The Best Soil for Greenhouse Plants
What I love about greenhouses is the ability to extend the season with the plants of choice, these houses have become so popular because of the many advantages they offer which we will be discussing a bit later. Greenhouses can be any shape or size and based on your needs and the size of the area a greenhouse can be installed.
There are large structures that can either be built or assembled on site as well as medium to small ones. These houses can be purchased from your home garden center or plant nursery. Once your greenhouse structure is installed you are halfway there, there is now the issue of choosing the best soil for your greenhouse which we will be looking at so join the discussion as we dive deeper into the best soil for a greenhouse.
Best Soil for Greenhouse
A key component in the success of a greenhouse is the type of soil that’s being used, good garden soil is at the roots of growing healthy plants in a greenhouse so don’t go cheap or use soil that’s of poor quality because it may seem like you’re saving and getting ahead but in the long run poor quality soil will work against you or it could be you’re using the right soil but installing plants or food crops that can’t grow in that soil type.
Soil especially good garden soil is not dead as some may think, what if I tell you that garden soil is very much alive? A good quality garden soil has a large number of soil microbes that are very active, this soil type also holds the right amount of moisture but will allow excess water to drain, is porous allowing oxygen into the soil, and retains nutrients well.
The Best Soil for Greenhouse
Based on what you’re growing requires the right soil for success, what will work for one plant may not necessarily work for the other as mentioned earlier. Below we will be looking at different types of soils.
Clay- Clay soils can be hard to work with because this soil type can really hold moisture but drains poorly, clay soils contain more mineral matter and less organic matter. Because of its water retention (clay soils) plants that have a shallow root system or do not run deep can thrive in this soil type. Plants such as bee balm, daylily, aster, sedum, echinacea, black-eyed Susan, brussels sprouts, lettuce cabbage, snap beans, squash, chard, broccoli, sage, parsley, mint, lavender, yarrow, dill, chives, etc.. are among few of the many plants that thrive in clay soils.
Sandy- Sandy soils do not hold moisture or nutrients well because of their particle size, this soil type is best suited for plants that hate wet feet. Plants to consider planting are sedum, cosmos, hosta, butterfly weeds, larkspur, hibiscus, cactus, aloe vera, succulents, onion, beets, radish, potato, parsnips, carrots, collard greens, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, oregano, chamomile, sage, rosemary, thyme, etc…
Silt Soil- Because of its particle size silt does a great job in water retention and nutrients, this soil is a mixture of clay and sandy soils. Silt soil drains well and is usually rich in nutrients. Plants and food crops that grow best in silt soils are roses, ferns, bulbs, cranesbill, hellebore, weeping willows, vegetables, and fruits.
Loam- The ideal or almost perfect soil to grow edible crops, as well as ornamental plants, is loam, loam soils are soils that make a ball when placed in your hand followed by squeezing it. When you release the pressure and touch or poke it will crumble, loam soil will hold the right amount of moisture but will allow excess water to drain.
This soil is also good for its ability to hold nutrients for plant use or uptake, loam soil has a healthy balance of clay soil, silt, and sand. Loam soil is made up of organic matter, for example, decaying leaves, plant roots, and other plant parts, and animal matter along with clay, silt, and sand.
How to make Loam Soil?
As we mentioned already loam soil is made up of clay, silt, and sand but when blending these soil types together ensure that the blend or mixture is of equal parts. To further build your loam soil you can either add equal parts of goat, chicken, or horse manure, shredded tree bark, dried leaves, or disease-free grass clippings.
What is a Soilless Mix?
Some may be confused when they hear the term soilless mix or mixture, a soilless mix is composed of organic material such as wood chips, peat moss, and coconut coir along with vermiculite or perlite. The advantage of a soilless mixture is its disease, weed, and pest-free, additional ingredients can be added for nutrients, water ( lots of moisture) retention, and drainage.
These soilless mixes can be purchased from your plant nursery or garden center, the disadvantage of soilless mixes is can be expensive, may need to be watered more frequently than conventional potting soil, and don’t contain minerals.
Advantages of a Green House
- Extend the season
- These are eco-friendly gardens
- Grow pesticide-free crops
- A greenhouse is low-maintenance
- Fewer pests problems
- A more controlled environment
- Increase production
- Being able to grow in the most adverse conditions
- Gardening all in one place
- Plants are in a protective environment
- Humidity control
- Temperature control
- Growing your own foods
The final word on the best soil for greenhouse
Based on what we’ve discussed the best soil for your greenhouse depends on what you’re growing, having knowledge of what plants grow best in the different soil types will bring much success as you work in your greenhouse. I believe that greenhouses are a great way to grow year-round. If you were still in the decision-making of installing a greenhouse I hope this post shade some light to make your decision process easier for you.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.