Black earth, top soil, lawn soil, potting soil … They all basically look the same, so does it really make a difference which one you use?

“Selecting the right soil is your first step to gardening success,” says Syd Pell, Scotts Canada growing media specialist. “Soils are actually made up of several different ingredients, blended for a specific gardening use. These ingredients may include topsoil, sand, manure, sphagnum peat moss, humus, compost, perlite and bark. The mix ratio determines how well the soil will support the specific requirements of each plant type, such as nutrients, root support, drainage and moisture retention.”

Here’s a guide to some of the most popular soil types.

• Lawn Soil
is specifically blended to support over-seeding and the growth of healthy grass. It is a blend of sphagnum peat moss, compost and manure. These ingredients increase porosity, allowing more water and nutrients to reach the roots.

• Garden Soil helps improve soil condition and control moisture. It is blended to support and nurture the delicate roots of vegetables and flowers. It often comprises nutrient-rich ingredients such as composted matter, manure, and peat.

• Topsoil and Black Earth work as a base for gardens and lawns and for filling in holes and leveling lawns. Typically low in nutrients, they should be amended with other more nutrient rich products. Premium topsoils, such as Scotts Pro Blends Top Soil add compost and sphagnum peat moss for improved nutrients and drainage.

• Organic Compost is designed for in-ground gardens. Scotts Pro Blends Organic compost is a professional-quality blend of compost and manure, containing essential organic matter from composted leaves and yard clippings. Add it to flower and vegetable beds for healthier plant growth and more abundant vegetables and blooms.

• Potting Mix. Since container-bound plants live in a self-contained eco system, proper moisture control is essential. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix contains coconut fibre, which retains moisture between waterings while improving soil aeration and drainage.

• Top it all off with Mulch. Mulch not only makes your garden look great, but also retards weed growth, helps conserve soil moisture and act as a plant blanket by moderating soil temperatures. Keep your garden looking beautiful longer with innovative Nature Scapes mulch, which is guaranteed not to fade to gray.

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