|1. Espoma AP8||2. Dr. Earth||3. Black Gold|
Without a doubt, healthy soil is one of the main basis of having healthy plants, vegetables, and a safe environment. The best soil for vegetables is a soil that is rich in humus, contains adequate organic materials, is loose, well-draining, and able to hold moisture.
A good soil for growing vegetables does not only support the fast, strong, and healthy growth of the vegetables. It is also helpful in eliminating the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
Such a soil has excellent aeration and allows the roots of the vegetables to grow freely while enjoying sufficient oxygen circulation.
However, choosing the best soil for growing vegetable can be taxing. This is because the market has been flooded with several products and brands.
To help you in making easier decisions, we have provided you with an in-depth review of the top-rated 15 soils for vegetables.
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Soil For Vegetable
The importance of having the best soil for vegetables can never be overemphasized. This is because it not only ensures that your vegetables grow fast and healthy, it also saves you a lot of time and money you would have otherwise spent in maintaining your vegetable garden.
Today, there are several soils for growing vegetables in the market. These products come from different manufacturers and provides a wide range of features. As a result, the task of choosing the best soil for growing vegetables has now become a bit difficult.
Here, you will find a guide on those factors you must consider before purchasing your next soil for vegetables.
1. Soil Color
The color of soil is one of the few good indicators of the nutrient content it contains. The darker a soil is, the higher the organic material it contains. We must, however, say here that there are a few exceptions, though.
Even more, the higher the organic content in the soil for growing vegetables, the more nitrogen it has, and the better its texture.
Since nitrogen nutrient is one of the essential nutrients for vegetables, you must ensure you consider this factor before making a buying decision for your next soil.
Additionally, you must also use texture, smell, and color as a guide when choosing the best soil for vegetables. A good soil for growing vegetables is expected to be earthy with no foul whiffs or pongs and should have a bit of sweet smell.
2. Water Retention Capacity
One of the most time consuming and hectic jobs when it comes to growing vegetables is watering. Watering can be difficult, especially when you might want to go out to have fun or go on vacations.
It is, therefore, essential to have a vegetable that has an excellent water retention capacity. It shouldn’t be a soil that gets water-logged quickly or swampy, but is able to absorb water adequate for use by the plants.
Since vegetables need plenty of water for a fast and healthy growth, you must test the soil for this feature. A great way to test for this feature is to take some of the soil and tightly squeeze it in your hand.
After squeezing the soil, it will form into a ball shape in your hands and will remain so until you prod it with your finger. When you prod it with your finger, a soil with excellent water retention will crumble into a friable texture.
3. pH Level
Although there is no specific pH that is perfect for growing vegetables, a good vegetable soil should fall within a particular range.
The pH range soil for vegetable needs for growth is between 6 and 7, which means your choice of soil must fall within this range.
With this range in mind, if your soil for growing vegetables falls at a value considerably higher, you will have to lower the soil’s pH level. On the other hand, if the soil’s pH falls significantly lower, you will have to raise it higher.
So this is unarguably a factor you must consider to save yourself from the stress of having to make adjustments to the pH of your soil after purchasing it.
4. Trace Nutrients
Trace nutrient is another factor you must consider if you must buy the best soil for vegetables. Like other plants, vegetables also require certain nutrients to grow.
The absence of such nutrients will not only affect the growth of the vegetables. It also puts the vegetables at risk of getting affected by drought and diseases.
Vegetables need a wide variety of trace minerals and nutrients to grow. Some of these nutrients and minerals include copper, zinc, molybdenum, boron, iron, and manganese, among others.
5. Organic Materials
Vegetables require a significant amount of organic materials located in the soil for healthy growth. Organic materials provide several nutrients the vegetables need to thrive and grow.
Besides, organic materials help soften the soil, hence making it easy for the roots of the vegetables to spread in the soil. They also act as tiny sponges in the soil, which helps the soil with water retention.
Even more, organic materials come from well-rotted manure, compost, or a combination of both. You must check the soil you want to purchase to ensure it contains sufficient organic materials before making a buying decision.
Top 15 Best Soil For Vegetables 2020
1. Espoma AP8
Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix is one of the best soil for growing vegetables we will be reviewing today. It is an organic soil that contains a balanced blend of both natural materials as well as non-synthetic chemicals, making it suitable for vegetables.
This vegetable soil is an excellent garden soil that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor containerized plants. It contains numerous top-notch nutrients that vegetables need for healthy growth. Also, it is capable of fertilizing your vegetables continuously for several months.
Even more, this soil for vegetables comes with an original Myco-tone formula. The Myco-tone formula helps to improve the vegetable’s moisture retention ability, hence making them get the required moisture needed for the best growth.
More so, it utilizes 11 strains of mycorrhizae that help to improve root growth in the vegetables and reduce stress.
Additionally, this formula is active in keeping your vegetables safe from undergoing drought stress. It is also handy when you want to transplant your vegetables and other plants to a pot or an outdoor garden.
This soil for growing vegetables contains earthworm castings, which ensures your vegetables and plants remain naturally strong and healthy.
Even more, this soil for vegetables provides your plants with up to 7% nitrogen, 2% phosphate, and 2% potash. It is also worthwhile knowing that unlike many other soils, this soil for vegetables is safe to use around pets and children.
- It comprises of organic ingredients
- Promotes the significant growth of vegetables
- It contains a Myco-tone formula for improved moisture retention.
- Excellent fertilizer ratio
- It doesn’t attract bugs
- It is relatively expensive
- This soil for vegetables is a bit loose
2. Dr. Earth
This soil for vegetables is an organic formula that contains probiotics, a range of soil microbes, and several other nutrients. It is a vibrant mix of supplements, such as alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, kelp meal, as well as Dr. Earth’s tomato manure.
The supplements make it helpful in sustaining the vegetables under adverse weather conditions, especially dry seasons. Besides, it contains several endo-mycorrhizae and ectomycorrhizae that improves its resistance to dry season effects and increases the growth of the vegetables.
This soil for vegetables contains up to seven different strains of topsoil organisms that are helpful in the development of the vegetables. It is suitable for use during early planting of seeds, transplanting, as well as for compost tea or top dressing.
Besides, this Dr. Earth Home Grown product contains essential ingredients such as potassium, phosphorus seaweed extract, and humic acid.
It is perfect for use – not only on vegetables but also on other plants. This product is beneficial even if you have a large garden containing different herbs and vegetables.
Additionally, it is OMRI certified. Its ingredients are not artificially produced, and it doesn’t contain GMO. The Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer comes in a resealable medium-sized package and has instructions for beginners and those with plants needing preparation.
- It contains an excellent blend of required nutrients
- Contains mycorrhizae
- Safe for use around pets and humans
- Tested and certified by OMRI
- It can get smelly
- It is an excellent option for diluting with liquid
3. Black Gold 1302040
It is made up of perlite, earthworm castings, pumice, and organic fertilizer. As a result, it helps your plants and vegetables get all the essential nutrients they require for healthy and robust growth.
This organic soil comes with ingredients that have been tested and certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Also, it is a loamy mix, which makes it suitable for use on numerous types of garden applications as it contains perlite.
Another feature that makes this soil for vegetables exceptional is that the company produces a formula that differs depending on region.
Since each part has a different soil composition and climate, they provide you with the right soil for growing vegetables that is compatible and suitable for your area.
It is also vital to mention that this soil for vegetables provides your plants with the right amount of air circulation they need.
Even more, it has a pH level of at least 8.5. Hence, you will need to add some necessary nutrients if you are looking for a basic or more acidic soil.
Unlike other soils, this soil for growing vegetables is available at a friendly price and with different sizes depending on your preference. Besides, it is a balanced all-purpose soil and is usable in combination with other soil enhancers.
- It is relatively affordable
- OMRI tested and certified
- Suitable for both outdoor and indoor use
- Produced to suit different climates and regions
- Soil grow spores occasionally when wet
4. Burpee Organic Premium
Coconut coir is a renewable resource that is helpful in retaining sufficient moisture in the soil without causing any form of harm to the earth.
This best soil for growing vegetables is particularly useful for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Nonetheless, you might need to add other ingredients when it comes to using it with other plants.
Moreover, it offers a pH level of 6.5 and is perfect for use in your patio, garden, and lawn. Besides, this soil for vegetables contains a unique Burpee plant food that has nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, and other vital nutrients for plant growth.
Even more, you can conveniently use it for containerized, pot, or for in an overhead hanging pot. Nevertheless, for use in an overhead hanging pot you will need to first put in place a proper drainage system.
In addition, it features an extended-release design. This soil for vegetables is also capable of lasting up to three months -after which you will need to replant or replenish your soil’s potting mix. Irrespective of where your plant is, whether a pot or container, this soil will live up to its expectations.
- It has an exceptional moisture retention capability
- Boosted with Burpee plant food
- It is capable of lasting up to three months
- Ideal for raised beds and container gardening
- It helps to keep the soil damp between watering
- It comes in small quantity
5. Espoma SS16
More so, it is an excellent choice for indoor use in both early spring and winter to start the seeds before transplanting the vegetables to the garden.
This soil for growing vegetables helps to support root growth and improve the water retention capacity of your soil. It contains an excellent blend of about 80% peat most. The remaining composition comprises of lime, earthworm castings, humus, and perlite.
Moreover, this soil for vegetables contains mycotone. The mycotone is a rich blend of different mycorrhizae, which are of great benefit to the plant, as they ensure the vegetables develop stronger roots.
They help the vegetables and plants to adequately retain moisture, hence making them get the right quantity of moisture they require.
This soil for vegetables come in a resealable 16-quart bag and is usable in any potted or planter application.
- It comes with an enriched mycotone formula
- Promotes strong roots
- Appropriate for both potted and planter applications
- Enhanced water retention capacity
- Great for organic gardening
- It is a little bit expensive
- Soil’s pH isn’t the best
6. Hoffman 30103
The Hoffman 30103 is a seed starter soil from Hoffman. It is well-blended and has excellent consistency, which helps in the absorption of water better compared to other soils. Besides, it is handy in supporting the quick and healthy growth of vegetables and flowers.
Since it is a seed starter soil, it helps in the healthy germination process of vegetables and other plants. It contains a specially formulated combination of six blended fertile, loose, and lightweight ingredients that are in the right proportion.
This formulation therefore, makes it an excellent option for use as both – a potting mix and for growing new seeds.
The Hoffman 30103 has a coarse texture and adequately absorbs moisture. It aids the right air circulation as required by the vegetables for effective growth. Moreover, it has a pH level of between 5.6 to 5.9, which is perfect for the growth of several vegetables and plants.
In addition, this soil for vegetables contains horizontal vermiculite, limestone, Canadian peat moss, and wetting agent. It is available in a 10-quarts bag having a zip lock that helps to protect it from various contaminations and in transplanting and root cuttings.
Furthermore, another exceptional feature of this product is that it is suitable for use indoors as it doesn’t have a foul smell in the house.
This soil for growing vegetables is the best soil for vegetables for those looking for a lightweight starter soil offering top-notch features.
- It is suitable for indoor sprouting
- Super-fast growth
- It has a smooth, consistent texture for small seed germination
- Lightweight starter soil
- Available in a zip-lock bag that protects it from contaminations
- It has slow sprout with few seeds
7. Hoffman 30118
The Hoffman 30118 is a seed starter soil with a specially formulated mix that encourages the superior germination of seeds and vegetables. It contains a well-blended combination of 6 components that are fertile, lightweight, and loose. More so, it is handy in transplanting of root cuttings.
The Hoffman 30118 seed starter soil is perfect for planting vegetables. It can absorb moisture as well as drain excess moisture adequately. As a result, it is capable of remaining wet long after watering.
Besides, this soil for growing vegetables has a granular texture. It thereby allows for the adequate circulation of air, hence making it possible for the seeds and vegetables to grow properly.
This soil for vegetables has a pH level of between 5.6 to 6. Its pH level makes it acidic, hence useful for the germination of several acid-loving vegetables, plants, and herbs like thyme and sage.
However, for those who require a less acidic soil, you can use this soil with other constituents. Such constituents include mitogen fertilizers, which help neutralize the acidity of the Hoffman 30118 seed starter soil.
Additionally, this soil for growing vegetables does not have a foul smell and comes in a 10 lbs packaging.
- Easy to use seed starter soil
- It is an exceptional blend for effective seed germination
- Fertile, lightweight and loose combination of components
- It has a great moisture absorption ability
- It has a slow germination
- Suitable for small containers
8. FoxFarm Ocean Forest
The FoxFarm ocean forest is one of the best soil for vegetables for gardeners who are just beginning. It has a well-rounded nutrition and is easy to use. Even more, it is an excellent base choice for many vegetables and plants.
This all-natural soil for growing vegetables has an exceptional moisture retention capability and is ideal for both container and pot gardening.
This organic soil for vegetables comes with a unique mixture of components that are not available in other garden and vegetable soils.
The ingredients contained in this soil include fish emulsion, earthworm castings, Norwegian kelp meals, sphagnum peat moss, bat guano, and other micronutrients. These ingredients help make vegetables have healthy roots.
In addition, this soil for vegetables comes in a ready to use form and is the ideal environment for nurturing young seedlings into becoming mature plants.
Also, this soil’s lighter component helps to allow for proper drainage, thereby preventing the vegetables and plants from rotting and overwatering.
Other features of this FoxFarm Ocean Forest soil include its well-aerated nature, which supports growing cuttings and seedlings. Moreover, it has a pH level of between 6.3 to 6.8 and does not require the use of additional fertilizer.
On the other hand, it comes with a Pearson’s protective glove. It is also capable of feeding up to a month. Even as the soil gets to broken-down, you will not need additives.
- It comes ready to use directly from its packaging
- Capable of feeding the vegetables for long without needing extra fertilizer
- Excellent moisture retention capacity
- The soil heats up fast
9. Fox Farm Happy Frog
This soil for vegetables is well-aerated and has a light texture. Hence, you wouldn’t need to worry about having a hard-hitting vegetable soil. Even more, this soil can be used in combination with other soils for vegetables previously used.
This organic potting soil mix comes in a large package and consists of a top blend of beneficial fungi and microbes. These constituents help break down the soil’s organic matter, such that the vegetables enjoy the nutrients they require.
Furthermore, the organic ingredients that make up this vegetable soil are bat guano, forest humus, and earthworm castings. Even more, it has both mycorrhizae and humic acid. These two constituents help to ensure that the vegetables feed and grow more aggressively.
Additionally, this soil for growing vegetables comes in a ready to use bag. It is highly recommended for vegetables and other plants in pots or containers. It also has a pH level that automatically adjusts itself to support the maximum ingestion of nutrients by the vegetables.
Other benefits derived from this soil for growing vegetables are rapid vegetative growth and improved production. Besides, it doesn’t contain sludge, fillers, or topsoil and comes packaged with a Pearson’s protective glove.
- It is well-aerated and lightweight
- Ideal for both indoor and outdoor potted gardening
- It contains both mycorrhizae and humic acid for rapid feeding and growth of vegetables
- It comes with a pair of Pearson’s gloves
- Suitable for only containerized or potted plants
10. Dr. Earth 749688008136 813
Dr. Earth’s Gold Premium Potting Soil is a versatile soil for vegetables that can be used as a soil amendment option. It supports the rapid and healthy growth of vegetables, flowers, shrubs, herbs, and plants.
Even more, it is useful for indoor gardens, mulching, transplanting, soil boosting, and making compost. This soil for growing vegetables is specially formulated with top-quality organic constituents.
These constituents include perlite, aged fir bark, composted green waste, peat moss, alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, dolomite lime, and kelp meal, among others. More so, they help in making the soil more fertile hence promoting the growth of vegetables.
Additionally, it contains TruBiotic soil microbes. These microbes contain ectomycorrhizae that attach to the surface of the roots of the vegetables.
On the other hand, it contains endo mycorrhizae that penetrate the root of the vegetable. They are both helpful in improving the absorption of moisture and other nutrients.
Without a doubt, this Dr. Earth soil for vegetables helps to produce vegetables that are strong and healthy. It has a pH level of 6.5, which makes it a bit acidic and versatile. As a result, it is suitable for vegetables that are capable of growing in neutral and acidic environments.
- It is a versatile vegetable soil mix
- Suitable for both vegetables and other plants
- It contains mycorrhizae
- The soil is safe for use around pets
- It is OMRI certified
- It tends to attract gnats
- Requires regular watering
11. Wiggle Worm Soil Builder
The Wiggle Worm Soil Builder is a naturally organic and odor free product. It is excellent for indoor and outdoor plants such as vegetables, houseplants, hydroponics, flowers, traditional gardens, and raised beds. It also comes with Pearson’s protective gloves.
Moreover, this soil for growing vegetables contains worm castings. These worm castings contain rich proportions of nutrients that are soluble in water, and help in promoting lush plant growth.
Worm castings are an odorless means to condition your soil organically and naturally to provide your vegetables with the right nutrients they need – when they need them.
More so, the worm castings are also rich in nitrate-nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Wiggle Worm Soil Builder helps the vegetables and other plants to rapidly absorb all trace elements and essential nutrients needed for growth.
It also improves aeration, soil structure, and increases beneficial bacteria and microbial activity. It would not be wrong to say it contains top-notch nutrients sufficient enough for the vegetables.
The Wiggle Worm Soil Builder is OMRI certified. It can also serve as a soil builder, soil amendment, organic compost, and soil conditioner for your garden. Moreover, it is safe to use and does not burn vegetables and plants, even when used at very high concentrations.
- It is an odorless mix
- Suitable for outdoor and indoor use
- It is an all-purpose fertilizer
- Natural organic fertilizer
- It helps to improve soil structure.
- Excellent moisture retention capacity
- It is a relatively expensive
- Mystery seedlings tend to pop up
12. Miracle-Gro Seed Starting
Moreover, it helps in providing adequate nutrients as well as promote proper drainage, which in turn produces large and healthy plants and vegetables.
The fertilizer works well with a range of seeds, such as vegetables, herbs, and flowers. This soil for growing vegetables is also suitable for use during potting or repotting both indoors and outdoors container plants.
This Miracle-Gro variant is arguably one of the best soil for vegetables thanks to its premium compositions that are light in weight.
It can be added to your seedlings and transplanted plants. Additionally, this product provides excellent airflow and drainage, which helps to reduce the chances of having root rot.
However, since draining occurs easily, you will need to water the vegetables regularly. The frequent watering helps in producing vibrant, fast-growing, and healthy plants and vegetables. It has a pH level of around 6.5 to 7.5 hence making it a neutral potting soil.
- Aids the fast and healthy growth of vegetables
- Produces well anchored and strong roots
- It has excellent drainage and airflow
- Suitable for seed germination.
- It doesn’t attract gnats
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor plants
- It does not contain fertilizer
- The soil drains water rapidly
13. Jonathan Green Love
Jonathan Green Soil is an organic soil for growing vegetables that have been fortified with additional nutrients like iron, sulfur, and calcium. Hence, it is a rich soil and ideal for both vegetables and lawns.
This soil for vegetables helps in breaking down hard soil, making it have a loose structure, which is perfect for the growth of healthy roots. Such a feature makes it suitable for use on compact and hard soil, but not good for the growth of grasses.
Also, it transforms compact and hard soils into crumbly soil, which then helps to improve aeration in the soil and the penetration of water and other nutrients. This soil for vegetables is the perfect choice for those who don’t like watering their garden regularly.
Furthermore, this organic soil has good water retention capacity – thus, you will not need to carry out irrigation for your vegetable farm.
A single bag of Jonathan Green Love soil for growing vegetables is capable of covering up to 5,000 sqft, which yields a lot.
Additionally, this product comes in an 18lbs package and is capable of improving soil up to 2ft below the ground.
- Capable of covering up to 5,000 sqft
- It is an excellent choice for breaking down hard soils
- Excellent drought resistance capacity
- It has good water retention capacity
- It comes in a weak packaging
14. Jobe’s Organics 9026
If you love organic gardening, then the Jobe’s Organics Vegetable and Tomato Fertilizer is just what you need. It is an excellent choice for growing vegetables, as it produces exceptional results consistently.
Jobe’s 9026 is a water-soluble fertilizer that has a granular texture. It is a special formulation of macro-nutrient having an NPK ratio of 2-5-3 as well as Biozome.
This formulation contains a proprietary and unique blend of several healthy and beneficial bacteria, such as archaea and mycorrhizae fungi.
It is a fast-acting and power-packed fertilizer that helps to improve the soil environment for your vegetables and plants. It does this by infusing the vegetables, plants, and soil with numerous life-giving nutrients.
These nutrients then help in reducing the risk of insects, diseases, drought, and helps your vegetables and plants to blossom.
Besides, this fertilizer is suitable for use on several types of vegetables such as onions, potatoes, pumpkins, beans, eggplants, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce.
It comes in a 4lbs resealable bag that is easy to pour and allows for quick distribution, hence reducing the chances of getting spoilt.
The OMRI and USDA certify Jobe’s Organics fertilizer. This means it is completely organic and safe for use for the environment. More so, it is also safe to use around children and pets.
- It is an organic product without synthetic chemicals
- Excellent choice for improving soil quality
- Suitable for use on different types of vegetables
- It contains Jobe’s special Biozome
- Safe for use around pets and children
- Improves soil’s resistance to insects, drought and disease
- Not the best for tomato plants
- It is relatively expensive
15. Sun-Gro Horticulture
Sun-Gro Horticulture Sunshine is an all-purpose soil mix that comes ready to be used. It does not require you to add anything to it; all you do is to apply it to your garden. More so, it is practical and convenient, and hence saves you from a lot of work.
This soil for growing vegetables contains a balanced blend of high-grade perlite and Canadian peat moss. The high-grade perlite is an ingredient that helps to improve aeration and makes the nutrients readily available for the vegetable’s roots.
Furthermore, this soil for vegetables serves as an insulator – which protects the roots of the plants and vegetables from extreme heat.
Also, it is inorganic soil, which means it does not disintegrate. It has a fast germination rate and is suitable for use as topsoil or when blended with the regular soil.
Additionally, the peat moss in the soil gives it a rich earthy color, while the perlite adds the precise amount of looseness.
- It contains an excellent blend of perlite and peat moss
- This soil has a fast germination rate
- It provides good aeration
- It is an all-purpose soil suitable for vegetables and other plants
- One package does not yield much
FAQs on Soil For Vegetables
1. What Is The Best Soil For Vegetables?
Unfortunately, this question does not have a particular answer. This is because it is relatively challenging to single out a particular product as the best.
However, the best soil for vegetables must be a rich and crumbly loamy soil, that contains constituents like microbes and earthworms. Also, it may contain compost and other soil builders too.
2. Can You Grow Vegetables In Potting Mixes?
Yes. Potting mixes are soils that contain a wide variety of organic materials that vegetables need for fast, strong, and healthy growth.
Some of the ingredients they contain include bark chips, compost, and peat moss, among others. These ingredients help to create an excellent pH balance and provide the essential nutrients the vegetables need.
3. How Do You Prepare Soil For Planting Vegetables?
Preparing soil for planting vegetables is relatively direct and straightforward. Firstly, use a fork or spade to dig the soil to a depth of between 12 to 14 inches. Ensure you also incorporate a layer of rotted manure or compost of between 3- to 4 inches along with any recommended amendments found in your soil test.
Carefully rake the soil until it becomes loose and level. Well-aerated and loose soils help allow both oxygen and water to reach the roots of the vegetables quickly.
4. What Do You Mix In The Soil For A Vegetable Garden?
In most circumstances, we often recommend the following proportions. It should consist of 10% potting soil, 30% compost, and 60% topsoil. The potting soil should be a soilless mix that contains perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss.
All in all, the best soil for vegetables is guaranteed to help your garden produce strong and healthy vegetables. Besides, it is good for your environment and helps protect your vegetables from diseases.
This article has been able to provide you with a detailed review of the best soil for growing vegetables. There’s also a guide on the factors you must consider, to help make buying the right choice faster and easier for you.