For the last several years I’ve written a series of articles for Garden Chic magazine (a business magazine for owners of independent garden centers) in which I call up owners of independent garden centers and ask them a whole bunch of questions about how they promote organic gardening. As the owner of a retail business myself, I’ve always found these conversations to be fascinating. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling used books or new plants–some things about retail just never change.
One thing that always amazes me about these interviews is how fanatical people can get about potting soil. These garden center owners really sweat the decision over what potting soil to carry–they run side-by-side trials, they survey their customers, they scope out the competition. Most of them seem to have one brand that they absolutely swear by, and a couple others that they carry to please the non-believers.
I’ve never been much of a container gardener myself (What? You want a drink of water? Get it yourself–I’m busy!) but this year I remade part of my garden and turned it into a really cool hangout space that is all about the containers. (I’ll show you pictures soon.) And guess what? Suddenly, potting soil became a BIG issue in my life.
I’m a big believer in shopping locally, and luckily, the FoxFarm Soil & Fertilizer Company is located right here in town. They make a super-ultra premium potting soil called Ocean Forest, and a more affordable version called Happy Frog. Both have all kinds of good stuff added, like worm castings, bat guano, fish and crab meal, etc. etc. So I used a little of both in this new garden I’ve been working on.
What about you? Is there a potting soil you absolutely insist on using? And if so, why–is it because it’s cheap, convenient, or just really awesome? Is money any object in the quest for the perfect bag of black stuff?