The Bottom Line
- It’s organic.
- It contains compost, worm castings and live micro-organisms.
- It doesn’t use peat.
- It doesn’t decompose after one season and can be reused.
- Hard to find.
- More expensive than some potting mixes.
- Limited bag sizes.
- Organic, compost based potting soil.
- Contains living micro-organisms
- Has 5 times more worm castings than any other potting soil currently available.
- It's peat free.
- Does not decompose as quickly as peat-based soils, so it’s reusable for at least another season.
- 16 qt. bag retails between $8.99 and $10.49.
Guide Review - Organic Potting Soil
I’ve always been torn between being organic and what to use in my container plantings. The usual soilless mix, organic or otherwise, requires some form of fertilizer be added and a slow release organic fertilizer just doesn’t do the trick. I have to wonder why organic, compost based potting soils haven’t gained a larger share of the market?
The Organic Mechanics Soil Company was founded in 2006, with the first product launch in spring of 2007. The company sites environmental sustainability as a core value. That’s their argument for using compost instead of peat. And they take it even further, using recycled products whenever possible, the bag is 20% recycled plastic, and bio-diesel fuel.
I tried Organic Mechanics on some potted pepper plants. I didn’t give them any additional fertilizer at planting time and they are indeed more lush and green than the plants I put in regular potting soil. The Organic Mechanics plants also have several peppers on the plants in late June and even more flowers. I did feed both pots with a fish emulsion/kelp mix about 4 weeks after planting.
But the real competition is that Organic Mechanics is living, healthy soil that is good for plants, rather than just being a sterile medium for growing them in. It contains compost, forest products, coconut husk fiber, worm casting and perlite. A nice mix for creating the mythic ‘moist, well-drained soil’ And potting soil isn’t cheap, so another nice feature is that Organic Mechancis doesn’t decompose as quickly as peat based mixes and can be reused for at least another season. Most of us are trying to be as organic in our gardening as we can and Organic Mechanics potting soil is another great tool. It will probably be hard to find initially, but start asking for it and nurseries will start stocking it.