Soilless Mix

Last Updated: July 30, 2018

Definition - What does Soilless Mix mean?

A soilless mix is a potting medium that contains a mixture of substrates but does not contain any soil. Soilless mixes are considered sterile because they do not contain the bacteria and fungi usually found in soil.

Soilless mixes generally contain a mixture of organic and inorganic materials that serve individual purposes.

Soilless mix is sometimes referred to as “sterile mix”.

MaximumYield explains Soilless Mix

Soilless mixes are made up of a number of organic and inorganic materials. Some of the most widely used materials are bark, coconut coir, perlite, and vermiculite. Bark improves drainage and air space within the mix, coconut coir provides good drainage while retaining water, and perlite and vermiculite provide additional water and nutrient retention. Additionally, some mixes will contain a fertilizer or additional trace elements to boost nutrients. However, most soilless mixes are predominantly sphagnum peat moss as it is lightweight and inexpensive.

One of the most popular aspects of soilless mixes is that they give gardeners, particularly container gardeners, more control. Using soilless mixes can prevent houseplants or seedlings from being contaminated by soil-borne pests, diseases, and fungi.

In addition to having fewer contaminants, gardeners can create their own soilless mixes to have particular effects. For example, ingredients can be blended to create a particular amount of drainage, air space, or water retention. Another benefit of soilless mixes is that they are lighter in weight and do not become as compact as soil over time. This is particularly helpful when planting seedlings as their roots do not thrive well in heavily compacted soil.

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