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Outdoor Living5 min

The Scoop on Potting Soil: Dos & Don'ts to Help Your Plants Thrive

As the winter chill fades, it’s a great time to get a jump on spring by creating your own container gardens to decorate the porch, patio or even your kitchen windowsill. Soil is the most important factor in successful container gardening. Standard garden soil is not suited for use in containers because it compacts easily and prevents proper aeration and drainage, causing plants to become stunted or even die. You must use a good potting mix instead – one that gives plants just the right combination of air, moisture, nutrition and support.

How to Choose Potting Soil

  • Do choose potting soil that is light and fluffy. It’s crucial that the soil provides enough air for growing roots to be able to breathe and not rot once you plant your container. Without enough air in the soil, plant roots usually have a hard time surviving.
  • Do look for the right ingredients. The best potting mixes don’t contain soil! Read the label on potting soil and look for quality ingredients such as aged bark (for moisture and fertilizer retention), perlite or vermiculite (to provide additional air space), lime (to neutralize acid) and sphagnum peat moss (to retain moisture and create air space).
  • Do fertilize your container plants. Some potting mixes are enhanced with a starter charge of fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer mixed into the soil. Keep in mind that a starter charge will last only two or three waterings and slow-release fertilizer will be depleted within the first month, so you will still need to fertilize the plants regularly.
  • Don’t use garden soil, topsoil or compost, no matter how rich it looks or how well it works in your garden. When put in a container, these materials will become too dense and choke plant roots. They may also contain weed seeds or fungus spores that can grow in your container.
  • Don’t purchase potting mixes containing pesticides if you are planting vegetables or herbs.
  • Don’t forget to water container plants frequently. The limited volume of soil makes it critical to keep the root system moist at all times.

Ready to Buy a Shed for Gardening?

LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® offers a unique collection of engineered wood building products designed specifically for use in sheds and other outdoor structures. An authorized LP shed dealer can help you incorporate our quality products into a garden shed that’s the perfect place for planting, storing and more. When you’re ready to buy a shed, locate a shed dealer near you to learn more.
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Renovation5 min

Start Planning Now for Your Dream Exterior Remodel

If you’re considering an exterior home remodel this spring or summer, now is the perfect time to start planning. Whether you want to take on a simple exterior remodel or totally change the exterior of your house, being prepared and building a detailed home project plan can help reduce your stress and help keep you on budget.

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Trends5 min
Your Biggest Exterior Design Trend Questions for 2020, Answered

It’s hard to imagine we’re living in the year 2020. While we’re not surrounded by robotic butlers and flying cars, home design trends in 2020 will feel revolutionary in style, texture and color. Whether you’re looking at new home building trends for 2020 or want to update your current home’s exterior design, we’re tackling your biggest design questions and providing ideas for inspiration.

Trends4 min
2020 Color Predictions to Guide Your Home’s Paint Color Selection

It’s that exciting time of the year when paint industry pros unveil their new paint colors. 2020 is already a landmark event, marking the start of a brand-new decade. Will it be known by bold, upbeat shades or demure neutrals?

Trends3 min
Design Focus: Dutch Colonials

If you live in the Northeast, your home is likely to represent or be surrounded by great examples of Dutch Colonial architecture. While the traditional Colonial home is a quintessential American design, the Dutch Colonial style is different, and made popular by Dutch Colonists who settled in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut areas in the mid-1600s.