I don't have enough soil for my pots, what can I use instead?

by Sandra
I bought 4 big flower pots and not enough soil,any suggestions for substitute other things?

  12 answers
  • 27524803 27524803 on Jun 19, 2018

    No.... the purpose for gardening in a large pot is to control the soil content and water ..... if you want the plants to do well use good quality potting or garden soil and fill the pot with the proper amount of it. ... the more junk you put in with the plant the less well it will do... and that wastes your money replacing the plants.

  • Plastic water bottles or soda bottles. Packing peanuts.

  • This is what I do: A layer of stones (for drainage and stability) a layer of Styrofoam (or card board or crumbles newspaper) and then soil and vermiculite, then the plants and sometimes a small layer of mulch on top.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 19, 2018

    do not use stones, that is a old way of filling pots and studies show the plants retain to much moisture....lay plastic water bottles half way, top with landscape fabric then add your potting mix

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jun 19, 2018

    If you have a good potting soil, you could substitute top soil for some of it and also include some peat moss. If you use top soil, it will not have the nourishment that potting soil has or the amendments to hold more moisture and keep it from packing so hard. Make sure you fertilize.

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Jun 19, 2018

    If you had placed pop cans or a plastic garbage bag in the bottom you would not need so much soil.

  • Joan Joan on Jun 20, 2018

    Fill it with smaller pots first and add your soil on top.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 29, 2022

    Make your own compost from Kitchen scraps and tea/coffee grouts etc.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 25, 2024

    Flatten several large soda bottles to the bottom of the pots, then layer in newspapers (which will slowly disintegrate over time but will help to hold moisture), then add the potting soil and plants.

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 25, 2024

    Hi Sandra: What you might do is either put those foam peanuts in the bottom of the pots (if they have holes, cover the holes with coffee filters to keep the dirt from coming out) or crumpled up plastic bags. You would need at least 3/4 soil for healthy plants. Leave about an inch or two from the top so that you can water the plants without the water coming out.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 26, 2024

    Because the plants don't need all pots to be filled with compost, you could add drainage Grit and then flower pots (upside down) then polystyrene and then put your soil and plants.

  • As an alternative to soil, use potting mix. A mixture of materials known as potting mix, or potting soil, is used to promote a plant's growth, anchor its roots, and offer nutrients as the plant develops. In actuality, there is very little soil in them.