Necessary to mix Garden soil with native soil?

Novato, CA(Zone 10a)

Hi all,

I am in in the process of transplanting some young trees and shrubs from seedling pots into 1-5 gallon pots before I plant them in the ground probably next year. I planted them in 100% garden soil because I could not get my native soil (basically ping pong ball-sized gravel in a matrix of heavy clay) to mix with it. Just want to check - using all garden soil isn't going to kill the plants, right? I just might have to add some micros since there isn't really any inorganic component to the soil?


Novato, CA(Zone 10a)

Just to add - I didn't put them in potting soil because I'm not a fan of the way perlite looks in the yard.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Well in general using garden soil in a pot can be a problem, but this is not always true. People have been growing plants in pots for thousands of years, long before you could buy a bag of potting soil.
One would worry about drainage, if the clay basically clogs up the holes in the bottom of the pot. Probably don't fertilize now, because it might promote a big rush of "soft" new growth not prepared for winter.
Also, depending on how long fall lasts where you are, sometimes experts recommend against "potting up" in the fall. The roots don't necessarily grow into the new potting soil, and then it can hold water and promote rot in the roots because they stay soggy. Maybe in zone 10a this would not happen.
Some research shows that when planting in the ground, you don't need to add any other purchased soil, the new trees are going to have to penetrate the native soil anyway, but do dig a hole much bigger than the pot.
p.s. I have the same views on perlite, it floats up to the surface of the pot, then can blow around the yard. Also it is so lightweight that pots are more likely to blow over. My solution has been to buy a bag of pumice at the nursery. While light, it is heavy enough to solve these problems, plus it is not such a bright white color.

Novato, CA(Zone 10a)

Thanks for the info! These are mainly tropicals and natives that don't really go dormant in the winter (with our mild rainy winters, fall is the start of the growing season for many plants down here). I did find a locally-produced potting soil at the nursery that uses sand and pumice instead of perlite that I'm now using, so I think that will play more nicely with the native soil.

chandigarh, India

Don't worry it is not going to harm the plants. Each soil has its speciality and help the plants according to it. For more information you can click the link given.

New York, NY(Zone 7a)

Related to this,
-Any idea If perlite, or vermiculite that is in potting soils is not good to dump in the landscape or side beds when changing potting soil out?


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