plants
  • Seedlings thrive in this soil
  • Holds liquid longer

Cons

  • Too light on Perlite
  • Customers reported mold in bag sometimes

4. Espoma AP8 Organic

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It’s no wonder this is the top choice for customers. Epsoma created the newbie-friendly potting soil, it’s best for anyone just getting started. Enhanced with specially formulated Mycro-Tone Water Saving Formula, that assists with all transplants and big-time water savings. During transplants, mycro-tone reduces the shock that could otherwise diminish liveliness in plant life. In addition, this soil allows customers to use %30 less water in total.

Reduces Drought Stress

Drought happens with lack of water, that’s one thing you aren’t going to experience when you go with Epsoms special blend. We all know it’s possible to get ahead of drought by introducing more water, but what about combating drought in other ways, too? How about we help the plant’s roots grow bigger, build overall tolerance to drought and necessary defenses against various naturally occurring stresses that the environment introduces to plant life? With this soil, you can grow stronger more able plants all the way from roots to their flowers.

Designed for flower and vegetation

So you want to grow healthy hearty plants that produce plenty of flowers? This is the soil you’ll want to implement then. Designed for all thing’s organic gardening and high production. Rich with nutrients, it enhances soil it’s added to. And if you plan to use this soil alone, you can rest assured knowing that it will help seedlings take off from the increased fertilizer intake that Mycro-tone has to offer included with this blend.

Pros

  • Use %30 less water
  • Great for newbies
  • Assists in water retention
  • Reduces shock during replant

Cons

  • Will stay too wet in minimal drain pots
  • Mold has been reported

5. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Smart Naturals

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This won’t be the last time that FoxFarms soil pops up on our list of the best. We understand that they mean business when it comes to balancing the right components to make the best soil. It’s a lightweight formula that allows for superb airflow, that way you won’t have to worry about mold or fungus. Compiled with powerful nutrients from earthworm castings to sandy loam. This blend is best for plants that live in containers, but don’t be shy about trying it out for indoor and outdoor plants alike.

Perfect PH

This is great to use right out of the bag, you don’t need to worry about adding extra nitrogen to your soil or adjusting the PH. It’s PH of 6.3 has been adjusted to 6.8, for the best fertilizer intake. This soil creates the perfect habitat for plants.

A Powerhouse Blend

Okay, we’ve read about some soils with added nutrients and composition. But this blend tops the other soils as far as variety of nutrient source goes. We’re talking; castings from earthworms, peat moss, crab meal, bat guano, decomposed leaves (forest humus) as well as sand silt and clay, which allows for better drainage.

Pros

  • Pairs great with liquid plant food
  • Ready to use out of the bag
  • Aerated texture
  • Loaded with essential nutrients

Cons

  • Considered high price by some
  • Big rocks and bark found in mixture

6. Black Gold All Organic

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By now most everyone has at least heard of Black Gold. In fact, I recall my mother planting in the summer and asking me to drag her over the bag of Black Gold potting soil. Now while this is a nice memory, it means pure reputation of success for their company. Established in 1985, this company has been long working to formulate the perfect potting soil, for gardeners like you. This loamy rich blend satisfies any kind of plant life.

With Fertilizer

This well-balanced blend of soil already has the fertilizer added to it. How convenient is this for gardeners who know they need that extra boost in their own garden, but need to save their efforts for the real work. Fertilizer helps plants grow a sturdy branch and root system.

Use Anywhere

This soil has a wonderful drainage system, you can use it anywhere and have good results. Some soils don’t work well in hanging baskets not absorbing and retaining water – Black Gold kept this in mind with this formula. According to loyal customers, this is a well-balanced bag of dirt, in high regard to great aeration and water retention.

Pros

  • Rated 5 stars from experienced gardeners
  • No mold or fungus growth
  • A good soil to add in slow seasons
  • Good for starts
  • Well packaged

Cons

  • Flying bugs have been reported in bad bags
  • Too dense for some

7. Roots Organics ROD75

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Coco fiber-based, ready to use, with an extra enjoyable packaging. Gardeners of varying expertise enjoy working with roots organic original potting soil. It’s a unique combination of coco fiber and coir makes it a great option for soil that needs a good drainage system. This truly is an original that encourages the best yields from healthy plants.

Long fibers

Someone at roots must of thinking really outside the box, extra-long coco/coir fibers that are repeatedly washed, and composted for over twenty-four months. This might be a mouthful, but there is good reason for the fancy methods. Compost is a natural fertilizer and washing the fibers many times make for a nice low EC.

Amended Perfectly

Your soil needs to be amended in order for plants to fully thrive. That means the sources of what you use to amend soil matters. This bag offers amending from a variety of sources such as; fish bone meal, green sand, mycorrhizae, premium earthworm castings, humic acid, glacial rock dust, and more.

Pros

  • Added perlite and pumice
  • High-quality coco fiber used
  • Pre-composted
  • The bag says what’s actually in it
  • Drains well and retains moisture for days

Cons

  • Spendy
  • A lot of perlite

8. BushDoctor FX14100 Coco Loco

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The plants are in control with Coco Loco Potting Mix. The way that the coir behaves in this mix is that of a little sponge, offering water and nutrients but never overgiving. The plant literally draws out the nutrients as it needs them to grow. This soil is the ideal mix of proper drainage and water retention. Insects won’t bother and mold won’t grow in a low humidity dense environment, which is a huge relief. No one likes a pesky bug ruining all the fun gardening is.

More Than its Weight

I bet you haven’t heard of soil being able to hold its weight, and still drain well? Or maybe you have, if not you have now. Coco Loco’s soil that has extra long coir fibers like this one here can hold more than its weight in water and still drain very well. The coir fibers make it possible by acting as sponges do, holding water while remaining aerated.

Low Mold Risk

Low humidity means low risk for mold and other fungus issues. Things like root rot simply don’t grow well without that extra humidity, but your plants do. Thriving in an environment that moisture is low, is best for plants so they can operate at a maximum level of losing moisture while also absorbing it.

Pros

  • Amended with high-quality materials
  • Low humidity
  • Cuts watering back
  • No gnats or bugs

Cons

  • Reported tears in bag upon arrival

9. Compressed Organic Plant Magic

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Plant magic, what all avid gardeners are looking for. But, that stems from having all the right components combined strategically in one perfectly textured bag of soil. Since that is a lot of work, Organic Plant Magic did the “figuring out what the best soil” is, that way you wouldn’t have to. A blend that is truly alive, where a little bit goes a long way.

Completely non-toxic

Super boost your plants with the quality nutrients this soil has to offer. Offering %100 non-toxic, organic, and biodegradable this bag will keep the greenest thumb happy. Chemicals that can be found in certain potting soils cause harm to the human body, to a completely chemical-free option is nice in today’s world – especially for families, kids, the environment, and pets.

Less is More

Compressed soil is quite a clever thing, this soil expands up to 7 times its size when water is added. So be ready for the light carrying loads and saved space in the shed. This bag is basically mini because it’s been so compressed. Because it is so ready to hydrate everything in its vicinity, it delivers nutrients, air, and water to the plants at a rapid speed.

Pros

  • Holds %50 more water
  • Produces a ton of soil
  • Hydrates plants quickly
  • Very lightweight easy to carry
  • Fun to watch grow

Cons

  • The texture is like sawdust at first

10. Natures Care Incredible Expanding

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A simple organic formula by Miracle Grow. A well-known brand of soil that now offers an organic version of its soil for long-time devoted customers. Miracle grow has a well-established reputation from consumers all over the globe. This version of soil is extra special, it expands three-times its size, takes less water to keep plants thriving, and is made completely from renewable resources. For everyone looking to leave a minimal carbon footprint – this is the soil to keep your mind at peace. Simple, yet successful for any type of plant no matter what season it is.

Simple Ingredients

Forget the necessary chemicals, and bring on the simple form of quality potting soil. All this bag contains is organic coir and the finest dirt. You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals around your lettuce, herbs, or flowers. This is for the gardeners who know that less can mean so much more.

Expands

You’ll find that this bag of soil is incredibly lightweight, weighing in at 4.2lbs. The entire bag contains .33 cubic feet of compressed soil, but that expands to a generous 1 cubic foot once water is added. It’s a win-win scenario in every aspect! No heavy lifting and more space for other gardening supplies in the storage shed.

Pros

  • Use less water
  • Expands 3x it’s size
  • No chemicals added
  • Expands like it’s supposed to
  • Great drainage

Cons

  • Strong undesirable odor

Our Conclusion

With our list of the best potting soils above, we are one-hundred-percent positive that you will find a soil that will work best for you. We really like Fox Farms brands and have always had great results with their products, especially when used in tandem with the correct fertilizers, but any product listed will serve your purpose if you keep in mind the suggestion to do research and choose wisely. For beginners to seasoned professionals, you can not go wrong with any of the choices listed above.

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