Common Department Store Soil Comparison

When I first started looking at potting soils in big box stores, I was overwhelmed by the choices. I wrote this comparison guide to help people decide on what to buy. Potting soil brands contain different ingredients and levels of fertilizers.

I know that price is also a big factor, so I also included the prices in my area. These are all common potting soils from stores like Home Depot and Walmart. What potting soil do you prefer? Should I add more to this list?

If you grow a lot of plants, it’s better to buy soil in bulk by the truckload because buying a bunch of these retail bags gets very expensive. Out of this list, I would say Pro-Mix is the best while Expert Gardener is the worst. Although the Pro-Mix doesn’t come with fertilizer, I prefer to fertilize as needed anyway.

Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix
Ingredients: One or more of the following: processed forest products, peat, coir, and or/compost. Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, fertilizer, and a wetting agent.

Fertizilizer: 0.21 - 0.11 - 0.16

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 25 - Price: 9.97$

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 50 - Price: 14.47$

Kellog Garden Organics® All Natural Potting Mix
Ingredients: One or more of the following: processed forest products, recycled forest products, peat humus, compost. Fertilizer consists of earthworm castings, poultry manure, and kelp meal.

Fertilizer: 0.30-0.10-0.10

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 40 - Price: 6.97$

Expert Gardener® Potting Mix
Ingredients: One or more of the following: compost, forest products, sphagnum peat moss, peat, processed softwood bark, and perlite.

Fertilizer: 0.05-0.03-0.06

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 8 - Price: 3.93$

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 25 - Price: 5.84$

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 50 - Price: 9.97$

Pro-Mix® Moisture Potting Mix
Ingredients: sphagnum peat moss, coir, perlite, ground limestone, wetting agent, and mycorrhizae

Bag Capacity/Dry Volume (qt): 50 - Price: 12.22$