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

Tips on Re-Siding in Historic Districts

If you own a home in a historic district, you can forget about replacing the existing siding with vinyl. Most historic districts require replacement siding to closely match the original, hence wood (or engineered wood) and brick. Understanding home building regulations based on historic overlays can help eliminate the headache during renovations, so it’s important to stay in the know before embarking on the project.

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Renovation5 min
Top Four Home Exterior Tips for Fall

With fall just around the corner, it’s time to plan how you will ensure your home’s exterior is ready for the cooler temperatures while also keeping up with the latest seasonal trends. Not sure where to start? We break down the top four home exterior tips for fall for a little inspiration.

Trends6 min
Using the Right Siding for a Ranch Home

Ranch-style home designs are known for low and wide single-story profiles, large picture windows, sliding glass doors and attached front garages. These close-to-the-ground homes were first built in the U.S. in the 1920s, but they didn’t gain widespread popularity until the post-World War II era into the 1970s. As suburbia spread, the ranch-style house became one of America’s favorites. The popularity of ranch-style homes waned in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but it’s making a comeback as younger homebuyers rediscover the ranch’s charm—much like they did with bungalows.

Maintenance4 min
What First-Time Buyers Should Know About Home Maintenance and Storage

Most first-time homebuyers arm themselves with a lot of information about mortgage interest rates and closing costs. What they sometimes overlook are the repair costs prior to moving into previously owned homes and the long-term maintenance costs associated with homeownership.