|1. Dr. Earth||2. Black Gold||3. Fiber Soil|
Herbs are a godsend. They are known to lend wonderful flavors to various dishes, and are believed to have healing properties; they can be used as decorative items around the house. Whatever use you may have for herbs, one thing is for sure – growing an herb garden will come in handy.
If you want to be successful in this endeavor, you must know what the best soil for herbs are. Read through our comprehensive article as we take you through the top 11 soil brands.
We will meticulously identify the positive features of each one. This list is meant to help you determine what the best soil is for your herbs.
How To Choose The Best Soil For Herbs
Growing herbs can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time. To help you succeed in building an herb garden, let us take you through some crucial steps you need to consider.
1. Know Where To Plant
This first and crucial step will make or break your herb garden. Herbs thrive on good location and adequate sun exposure. It is, therefore, important that you consider these two factors before planting your herbs.
2. Choosing Where To Put The Herbs
The first thing to do is to determine if you will be planting your herbs directly on to garden soil, or if you will be putting it in different pots. This will be crucial as it will also determine the kind of soil you need to use.
It is important to note that not all herbs thrive on garden soil. Some, like rosemary and lavender, are more adaptable to a sharper soil mix. What is essential is that the location – whether direct to the earth or potted – has good drainage.
3. Find A Place With Adequate Sun Exposure
Herbs need the sun. Most will be required at least six hours of direct exposure each day. If your garden has limited sun exposure, we suggest planting herbs that need less than six hours of sunlight, like chives, parsley, and mints. It also comes in handy when you plant in pots. This way, you can easily move the herbs around to give them the dose of sunlight that they need.
4. Pick The Right Soil Mix
Your soil will be dependent on the kind of herbs you will be planting. For instance, basil grows best in well-drained and moist soil. The acidity level has to be neutral, and a rich compost will be crucial during the first few weeks.
Lavender, on the other hand, is more flexible. It is less demanding in terms of water consumption and does not require too many nutrients. Soil should not be moist and have a higher alkaline level.
These examples show that choosing the best soil for herbs is a crucial step. It is not a one size fits all type of thing. It can easily contribute to your success or frustrations.
There are two things you need to consider: the way soil retains moisture, and its acidity level. To help you through this process, let us break down these factors:
5. Soil And Moisture
Most herbs will require great drainage. It is, therefore, crucial that the soil you will choose can retain moisture, while also being able to drain excess water efficiently. It would be best to use pots that have this ability.
Using pots is beneficial, as it will allow you to use different soils that will meet the needs of your different herbs. You can use sandy soil for those that need less water. This type of soil is light, dry, acidic, and has low nutrients.
Lavender, rosemary, and oregano thrive in this condition. Rich and fertile soils are needed for herbs that require high amounts of nutrients. Examples are basil, chives, and coriander.
Adding composts, especially during the earlier weeks, will help the soil retain more water. Note that garden soil tends to be more compact when used in pots, and this will suffocate the roots of your herbs.
6. pH Level
The acidity level of your soil is an important factor to take note of, because each herb has a different requirement when it comes to this. Wrong pH levels can lead to stunted growth and yellow leaves- two things you do not want to experience.
Acidic soils have a pH below 7. This type of soil has insufficient nutrients and less microbial activity. A lot of herbs, like sage, thyme, and parsley, can survive in this environment. If soils become too acidic, you may try adding lime or using nitrogen-rich fertilizers to manage the pH level.
Neutral soils have a pH score of 7. This type has a balanced level of acidity and alkalinity, and has an adequate amount of nutrients. Herbs that grow well in this environment are ginger, marjoram, and horseradish.
Alkaline soils have a pH of more than 7. This type of soil is a rich source of nutrients for plants. However, too much alkaline leads to a toxic level of nutrients, which may lead to devastating effects.
For instance, molybdenum is an essential nutrient plant need. However, high amounts of it are poisonous for the greens. In this kind of environment, the plant will stop absorbing from the soil, and will eventually turn yellow from lack of nutrients.
The safest alkaline level for herbs is 7.5. Anything in excess can be harmful. Examples of herbs that thrive in alkaline soil are lavender, anise, and white horehound.
If your soil’s alkaline level goes up, you may try to add peat moss or use ammonium-based fertilizers.
Now that you have an idea of what herbs work best with the types of soils, you can start creating the mixtures you need. However, if you are just beginning as an herb gardener, you may want to purchase store-bought soil mixtures first. The benefit of this is using tried and tested soils that have proven to be effective by other users as well.
Top 11 Best Potting Soil For Herbs 2020
1. Dr. Earth
Dr. Earth Home Grown Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer is a rich potting mix composed of fish bone meal, fish meal, feather meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, mined potassium sulfate, seaweed extract.
These ingredients, when composted together, release a lot of nutrients into the soil that benefits the herb significantly.
This particular variant is most effective when used for planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and as a top dressing or compost tea. It is a fertile potting soil that produces exceptional results that are best seen in the early stages of the plant.
The product is also able to retain water quite well, allowing your plants to perform better even during droughts. It contains about seven probiotic strains that activate soil microbes, which in turn, nourish the plant.
It is also MycoApply certified, which means that it has ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae, which help your plant’s roots to absorb the nutrients better.
This pack also comes with a slow-release fertilizer, which continually feeds your plant. Thus, it is beneficial in providing several benefits even after some time.
- It is a high-quality product that is 100% organic.
- It has an advanced probiotic formula that helps the plants grow better.
- It also improves the plant’s performance even during a drought.
- It is effective, especially for summer and winter crops.
- It can be used in raised beds, container plants, and outdoor herbs.
- It has a slow-release fertilizer that can feed your plants for up to 8 weeks.
- Although this is ideal for tomatoes, it does not work well for indoor tomato plants.
- It has a strong smell that can make you feel uncomfortable. It may also intensify when water is added to it.
- It must be used with caution when planting herbs, as the formulation can be a bit too strong.
What Makes It Different
Dr. Earth Home Grown Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer has seven probiotic strains that add to the nutrition and effectivity of the soil. This potting mix is so rich that it could lead to vigorous, healthy plants, or it could become too toxic, especially for smaller herbs.
2. Black Gold 1302040
It can be used for various types of pots and containers, whether it be on hanging baskets, raised beds, indoor or outdoor pots, and even bedding plants.
This particular brand of potting soil is an excellent loamy mix, giving you a great balance of rich clay and sand. It consists of several organic matters that make the soil more fertile and nutrient-filled.
Additionally, it also has perlite and pumice, which gives your soil more air and space, ensuring the steady growth of your herbs.
The pH level of the Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil is supposedly 6, which makes it just a little bit acidic. It drains water well, but the soil stays moist long after it has been watered. This combination makes it perfect for several vegetables and herbs like tomatoes, carrots, and basil.
- It has a great mix of all organic materials, which makes the soil fertile and nutrient-filled.
- It is a well-draining soil that stays moist.
- It has a slightly acidic pH level that makes it perfect to use for several vegetables and herbs.
- It’s a great product to use for planting seeds, as it usually helps in yielding positive germination results.
- This particular brand is all organic and tends to attract flies and produce fungi or mold. You may need to leave it out under the sun to treat it before using it.
- Since it stays moist, it could end up being too dense.
What Makes It Different
This brand is so natural and organic that it readily attracts flies, and it has been reported to produce mold. These may prove harmful to your herbs, and cause some annoyance on your part, especially if it will be used indoors. It would be wise to treat the soil first before using it to avoid this problem from escalating.
3. Fiber Soil
This product comes in the form of pods, which makes it perfect for those who are new to gardening. Once the pod is watered, it expands, giving your herbs more space and allowing it to grow to be sturdy plants.
Since it comes in pods, it also eliminates the mess, and it makes gardening easy, less frustrating, and more enjoyable.
The fiber soil pods make planting and transplanting easy. Once the seeds are placed into the pod, all that needs to be done is to give it some TLC.
This particular product is known to help produce strong roots. As it expands, it provides the roots more space to grow, making it more capable of absorbing oxygen, water, and nutrients.
It also prunes the roots naturally, because as it grows longer and penetrates the outer part of the netting, the outside air naturally prunes the root and stops it from growing further out. This unique ability causes the inner roots to burst into several fibrous roots.
- This product is easy to use and mess-free, making it perfect for first-time gardeners.
- It is practically a three-step process: plant the seed, give it TLC, wait for it to grow.
- The roots are naturally pruned and are not likely to spiral and get tangled.
- It drains water all too well that it leaves the soil too dry.
- Its texture is coarse, and it needs to be fertilized to produce more nutrients.
- Germination of seeds is reported by some users only to be 40% successful.
- The pods do not naturally disintegrate. This may cause some problems, especially for plants that need long and healthy roots.
What Makes It Different
The soil comes in pods. All you have to do is pop it into a pot or plant it in the garden and water it. The soil naturally expands, giving your herbs more room to breathe and absorb nutrients. The pods make gardening a hassle-free experience.
4. Burpee Organic Premium
It can be used in pots and raised beds. This composition has also been enriched with Burpee’s natural plant food, making it richer and healthier for the plants.
This particular variety of Burpee has its own plant food that slowly releases nutrients to your herbs. It is so efficient to use that it can last for about three months. It is a vibrant and fertile soil, with a pH level of 6. This makes it perfect for herbs like lemongrass and marjoram.
The organic mix was made with coconut coir, which is perfect for the environment, because it is a sustainable and renewable resource. This formulation drains excess water, but the coconut coir still retains a lot of moisture, and that might not be good for herbs like lavender and rosemary.
- It is an all-natural product, which is perfect for growing organic vegetables and herbs.
- The coconut coir formulation keeps the soil moist even long after it has been watered — this works well for herbs that need a lot of moisture.
- Since it can stay moist, the soil remains fertile and is filled with nutrients that make the herbs strong and healthy.
- Since it is an all organic product, several users have reported seeing gnats and small bugs in their soil, as soon as the packaging is opened.
- The soil is not so flexible to use, since the moisture it retains is quite high. It is not suitable for herbs that love dry, sandy soil.
What Makes It Different
What makes it different from other potting mixes is the way it retains moisture. Several others would boast of excellent drainage, but this one boasts of how it requires minimal watering because of its ability to absorb water. This makes it a rich and fertile potting mix.
5. Espoma SS16
The Espoma 2216 Organic Seed Starter Premium Potting Mix is one of the best soil for herbs. It is a great starter set because the soil mixture used is lighter, and it was created specifically to help seeds germinate. This makes it an excellent brand to use for new gardeners who are aspiring to grow plants from seeds.
The Espoma potting mixture is composed of materials that promote the strong growth of roots. Its primary ingredients consist of peat moss, earthworm castings, perlite, Myco-tone, and peat hummus. All of these make the mixture a bit chunky, but very fertile.
This is a potting mix that is perfect to use for indoor and outdoor containers. The myco-tone formulation is designed to save water, thus making it a very moist soil. This is an exceptional feature of the soil, as it helps your herbs deal with severe weather conditions like drought.
Additionally, its texture, albeit a bit chunky, provides excellent air circulation for the seeds, which helps it grow.
- It is an all-organic brand that is known to be of superior quality.
- It is perfect to use even for seeds because of its good germination rate.
- It absorbs water, yet drains rather well, too.
- Since it retains moisture quite well, it is prone to moss build up if the pots used are not great for draining excess water.
- Considering that this is a seed starter pack, it is usually safe to assume that the soil will be fine. However, the texture is rather coarse, and it comes in big chunks. This makes it a little bit more challenging to use, and will probably work best with bigger seeds.
What Makes It Different
This is a seed starter set that almost entirely ensures the germination of your seeds. It also requires minimal maintenance because of its myco-tone formulation. These characteristics make it one of the best soils for herbs, especially for newbie gardeners.
6. Black Gold 1310102
Black Gold All Purpose Potting Soil with Control is a slow-release potting soil with fertilizer. It is made mostly of Canadian sphagnum peat moss, coupled with worm castings, forest humus, and pumice.
These ingredients make it very fertile. It’s also filled with nutrients, which is perfect for plants – no matter what stage of growth they are at.
Black Gold Potting Soil with Control has a special component called MultiCote. This formulation allows for the controlled slow release of fertilizer in the soil. This makes the soil have even more nutrients, ensuring the overall health of the plant.
Users have reported this to be a fertile, quick-draining soil. This will prevent the roots from rotting prematurely. Despite being quick draining, the soil retains some of the moisture, making it great for herbs like mint and parsley.
The packaging does not indicate the soil’s pH level, but several users assume it to be 6, based on its texture.
- This is a great potting soil mix. It can be used for small pots, hanging pots, indoor plants, and small patio containers.
- It’s a flexible kind of soil that can be used for a variety of plants.
- It’s a great quick-draining mix, but still manages to retain a bit of moisture that the roots need.
- It has a slow-release fertilizer that ensures the plant’s health.
- The soil comes in smaller quantities, so you will have to buy more if you will be using it on bigger pots.
- The soil seems to attract flies, which could easily lead to an infestation inside the house.
What Makes It Different
The product’s slow-release fertilizer is a great add on. It produces healthier and greener plants. It is excellent to use, especially for those new to herb gardening, as it eliminates the need to put on fertilizer continually. This makes the whole gardening experience more enjoyable and less stressful for the newbie.
7. Hoffman 30118
The Hoffman 30118 Seed starter soil is perfect for first-time herb planters. It has six components that were specially blended to promote germination and ensure the plant’s growth. It’s a great soil to use for planting seeds and even transplanting grown herbs or root cuttings.
The soil can drain excess water, but can absorb excellently as well. Due to this, it can stay moist long after it has been watered.
The potting soil is mostly granular in terms of consistency, which makes it loose and lightweight. It is perfect for adequate air circulation, which the seeds and roots need to grow well.
The soil has a pH level of 5.6 to 6, which makes it acidic. This makes germination quite effective, too. It is also great for acid-loving herbs like sage and thyme. If you want to neutralize its acidity, you may use it with nitrogen packed fertilizers.
- It is a seed starter set that is easy to use.
- It’s an excellent mix for germinating seeds.
- The consistency is excellent, it’s very lightweight, and it spreads nicely.
- Water is absorbed well, eliminating the need for constant watering.
- The germination is quite slow, even slower than other seed starter sets.
- It’s a tiny pack, and will only be enough for small containers. If you wish to use this for bigger pots, you may have to buy more than one bag.
- It’s quite hard to moisten at first. It will require a bit of work before use.
What Makes It Different
This is a very lightweight soil. It is loose, easy to use, and great for promoting root growth. This characteristic also makes it a great pack to use for seed germination.
The slow growth of the seeds, however, may be a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, once a sprout comes about, the growth of the plant is ensured thanks to its 6-ingredient formulation.
8. FoxFarm Ocean Forest
It also has an adequate amount of sphagnum peat moss, Norwegian kelp meals, and premium worm castings. This unique formulation allows for strong root growth, resistance to diseases, and leafy foliage.
This Ocean Forest Soil is lightweight and already aerated, making it possible to use right out of the bag. The combination of ingredients, found from the earth and the sea, makes it a fertile and nutrient-filled pack.
The pH level of this particular mix has been adjusted to 6.3 to 6.8, making it only slightly acidic. This also allows the compost material to maximize its capability, which will translate to a naturally abundant environment. This makes it a great pack to use for little seedlings that will grow to be vigorous, sturdy plants.
The soil is wonderful to use for a variety of potting needs, like bedding plants, indoor and outdoor pots, raised beds, etc.
- It is an all-organic mix that promotes the natural and steady growth of vegetables and herbs.
- It is versatile and can be used in different potting needs.
- It’s a very fertile soil mix.
- Despite being organic, this does not attract flies or bugs that could be harmful to the plant.
- It smells good.
- It’s great to use for transplanted plants.
- The germination process is quite slow.
- The soil is pretty demanding, as it requires constant care and tending.
- The soil is so fertile that it could be too intense for little seedlings.
- It’s not very economical.
What Makes It Different
The Ocean Forest Soil mixes ingredients from the earth and the ocean, to give your plants a one of a kind formulation. It’s one of the best potting soil for herbs because of it. Germination is slow but sure to happen. Plants end up with strong roots and a healthy and leafy foliage.
9. FoxFarm Happy Frog
FoxFarm Happy Frog is another wonderful organic potting mix. Its symbol is a frog, because it will help you jump-start the growth of your herbs. Its all-natural composition makes the soil so fertile, and it has been proven to be a great source of nutrition for your herbs.
FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil Mix is a rich composition that drains water well. It is a lightweight and airy soil that gives roots the space to grow.
It is perfect to use for several plants, especially for those that produce beautiful flowers and fruits. If you are going to use this for special plants, you will need to add some fertilizer to ensure that it will maximize its growth potential.
Like the other FoxFarm variant on our list, this particular product also has an adjusted pH to make it only slightly acidic. It has high nutrient content that the roots can easily absorb.
The organic components of the soil lead to strong plant structure and excellent production of fruits and flowers.
- This product is perfect to use for flowering plants.
- It is an all-organic mix that makes the soil fertile.
- It is a lightweight and well-aerated soil.
- Absorbs water well but also drains it excellently.
- Its adjusted pH level allows exceptional absorption of nutrients.
- Some users of this product have noticed an uncomfortable smell that could be a bit overpowering.
- The pack seems to attract larva or spider mites. These could be bad for the plant and will be annoying for most people.
- Since this is mainly designed for flowering plants, other types may need a separate fertilizer to facilitate its growth.
What Makes It Different
This variant is made especially for potted plants that flower. It was created to contain soil microbes that get released when the potting mix is used. This formulation helps the roots absorb the plant’s much-needed nutrients.
This eventually leads to enhanced fruit and flower production. This is the best soil for herbs that flower, just like lavender.
10. Dr. Earth 749688008136
It can also be used for mulching, indoor gardens, transplanting, making compost, and soil boosts. Whatever need you may have; Dr. Earth Gold Premium could be just what you need.
The soil is formulated with quality organic components like aged fir bark, perlite, peat moss, composted green waste, alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, kelp meal, and dolomite lime, just to name a few. These components lead to a more fertile soil mix that is good for facilitating plant growth.
It also has TruBiotic soil microbes with ecto mycorrhizae that stick to the root’s surface; and endo mycorrhizae that penetrate the root. These types of fungi facilitate the absorption of all the nutrients by the root, which helps the herb become sturdier and healthier.
This particular variant is believed to have a pH level of 6.5. It is slightly acidic bordering on neutral, making it a versatile mix that’s perfect for herbs that thrive on acidic and neutral environments.
- This soil is easy to work with and is indeed very versatile. Several users have reported having an easy time with this product when transplanting.
- The soil is nice and loose, giving roots enough space and air to grow.
- The soil is guaranteed to be safe for pets, so it’s okay for animals to come into contact with it.
- Plants and herbs thrive well.
- The soil attracts fungal gnats, most likely because of the ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae.
- It is a bit on the dry side, which means that you will need to water your plants more often.
What Makes It Different
It is a very versatile soil. It is not limited as potting soil, but can even be added directly to the earth to facilitate the proper growth of the seedlings that will be planted. It can even be used to make compost, which will also contribute to the overall growth of your herbs. This is one of the best soils for herbs that you can find in the market today.
11. Miracle-Gro Seed Starting
Miracle-Gro is probably one of the most known and go-to brands of gardeners nowadays. This particular variant, the Seed Starting Potting Mix, is a lightweight premium composition that works excellently for seed germination. It can facilitate the growth of flowering plants, vegetables, and even herbs.
Miracle-Gro is the best potting soil for herbs in the market because of the top-notch quality of ingredients they use, which in turn produce healthy, potent herbs.
This variant is specially made for seeds and seedlings, and it ensures the fast development of roots because of the anchor and support that it provides. This will ensure the growth of your plants.
Miracle-Gro also provides exceptional drainage and airflow, which lessens the occurrence of root rot. Sinceit drains so well, it is expected to water the herbs more regularly. Although this may seem like more work, the results will be undeniably great.
The pH level of this brand is somewhere between 6.5 to 7.5, making it a neutral potting mix. This is perfect for ginger and marjoram.
- It facilitates the fast and healthy growth of plants.
- It produces strong roots that are anchored well to the soil.
- It has great drainage and airflow.
- The potting mix only boasts of the best materials, which is evident with how the plants grow.
- It works well for seed germination.
- It does not attract gnats.
- It can be used for indoor and outdoor plants.
- It is easy to use and works well with herbs.
- The mix does not come with fertilizer yet, so this will have to be bought separately.
- The soil drains water all too well, which means more work.
What Makes It Different
This is the go-to brand of several gardeners because it rarely fails. The germination of the seed is excellent, and the growth of the plants is fast. The components it has, the lightweight characteristic, and its excellent drainage all work together to give you the best soil for herbs.
FAQs on Soil for Herbs
1. What Type Of Soil Is Best For Herbs?
While some herbs can be planted directly into garden soil, this is not usually the best course of action, especially for those new to gardening.
The type of soil you will use will ultimately depend on the kind of herbs you want to plant. Each one has its specific need when it comes to consistency, pH level, and drainage.
2. How Do You Prepare The Soil For Herbs?
Soil preparation is needed before planting herbs. This is because you want to make sure that the soil you will use is light, well-drained to prevent root rot, and crumbly to provide great airflow.
If you’re using a potting mix, pour in some water to the soil to make it moist. This will make it easier to use, especially when planting seeds or seedlings.
Once the soil is in the pot, dig a 25cm depth for your seed. It is also essential to remove all weeds that will steal the nutrients of our plants and break up chunks to facilitate airflow.
3. How Deep Should The Soil Be For Herbs?
You will need sufficient space for your roots to grow. If your herbs are known to be small plants, soil depth of about six to eight inches should be adequate. However, for taller herbs like dill, you may need to provide depth reaching up to 10 inches.
4. Can You Use A Potting Mix For Herbs?
Yes, you can. Just make sure to read descriptions, articles, and reviews of the potting mix you want to use to ensure that it will be compatible with the herb you will be planting.
You may also choose to create your own potting mix, so you will have greater control of what components you can use for your herb.
All you need to do is to buy basic ingredients like peat moss or coco peat, coarse sand (for those who want drier and well-drained soils), and perlite or vermiculite to facilitate water drainage and airflow.
Readily available potting mixes will be great for small pots while creating your own will be best for bigger containers and gardens.
To conclude, potting mixes are an easy, hassle-free way of starting an herb garden as it provides you with all the essential nutrients your plant will need.
Provided that you choose a product that will work best with your choice of herbs, it will facilitate germination and ensure the healthy growth of your plants. Just make sure to find one that will meet the basic needs of your plant in terms of pH level, drainage, and airflow.
Once you find the perfect match, you will be guaranteed a fun and pleasant experience watching the fruit of your labor grow.