Best Potting Soil For Vegetables In A Container Garden

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Let’s find out what the best potting soil for vegetables in container gardening is and the difference between garden soil and potting soil and which one you need for your container garden

tomatoes in planter

Hello, I am Tiffany from doing a guest post for Wagon Wheel Homestead, I am the wife of an incredibly helpful and supportive husband and mother of two, one boy and one girl. I live in Kentucky and homeschool my children! At any given day you will find sourdough, Legos, a new creation of something my children (or I) have made. You will definitely find some mud, sticky surfaces and love that resides in every room. So let’s get to it! I love gardening from in ground large gardens to small flower beds and even container gardening! I am going to teach you how to create the best soil for container gardening, and hey, if creating it isn’t your thing, I have a suggested bagged soil to buy that is great too! If large gardening is more your style, check out LaRee’s post on my page!

Garden Soil

Garden soil is the top layer of the dirt that is made up of grass clippings, leaves and different natural minerals that would fall on the grass. It is used for in-ground gardening, flower beds or grass growing. It is heavy and dense. 

Potting Soil for Container Gardening

I believe the best combination of potting soil is called Pea-Ver-Comp, it stands for peat, compost and vermiculite. It is where you mix equal parts of these to make a happy healthy soil for you vegetables in a container garden. 

You’re probably thinking what is peat, compost and vermiculite, right? Well, let me break it down for you. 


Peat is very nutritious dirt that helps trap moisture which is beneficial for keeping your plant from drying out. Thankfully, I have found that another great feature is it will also help to keep your plants from being drowned in water as well.

peat moss growing
peat moss in planter

As you can see, the picture on the left is of peat moss growing, it is green and luscious. However, look at the picture on the right of how light brown it is after it has been processed. 



Vermiculite is a teeny tiny mineral flake that soaks up water. It is important to realize, one key feature of vermiculite is it gives the plants phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium. These are all wonderful minerals for the plant!



I think overall, this ingredient is probably the most straight forward ingredient in our line up, it is decomposed plant material that is rich in minerals for the vegetables. Compost is the vegetables actual food for the plant. It is the natural fertilizer. You will need two different fertilizers. I have used a variety of composts from: mushroom compost which is obviously made from mushrooms, manure compost is from the droppings of animals, vermin (earth worm castings) made from earth worm droppings, yard waste which is made up of organic matter in your yard and lastly, garden compost made from plants. 

Most of these you can get from Amazon or your local garden store. The manure compost will be cheapest from your local farmer! Making your own compost from garden scraps is so fun and engaging for the whole family!

How to make the best potting soil for Vegetables in a Container Garden

different types of soil

Yes, the best potting soil will be the one you make. If you aren’t interested in making it you can definitely buy it, here is a great one. 

On to the mixing, follow me here…

I do equal parts peat, vermiculite and compost. Keep in mind you will need two different types of compost for the best garden soil in the container. 

Finally, I am going to plant in a planter that is 11.57” H x 14.5” diameter. For this purpose, to make things easy we are going to measure as if the pot is 12 inches in height. Put 4″ of peat in the pot, then 4″ of vermiculite, then 2″ of worm castings and 2″ of another compost. Then you will mix all of this together in the pot. Next, add water to the pot so that it is slightly damp, but not soaking wet. Lastly, give it one more mix and your soil is ready to plant your vegetables!

potted vegetable plants

One very important thing to consider…

I am very picky about the seeds I choose to plant because I have had bad experiences where the seeds won’t germinate or I would open up a tomato packet to find sunflower seeds! You can imagine how frustrating that was! So over the course of 11 years I have done a lot of trial and error with seeds. So with that being said, my favorite seeds are from Grow Organic! Their seeds have never disappointed me, they have tons of heirloom options and they have really high standards for all their products! 

You can use this same dirt material in any size pot or raised garden bed. 

Thank you so much for reading,

If you have questions or if I can pray for you, comment below! 

Tiffany @

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