When it comes to gardening, there are three main groups of people:
- Those who don't have any particular preferences and will use man-made fertilisers, pest controls and herbicides.
- Those who hold strong views about gardening completely naturally (organically) without using man-made fertilisers or other chemicals.
- Those who are happy with a mix of both.
And so it is with potting mixes - broadly, there are three types based on what's in them:
- Regular, premium and superior mixes that contain slow or controlled release fertilisers, wetting agents, etc (Scotts Osmocote Professional, Debco).
- 100% natural mixes that do not contain any added chemicals or artificial ingredients (Performance Naturals).
- The best of both worlds - premium or superior mixes boosted with organic ingredients (Scotts Osmocote + Organics).
What makes them different?
Superior and premium potting mixes
Made from composted pine bark to which slow or controlled release fertilisers, wetting agent, water-storing crystals and other ingredients may have been added. These additives may be man-made or chemical in origin.
Our superior and premium Scotts Osmocote Professional mixes comply with or exceed the Australian Standard's FIVE RED TICKS requirements.
Learn more about how our potting mixes are made.
100% natural mixes
Organic-based and 100% completely natural (animal, vegetable or mineral) in origin, with no man-made fertilisers or additives. It's made from composted pine bark, like premium mixes, but without the base fertiliser in the composting process.
Natural fertilisers in our organic mixes include:
- Feather meal
- Chicken manure
- Blood & bone
Scotts Performance Naturals™ Premium Potting Mix carry the Australian Standard's FIVE RED TICKS logo.
Made from a premium potting mix base that contains controlled release fertiliser and wetting agent, these mixes also include a range of organic ingredients. Added composted chicken manure, blood & bone, seaweed, fish meal and molasses will stimulate beneficial soil-borne microbes.
These two in one potting mixes cannot be certified as organic because they contain fertilisers and other materials that are man-made.
Our Scotts Osmocote Plus Organics mixes, which carry the Australian Standard's FIVE RED TICKS, really are the best of both worlds!
So, which is best?
It's a personal or lifestyle decision
There is no right or wrong, good or bad when it comes to making a decision about the type of potting mix for you and the way you like to garden.
It's a completely personal decision which may be influenced by your lifestyle or philosophical choices. Sometimes it may be a choice that results from a medical condition that affects you or someone you share your life with.
- People who prefer to buy, use, eat and grow only 100% natural products will choose a 'Certified Organic' growing medium.
- Others may like the benefits of organic fertilisers but also want the long-term feeding and trace elements that come with a controlled release fertiliser (Scotts Osmocote + Organics).
- Those who have no particular preference will usually choose a premium or superior mix that contains a long-term controlled release fertiliser, wetting agent and water-storing crystals - because it's the complete, 'set and forget' package for time-poor or inexperienced gardeners.
Premium and superior mixes are also available in a wider range of plant-specific varieties than other potting mixes. You can choose one that has been formulated to suit the plants you're growing - for example Scotts Osmocote Professional Fruit & Citrus Potting Mix for your dwarf 'Lots of Lemons' or Bulb Mix for your potted hyacinths.
Whatever your decision, make sure you buy quality potting mixes - always look for the Australian Standard logo and other certifications.