Most people probably don’t give too much thought to the ground beneath their feet, but green-fingered enthusiasts know all too well that understanding Soil 101 is vital to a healthy garden.


Yeah, the soil is the “What”. This layer of ‘dirt’ is a complicated mix of insects and decomposing organic matter that is full of bacteria and air. The different composition of this ecosystem means that you can have different soils that can be categorized as:

Consists of larger particles and nutrients. Allows water to easily move through it.

Smaller, thicker particles that essentially traps moisture and nutrients.
Drains much slower than sandy soil.

Contains fine particle sizes that are packed together, restricting proper drainage and air circulation.

A combination of all three mineral particles rich in remnants of decomposing matter known as humus.


Topsoil is essentially what you want to put down to level larger areas of your garden, or if you are planning to seed for a healthier, lush lawn. Other types of mix to add to your garden includes:

Container Mix – great for use in raised beds and hanging baskets since it has a slow-release fertilizer that is triggered when you water.

Planting Mix – used for your vegetable garden, trees, and shrubs

VanWisdom Tip:
Van Wilgen’s Premium Planting Mix is a blend of peat moss and compost formulated for our soil. Everything you need to get your plants started off right. Developing a strong root system is the key to any healthy plant. Combine with our Van Wilgen’s Jump Start and you have a winning combo. These two things combined give your plant a jump start to establish strong roots.

Potting Mix– No moisture retention particles and these are great for houseplants, annuals, and vegetables.

Organic Potting Mix– all organic and great for annuals, herbs and veggies, and raised garden beds and pots.


Spring is great for planting and seeding lawns. We all can’t wait to get out into the yard to lay down the best soil for healthy roots. Remember plants grown in containers enable the gardener to plant at anytime the soil can be worked… even on hot summer days.

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