“I will be planting shrubs in containers. Which potting mix between Fafard and Black Gold would be the best choice and longest lasting? I would prefer something more permanent so as to not have to change out the potting mix every few years. I live in zone 7. Thank you for your response.” Question from Mel of Atlanta, Georgia
Answer: When recommending the best soil for potted shrubs that will be there for the long term, I always suggest filling the pots with 1/3 quality topsoil or ground soil and 2/3 quality potting mix. Mix the two evenly before filling the pots. I like to add ground soil because potting mixes tend to acidify over time, and ground soil, which is primarily inorganic, helps buffer the acidification process, and it will not break down and shrink over time. You might also consider adding some other ingredients, such as sand or pebble, depending on the shrubs grown. Finally, be sure to refresh the pot with new potting mix seasonally. The addition of dolomitic lime can also reduce acidification.
With that said, I would choose the following mixes for long-term potted shrubs.
- Black Gold Natural & Organic Ultra Coir, which has a high percentage of coconut coir, which breaks down slowly;
- Black Gold Organic Garden Compost Blend, which contains a lot of fertile compost;
- Black Gold Garden Soil, which has added fertilizer; and
- Fafard Ultra Outdoor Planting Mix, which is another quality potting mix for outdoor planting.
Feed your shrubs seasonally in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer. It is also important to note that potted shrubs are most apt to survive winter if they are at least two zones hardier than your zone because they are more exposed.
All the best,
Black Gold Horticulturist