5 Best Soils for Raised Beds – Aid For Your Garden

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Have you been contemplating on raised beds for your garden? A raised garden bed produces many times the amount of produce as in-ground plants. The plants grow faster and more vigorously. Of course, none of the things I’ve stated is true if you picked the wrong soil for your plants. The best soil for raised beds should have a perfect mix of organic materials. You need to fine-tune your choice of ingredients to the particular plants for your garden.

To help make your decision easier, we have put together information on how to select some excellent raised bed garden soils. In our review, we have paid close attention to fundamental factors that you need to consider when searching for the best soil for raised beds. It’s crucial to know the weight, purpose, the best use for the soil, and how to use it. These aspects are essential so that you get the right soil for your specific need.
Editor’s Choice

This soil is great for both professional and home use

  • Non-toxic
  • Organic
Read Our Review
9.8
YardScoreTM
?
YardScore is our patented scoring system which helps us evaluate each of the reviewed products, from 1 to 10. The score is based on the product’s individual features, its sales stats, and buyers’ feedback.
Premium Pick

Available for those who live in Montana, Florida, and Indiana

  • Original formula
  • Nourishing
Read Our Review
9.6
YardScoreTM
?
YardScore is our patented scoring system which helps us evaluate each of the reviewed products, from 1 to 10. The score is based on the product’s individual features, its sales stats, and buyers’ feedback.
Best Value

It’s an organic soil that’s mixed with Myco-tone

  • Natural
  • Premium brand
Read Our Review
9.3
YardScoreTM
?
YardScore is our patented scoring system which helps us evaluate each of the reviewed products, from 1 to 10. The score is based on the product’s individual features, its sales stats, and buyers’ feedback.
OMRI-listed

Great for everything, including vegetables, flowers, fruits, and herbs

  • Organic
  • Pre-mixed blend
Read Our Review
YardScoreTM
?
YardScore is our patented scoring system which helps us evaluate each of the reviewed products, from 1 to 10. The score is based on the product’s individual features, its sales stats, and buyers’ feedback.
Best for Pots

Regionally formulated, it’s perfect for container-grown flowers

  • Rich texture
  • Light
Read Our Review
8.7
YardScoreTM
?
YardScore is our patented scoring system which helps us evaluate each of the reviewed products, from 1 to 10. The score is based on the product’s individual features, its sales stats, and buyers’ feedback.
1.

Organic Plant Magic Compressed SoilEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Purpose: professional and home gardening
  • Best for: plants, flowers, and veggies
  • How to use: a ratio of 3 parts water to 1-part soil

More features: non-toxic; organic; biodegradable

First, on our best list is the Organic Plant Magic Soil. This soil comes in a 2 lb pack. With a small bag of compressed organic potting soil, you can do a whole lot more. This soil expands up to seven times when you add water to it. It also improves poor draining soils like the sand by helping the soil retain water for up to three times longer. With a perfect blend of organic ingredients, the Organic Plant Magic soil nourishes your plants, flowers veggies making them grow bigger in a short period.

It rapidly hydrates your plant by getting water and air to the roots. Further, this soil holds and retains 50 percent more water than the regular soil in your garden. Soils that retain water are good since you don’t need to water them so frequently. The non-toxic fully natural soil contains coconut coir, worm castings, and beneficial bacteria giving your soil a boost for healthy and strong plants. Besides, this biodegradable potting soil supplement is pet and children friendly. Your salads and vegetables will taste better since it doesn’t leach chemicals into your food.

Pros
  • Organic
  • Biodegradable
  • Expands up to seven times with water
  • Non-toxic
  • 100% natural
  • Improves water retention in other soils
  • Easy to carry package
Cons
  • Needs mixing to use
2.

FoxFarm Planting MixPremium Pick

Features
  • Weight: 18.96 lbs.
  • Purpose: not specified
  • Best for: extra nourishment
  • How to use: straight out of the bag

More features: original formula; sold in Florida, Indiana and Montana

If you have been gardening for some time, you know the value of fertilizers. Over-fertilizing your plants can negatively affect their growth. Fox Farm planting mix is 100 percent natural and is safe for gardening. It is an organic mix of ingredients good for raising your young seedlings as well as for houseplants and flowers. You don’t need to spend time worrying about mixing. This soil is ready to use immediately you open the bag. If you’re working on neglected, existing garden beds, you’ll be sure the soil will amend your soil within a short time.

Fox Farm Planting Mix features a unique blend of materials. These ingredients include premium select earthworm castings, bat guano, and other micronutrients. They are essential to the growing plants and for extra nourishment. This original planting mixture of soil contains amendments from sphagnum peat moss and earthworm castings and aged forest products, making it fit for a variety of garden applications. These natural products promote the growth of leafy foliage and healthy roots. They also make the soil effective in holding and retaining moisture around roots. The product is available if you’re living in Florida, Montana, or Indiana.

Pros
  • Ready to use
  • Rich in natural fertilizers
  • Good drainage
  • Healthy root growth
Cons
  • Relatively costly
Features
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Purpose: professional and home gardening
  • Best for: in-ground plantings
  • How to use: mix with native soil at time of planting

More features: natural and organic; premium brand; enhanced with Myco-tone

Plants need a balanced diet with beneficial microbes, minerals, and nutrition, and this is what Espoma Company Vegetable and Flower Soil offer. Farmers looking for all-natural organic gardening for their vegetables and flowers might find this an excellent product. Espoma’s soil is not only fortified with Myco-tone but also has a great list of ingredients.  Myco-tone is a blend of several strains of beneficial endo and ectomycorrhizae. Now, here is the deal. Mycorrhizae are fungi that are beneficial to plant roots. The fungi roots typically grow faster and longer than plant roots can grow. This growth expands the root mass by up to 50 times.

When the surface area of the root expands, it allows for increased access to nutrients, water, and oxygen. This makes it best for inground planting since the roots run long and deep. Mycorrhizal fungi also improve soil structure. With improved soil structure, there is better aeration, water movement, and distribution. Other vital ingredients include peat moss, peat humus, and earthworm castings, which helps loosen heavy soil. Additionally, this premium mixture is ideal for those looking to a fine lawn in a shady area. The manufacturers formulated a premium mixture that does well in shady areas.

Pros
  • Natural organic
  • Perfect for shady areas
  • Enhanced with Myco-tone
Cons
  • Unsuitable for shallow beds or pots
4.

Miracle-Gro Raised Bed SoilOMRI-listed

Features
  • Weight: 25.3 lbs.
  • Purpose: professional and home gardening
  • Best for: vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs
  • How to use: add this soil to your raised bed garden

More features: organic; OMRI-listed

Miracle-Gro is a pioneer in soil and gardening, and so you can trust their products for results. Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil is a100 percent organic mix right for vegetable fruits, flowers, and herbs. Every time you pull out plants from your garden, you’re not only removing some earth from your garden but also carrying some nutrients. Topping up your soil with Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil adds nutrients back to the soil. Compared to unfed plants, plants that you grow on Miracle-Gro Raised Bed soil, give you bigger, bountiful harvest. Chemical soil treatments harm the good bacteria, worms, and fungi in the soil. They can also seep into your vegetables and fruits.

When you grow your plants on a raised bed, you have better drainage, and you can control weeds and pests. OMRI listed this product for use in an organic garden, and so it’s totally free of harmful chemicals. You’re sure of growing your plants in a safe environment. You might want to try this soil if you’re searching for the best soil for strawberries in raised bags. It will give you better tasting berries. This raised bed soil provides a perfect foundation for raised bed plants, thanks to its excellent water retention ability. Using Miracle-Gro Raised Bed soil saves you time and labor since it comes already pre-mixed. You only need to add it to a raised garden, add water, and grow your plants.

Pros
  • 100% organic
  • Pre-mixed blend
  • OMRI listed for use in organic gardening
Cons
  • Bulky
5.

Black Gold Organic Potting SoilBest for Pots

Features
  • Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Purpose: home gardening
  • Best for: container-grown flowers, herbs, and vegetables
  • How to use: not specified

More features: regionally formulated; OMRI-listed

When it comes to growing healthy, vibrant plants, it all boils down to the kind of soil you use. Pick this excellent choice if you want to keep your container gardening natural and as organic as possible.  This is the ultimate choice for all pot-grown flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Black Gold Organic Potting Soil is rich in earthworm castings, perlite, pumice, and organic fertilizer. One significant benefit of using soil with pumice is its water-conserving capabilities. Pumice is supreme for plants that frequently need water. In the case of overwatering, the pumice absorbs excess water and retains it up to the time the soil lacks moisture.

Each pumice stone has many tiny pores that act like small sponges. These pores can store water and releases them when plants need it. Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) recommends this soil for the production of organic food and fiber. They improve soil texture and allow it to hold water for longer. Organic fertilizer also increases bacterial and fungal activity in the soil, improving the overall quality of the soil. You can use this soil for growing flowers in hanging baskets, patio containers, herb gardens, vegetable plantings, or in places you want to use organic gardening.

Pros
  • Light
  • Organic
  • OMRI certified
  • Rich loamy texture
Cons
  • Not suitable for inground gardening

Buying Guide

A raised bed is a garden bed build on raised positions to solve specific gardening challenges like poor drainage, hard grounds, contaminated soils, etc. You can create a raised bed by heaping soil into a pile or using containers to enclose the soil. There’s no better way to start your own convenient, organic gardening in your backyard than creating a raised bed.

The benefits of a raised garden bed

5 Best Soils for Raised Beds - Aid For Your Garden

Whatever bed you choose to use, raised garden beds are beneficial to gardeners. Here are the reasons why you might consider a raised garden bed.

  • Raised beds are safe from contamination-Living in an urban area exposes you to you’re at risk of ingesting heavy metals. Many vegetables, roots, and tomatoes tend to absorb heavy metals if the soil is contaminated. You can solve this by having a raised garden bed. The best soil mix for raised beds brings in new soil to grow plants in a non-toxic organic environment.
  • Better drainage-If you’re living in marshy yards or places that tend to flood, you’d better think of a raised garden bed. If you prepare a raised bed in the right way, it drains better than an in-ground garden. In poor draining soils, raised beds can support plants that would never grow on flat gardens.
  • Prevents plant damage and soil compaction-One of the greatest benefits you get from a raised garden is protection from foot traffic, especially from passersby or children playing around the yard. It’s unlikely that a person will climb over a raised bed garden as they walk through the garden. This keeps your plants from damage and the soil from hardening.
  • Saves your back-If you’re a gardening hobbyist, but you love your back too much, a raised bed can save you tons of energy and time. The strain on your back and knees is a serious health risk over time. You might consider a raised bed, especially ones that are 12 inches tall, to avoid bending as you tend your plants.

Features to consider before you buy soil for raised beds

While most gardening solutions often revolve around plants, the soil is essential as well. If you’re growing your lawn or making a raised garden, starting with the right soil will help your results. Raised bed garden soils are not the same, and knowing the right one for your garden is crucial. Here are factors to guide you when choosing the best organic soil for raised beds.

5 Best Soils for Raised Beds - Aid For Your Garden

Purpose

Before purchasing soil for your raised bed garden, you must consider why you need it in the first place. Read the label and see if the soil is for a specific purpose. Soil made for in-ground gardening might be the wrong choice if you want to make a raised bed in containers or buckets.

The best soil for raised vegetable garden beds should be 100% organic since vegetables do well in slightly acidic ph, which organic matter provides. Some soils contain microorganisms, worms, and humus, which are excellent sources of nitrogen and phosphorous.

Ingredients

You need to check on what makes up the soil you’re looking to buy. When choosing a basic all-round organic soil, look for one made with local materials. For instance, FoxFarm Planting Mix contains selected earthworm castings, bat guano, and other micronutrients essential to the growing plants. Whether animal or plant-based, natural organic soils improve the soil structure. The best soils for raised gardens also improve drainage as well as adding nutrients.

Organic formula

When choosing the right soil for your raised garden, it’s never enough to see the label ‘organic’ on the package.

Make sure to look carefully at the ingredients on the label.
Many soils that claim to be organic still have harmful components in the mix. Ensure an accredited independent organization like OMRI has certified the soil you want to use for on your raised bed. Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil, and Black Gold Organic Potting Soil is such certified organic soils.

What is it best for?

It would be best for you to check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the best plants for that particular soil. Organic Plant Magic Soil is the best for plants, flowers, and veggies. It’s non-toxic, organic, and biodegradable. It’s safe to use in pots around the home where children or pets can reach, thanks to its non-toxic feature. Soils enhanced with Myco-tone, such as Espoma Company Vegetable, are best for in-ground planting.

The fungi in the ingredient cause the surface area of plant roots to increase greatly and so it might do better in the larger garden.

Weight

You’ll be amazed at how heavy a pot can become once you fill it with soil and water. If you’re growing your plants on hanging baskets and planter boxes, you must consider the weight of the soil. You might want to consider lighter options like Organic Plant Magic Soil. It is light in weight, but it expands seven times more after preparation. Light soils are easy to transport and store. Heavy soils are ideal in cases where you need something ready to use since most of them don’t require a lot of preparation.

FAQ

Organic matter and nutrient deplete from the soil as plants grow. If you’re working on is in an existing garden, you can do is add a couple of inches of organic soil for raised beds. This kind of soil increases the amount of organic matter in your soil. Prepare to manage the weeds right away since the weed seeds will come to the surface due to the soil disturbance. Raised bed gardens, on the other hand, are fine but make sure they are at least 8 inches deep for pepper, tomato, or squash. You can use containers, hanging buckets, or troughs to build a raised bed.

Depending on the kind of soil you have picked, organic soils are safe for vegetable gardens. Soils that are 100 percent natural are typically safe for organic gardening. By organic, we mean anything biodegradable. However, not all organic materials labeled ‘organic’ are free of chemicals. Make sure you look for an official sealing stating ‘certified organic’ such as an OMRI certification before making a choice. Never forget that any chemical we use on our garden or lawns will eventually find its way in our bodies and so you need to make a careful choice.

Our Verdict

From our review, it’s apparent that no soil is a perfect fit for everyone, and as you can see, our top three picks are all fantastic products in their unique ways. We, however, chose Organic Plant Magic Soil as our editor’s choice. What we love about it is that it comes in a light package, and a little soil goes a long way. The fact that it expands seven times when you add water makes it an appealing option for many.

It wasn’t easy deciding on the second best from the list, so we chose the FoxFarm Planting Mix. This soil is 100% organic and has a lot of natural ingredients. It is ready to use, and so it’s easy to use. Espoma Company Vegetable is our premium pick for its versatility. It’s all-natural and organic enhanced with Myco-tone, and an excellent option for in-ground plantings. We recommend it for those who want to grow beautiful lawns, even in shady areas. We hope our review and guide help your search for the best soil for raised beds from the top-rated products on the list.

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