How To Prepare Soil For Planting In Pots?

Going to the garden center to prepare soil for planting in pots can be a bit intimidating. It can be tough to decide which product is ideal for the plants you want to grow with so many options. 

Garden soils often contain minerals & organic matter and are meant for usage in the ground. Since the soil can quickly get compacted and wet to prepare itself for planting in pots, restricting air space around the roots is not a good choice for containers. 

This can result in stunted or impaired growth. If garden soil hasn’t been pasteurized, it may contain weed seeds, insects, and diseases.


To prepare soil for planting in pots first test your soil health, learn about the texture & type of soil, and then follow the methods outlined below:

Purchasing soil can be a daunting task due to the abundance of alternatives available. The simplest technique to prepare soil for planting in pots is to start with a basic one and change it based on your plants’ growing demands. Potting soil is ideal for container gardening because it has a lot of nutrients and can store a lot of water in a small amount of area.

Look for percentages of ingredients on the bag’s ingredients list. For mycorrhizal associations, search for ones that contain the fungi. You can also make your own using a very simple formula.

When it comes to seeds to prepare soil for planting in pots you don’t want to overload them with minerals when starting from scratch.

Combine two parts compost, two parts coconut coir, and one perlite in a mixing bowl to prepare the soil for planting. 

The little white particles we associate with potting soil are perlite. Coconut coir retains water well and is a more environmentally friendly alternative to peat moss. Even though it is non-renewable, its mining has a little environmental impact, and less than 1% of the world’s supply has been extracted.

In the procedure to prepare soil for planting in pots Composted sawdust or chipped bark can also achieve the same result. Mix carefully to ensure even dispersion of the components, then store in a closed jar in a cool, dry location. Make sure to fully moisten the mixture before planting. If the mixture is particularly dry, patience is required because water will first roll right off the top.

To prepare soil for planting in pots Combine two parts compost, one part coconut coir, and a little perlite for drainage in a planter. For plants that demand a lot of nutrients, you can add additional two parts or less of worm castings, as well as a mycorrhizae starter.

If you’re planting something which will stay in the same container for a long time, such as a shrub or perennial vegetable, use loam soil mixed with equal parts compost.


  • Use nitrogen-rich manure instead of compost

To prepare soil for planting in pots manure contributes more to soil aggregation than compost. Organic manure should be mixed with potting soil to increase the soil quality progressively.

Organic manures boost the soil’s humus content & water retention capacity when it comes to preparing the soil for planting in pots. It also gives plants the most important dose of macronutrients.

In India, cow dung manure is the most widely available organic fertilizer. Using well-decomposed manure instead of any form of fresh animal excrement is always a smart idea to prepare soil for planting in pots. The ideal organic manure is dark, moist, consistent, rich in texture, and, most importantly, free of odor. Leguminous ‘green manures’ leaves can be added to otherwise balanced manure to make nitrogen-rich manure.

  • Consider composting to prepare soil for planting in pots

Composting is a method of recycling almost all organic wastes to prepare the soil for planting. Composting has the advantage of reducing the bulk of organic materials, stabilizing their soluble nutrients, and triggering the creation of soil humus.

 A quarter-inch application per season is recommended since it will deliver slow-release nutrients that increase your soil’s water retention and disease resistance.

Vermicomposting is a well-known composting technique to prepare soil for planting in pots. Earthworms are utilized in this technique to convert nutrient-dense items, including manures, food waste, and green crop leftovers, into forms that plants can use. 


  • Plant cover crops

To prepare soil for planting in pots, cover crops can help feed our soil, increase its fertility, & improve its structure over time. Clovers, alfalfa, beans, and peas are excellent cover crops because they convert nitrogen from the environment into forms that crop plants can use. 

Cover crops that have just been uprooted supply nutrients to soil bacteria and food crop plants. Furthermore, the holes opened up by these cover crops’ decomposing roots allow oxygen and water to permeate the soil.

  • Mulching has numerous benefits

Keep the soil covered with organic mulch to prepare soil for planting in pots. The mulch helps to keep the soil moist and protects it from temperature extremes. Microbes, earthworms, and other helpful living things can nibble on the mulch and eventually absorb their waste into the soil’s top layer. 

When opposed to materials that decompose quickly, high-carbon mulches are superior for weed control because they last longer before being absorbed into the soil food web. 


  • Reusing your soil

Reusing soil is simple and long-term to prepare soil for planting in pots. If you buy prepared potting soil or the supplies to produce your own, the initial cost can be substantial. It’s not, though, a shopping trip you’ll have to repeat every year.

There are essentially just two things to be concerned about:

  • Disease transmission and vitamin and mineral replenishment. If a plant becomes infected, do not reuse the soil from that container since it will also become infected. Insects are the same way. 
  • Second, some minerals and nutrients will need to be supplemented. All of the beneficial nourishment previously in the soil has now been absorbed by the plant.


Plants, like dirt, aren’t static. They all have different requirements. Begin with the fundamentals like healthy compost, good soil texture, and enough water supply. Then take a seat, observe, and record. Make a list of what might need to be modified the next time. 

And it’s fine if you’re just sitting there watching nothing grow! This simply means you’ll have more time to think about and prepare soil for planting in pots for the transition.

After all, gardening is nothing more than a filthy, lovely, and eventually life-producing experiment.

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Happy Gardening!