buying potting soil

You’re Only As Good As Your Soil

Gorgeous plants and flowers all begin with the best potting soil. This doesn’t always mean the “best” soil money can buy – but more so, the right potting soil.  The right soil is essential for the nourishment and health of your plants. However, with so many factors to consider, making the right choice can be a daunting task.

The wrong conditions will cause your plant’s roots to under-develop. The ideal soil environment will provide plants with nutrients and water, and enough space for the roots to thrive and air to circulate. Different types of plants have different needs, however, in general there are a few important things to consider when buying potting soil.

Soil density:

The best potting soil will be fluffy and light when you first open the bag. If the soil is too dense it can smother the roots. Very dense potting soil provides less drainage, which can lead to mold and rotten roots.

The easiest way to determine the density of potting soil is to simply lift the bag. The heavier the soil is when dry, the more dense it is. Be cautious, though, of bags which feel too light for their size. It may be filled with too much lightweight filler material and may lack nutritional requirements.

“So many times when purchasing potting soil, the so called “bargain buys” offer little nutrition to your flowerbed; you’re better off spending the extra few bucks to get something you know it is going to nurture your plants; especially in Arizona where plants and flowers rely heavily on dense and nutrient rich soil.”

Said Juan Esperanza, owner of East Valley Land.

Soil density

Selecting the correct potting soil

The composition of your potting soil is very important to your plants’ health. The ingredients of the potting soil should be listed, so, read of the bag.

There are several non-organic soil options, which contain slow-release chemical fertilizer pellets. These types of soils use up their nutritional benefits over time, therefore need replacing or additional fertilizing. For a good potting environment, an organic potting soil has a longer lifespan and will continue to provide nutrients  to your plant’s roots for years. There are many types to choose from, such as compost, seaweed, bat guano, manure, soybean or bone meal, worm casings, soft rock phosphate, and many more.

Better quality soil will also include something to increase drainage, such as perlite, wood chips, vermiculite, rice hulls, and/or sand. As mentioned earlier, this should be balanced so that your soil is not too heavy or too light.chemicals in potting soil

Garden soil is not recommended for potted plants as it often contains high levels of manure. When left to sit in pots, this nitrogen heavy soil will burn the roots of your potted plant rather than fertilize them.


Understand your plant’s needs:

Different plants have different requirements. Certain plants and flowers need a more specialized potting soil. For example, plant specific potting soils are available for the likes of orchids, cacti and succulents. These types of plants require far more drainage than a standard potting soil can provide.

Where the plant is positioned will also have a bearing on your choice of potting soil. Plants in direct sunlight will lose water more quickly than plants in the shade. To prevent plants in indirect light from becoming prone to mold, a lighter potting soil should be chosen. A medium-weight potting soil that holds water well should be selected for plants in direct sunlight.

Understand your plant’s needs

When planting seeds, you can encourage germination by using choosing a lighter, airier potting soil. This will allow more sunlight and warmth to reach them. Young plants can then be repotted accordingly, if required.

When in doubt, talk to someone.  A great way to get advice on your planting projects is to talk to the staff in your local garden center. They often have a wealth of knowledge and can provide you with tailored advice based on your potting plans. If there is a farmer’s market near you, take advantage of their planting passion and strike up a conversation. If you’re looking to take-on a large project it may be worth the small investment to hire an arborist for a consultation and develop a detailed plan.

Does your small space (apartment, condos, mobile home) need improvement? It’s all easy to do with decorating and décor tips for a small space to make it roomier. First thing to do, get rid of all the clutter! As Americans, we have a tendency to purchase compulsively; as a result, we end up with areas in our home filed with useless crap.  Take a serious inventory of everything you own and store. The cost to have a small load of items hauled away is a drop in the bucket compared to holding onto unneeded items. You can always rebuy items at a later time, should you find yourself in a larger living space down the road.  Freeing up space is the key to making the most of the tips to follow.

Creating the perfect small space by adjusting everything to your needs, not the opposite. Defining the spaces that are relevant will go a long way in maximizing the space available.

apartment condo decoration

Steps to do before redecorating

You’ll need to do these things first to maximize the space before decorating.

  1. Decluttering will give more space.
  2. Layering with color and accents to add depth in cramped spaces.
  3. Emphasis on curves not linear lines will do for more organic spaces.
  4. Storing and organizing stuff to limit clutter.
  5. Vertical storage in corners or spaces for books and other stuff.
  6. Redefine spaces by separating sections to place furniture and decor.
  7. Furniture that can be stowed together is better than a humongous piece.

Dedecorating small spaces

Some practical suggestions to before decorating small spaces like apartments, condos or mobile homes.

Make an illusion of more space

First off; you’ll need to use light and airy colors to make space look fresh and add plants to inject some green for natural looks. Put mirrors or metallic décor near or opposite the window for a play of light. Another trick is placing curtain rods at 4 to 6 inches to the the ceiling to make a window seem bigger. Addition of stripes or stripped designs like curtains and wallpaper that makes it look less cramped. All furniture a gap away from the wall is better and don’t place humongous furniture where it looks too small!

open space in small living room

Choosing furniture

Get dual-purpose furniture and mobile furniture which is better in a cramped apartment when re-arranging. See-through furniture will define small spaces better and pick furniture with built-in storage space as well. Get rid of any items that are oversize, bulky or too bold.

cabinet organization hack

Alternative ways to increase space

Space is increased with hanging shelves not bulky cabinets that take up more space! Corners shouldn’t be kept empty and walls as alternative storage/display areas for more drawer space too.

increase space

Small spaces get roomier

No matter how small your living space is or whether it’s a apartment, condo or mobile home no need to fret. Decorating and décor tips for a small space will create and maximize whatever space is presently available. Easy to follow tips makes any cramped space look better in no time.

remove clutter from kitchen

Start Ridding Your Kitchen of Clutter Before the Holidays

Six Tips to Renew Your Kitchen Space

Kitchens are a magnet for the mess, here are a few musings on the best way to decrease the wreckage and the undesirable aggregation of things on effectively restricted counter space. Kitchens are a magnet for the mess, here are a few musings on the best way to decrease the wreckage and the undesirable aggregation of things on effectively restricted counter space. Not to mention, for some of us, we may even need professional help, like hoarder clean up services… I would say, “you know who you are”, but that may not be the case. Often times, people who have a habit of collecting unneeded items don’t really realize the effect it has on them, their mental state, and of course, their home’s aesthetics.

1. Use shrouded/storage room.

Unless you utilize something consistently, similar to an espresso creator or toaster, it’s smarter to store little machines in places where they don’t possess significant counter space.  Read More →