When you ask the question, “what is organic soil?” you’ll likely be told that organic soil is simply made of natural and decomposing matter and is considered a healthy soil.
This information is true, but it doesn’t really explain what organic soil matter is. We’d like to give you a solid answer to the question of what is organic soil, explain a few common types of soil, and why you should be taking soil samples before adding organic matter.
Keep reading for all of the information you need about organic soil!
Organic Soil vs. Non-Organic Soil
Organic soil, or soil organic matter, may include decaying plant matter, microorganisms, compost, mulch, and manure. It hasn’t been treated with pesticides, has high levels of nutrients and minerals.
Organic soil is often more expensive than non-organic soil and has an acidic pH. This type of soil retains moisture while allowing for excellent drainage but will require occasional amendments due to water washing away nutrients.
Now, let’s take a look at non-organic soil matter. Non-organic soil will typically contain three ingredients: bark, peat, and either vermiculite or perlite. You may also find other recycled material included in non-organic soil or expanded clay aggregate.
Non-organic soil will be free of contaminants that can be naturally found in organic soil; non-organic soil will also have a neutral pH.
Types of Soil
Depending on your location, you will likely have either sand, silt, chalk, or clay soil. If you’re lucky, you’ll have loam soil. Loam soil is considered an ideal soil type and is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay soils.
All of these types of soil can benefit from adding soil organic matter to increase the level of nutrients and moisture.
Should Potting Soil be Organic
There’s no law that says potting soil must be organic. However, organic potting soil will offer your plants better moisture, draining ability, and far more nutrients to help increase growth.
If you happen to be using the soil to grow vegetables, you’ll also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you aren’t consuming items grown in pesticide-treated soil.
So, no, potting soil doesn’t have to be organic, but it is an ideal option with many benefits.
Test Soil Before Adding More
Before adding organic soil to your current soil mix, you may want to take one or several soil samples. A soil test will allow you to determine what deficiencies your soil has and the soil amendments that you need to make. You’ll also learn which type of soil organic material needs to be added.
Now that you have a solid answer to the question, “what is organic soil,” you can decide if it’s right for your plants. If you want to further explore your soil options, contact us for more helpful information, and to find the perfect soil for your needs!