Belgian Nursery Blog

April 14, 2023
Bagged Goods Garden

Belgian’s Bagged Goods and Their Uses

We are all about proper plant care here at Belgian, so we try to carry items you’ll need to keep your plants happy and thriving. But what exactly is vermiculite? Do you really need to add charcoal to your pots? Which potting soil is best for which plants? So let’s shed some light on our Bagged Goods:

Potting Soils – use for both indoor and outdoor pots, planters, hanging baskets, etc.

All-Purpose: our “yellow” and “purple” bags are from two Canadian suppliers, Fafard and Lambert. Fafard/Yellow can be used for nearly any indoor and outdoor container planting need. Lambert/Purple is a lighter mixture thanks to its slightly higher peat moss content, and very similar to what we grow all of our Annual crops (and African Violet soil that used to be available years ago); it’s great for indoor planting, seeding, and propagating.

Connaisseur Potting Soil – specifically designed for indoor and tropical plants! The peat moss base has added coconut husk fibres that help with water retention. Approved for organic culture.

Cacti & Succulent Soil – like our all-purpose potting soils, we also carry Cactus Soil from the same two suppliers but there is very little difference between them. Both have added sand for extra drainage and are excellent for cacti, succulents, jades, aloe versa, snake plants, and bonsai.

Agro-Mix (Seedling & Sprouts) – a mixture of potting soil, peat moss, and coconut fibre that can help with seed germination and root development for cuttings. It’s also good for growing microgreens. Approved for organic culture.

Hanging Basket & Planter Mix – for outdoor use; this potting soil combines peat moss, perlite, and limestone to allow for both water retention and drainage.

Orchid Bark – made of bark and coconut husks, which allows air and water to reach the roots. It’s the perfect growing medium for epiphytes like orchids.

Sunshine Mix – what we use here at Belgian to plant all of our annual and perennial crops! Perfect for big seeding and planting projects but be sure to have room in the car – it’s only available in 3.8 cubic foot compressed bales!

Garden Soils & Garden Additives – for outdoor gardens only; too heavy for container growing. Use as a top dressing in spring/fall or, even better, carefully mix into existing garden soils (at least 6” deep).

3-in-1/Triple Mix – our most popular bagged soil additive, thanks to its mix of black earth, peat moss, and composted manure. Adds incredible nutrients and can help improve poor and/or sandy soils.

Garden Soil – this mix of black earth and composted manure is perfect for new vegetable/flower beds.

Black Earth – great for adding organic material and nutrients to poor and/or sandy soils; can also be used as an annual top dressing for existing beds.

Composted Manure – a mix of “barnyard” manures (primarily cow and sheep) and peat moss. Adds incredible nutrients to existing flower and vegetable beds and improves poor and/or sandy soils.

Chicken Manure – similar to the Composted Manure mix but with added chicken manure. Mix into your existing gardens to add valuable nutrients.
Note: We also carry Hen Manure pellets inside our store – no mixture, just strictly chicken. Sprinkle the pellets on top of your gardens and containers for a slow release fertilizer known to keep squirrels away.

Sea Compost – a mix of peat moss, seaweed, and shrimp that adds valuable nutrients to existing flower and vegetable beds.

     Peat Moss – great for amending many soil issues: for heavy clay soils, it will break up the heavy clumps and add drainage; for sandy soils, it improves water retention. Be careful as too much can affect soil pH levels.

Potting Soil Additives
     Perlite – looks like tiny bits of white Styrofoam but is actually tiny bits of volcano! Primarily used for soil aeration; most potting soils already have perlite in their mixtures.

Vermiculite – looks like tiny bits of rock, and it is! It absorbs excess water to be slowly released back into the soil later. Can be added to potting soil; is widely used for seed starting and propagating.

Horticultural Charcoal – this is inactive carbon that absorbs excess moisture and improves aeration when added into potting soil. Be careful not to use too much as it can affect the soil’s pH level.

Top Dressings: Mulch
Available in different colours, depending on your garden aesthetic. Adding a top 2” layer of mulch helps with weed control, water retention, plus it looks great! Marble and river stones can also be used as a top mulching layer, but these are best for rock gardens as they can increase the soil’s temperature.

Stones & Sand
Drainage Stone – exactly as it says! Our smaller bags are great for adding drainage and weight to the bottom of pots and planters, while the larger bags are for landscaping and pathways.

Marble Stone – much prettier than the Drainage Stone, but can serve the same purpose. You can also add these on top of your soil for a clean, decorative touch.

River Stone – similar uses to the Marble Stones, and often available in pea-sized pebbles. The small bags are great for topping off dish gardens, while large bags are perfect for pathways.

Decorative Stones/Sand – adds a finishing top layer for all your planters, dish gardens, and bonsai.

All Purpose Sand – not as pretty as the decorative colours, but very useful for adding to potting soil for extra drainage for plants like cacti, succulents, snake plants, and bonsai.

     Clay Beads – can be used as a base layer for extra drainage in your pots, or as the growing medium itself for certain plants. Adds aeration and absorbs excess moisture to a point.

Sphagnum vs. Preserved Sheet Moss
Sphagnum Moss is light brown and looks like curly tendrils. It can be used as a decorative soil covering or as a growing medium for certain plants. It is not alive but will retain water, making it an attractive alternative for orchid bark when potting up mini orchids.
Preserved Sheet Moss is bright green and can be easily torn to fit around your plants. Use as a decorative topping for potted plants and mixed planters.

NOTE: Belgian does not carry Bulk items like garden soil or mulch, nor do we carry flagstones, patio/paving stones, or other hardscaping products.

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