Potting soil

What is the best potting soil? Everything depends on what kind of plants you want to (trans)plant. Potting soil contains basic fertiliser that will last a while, but over time more fertiliser should be added.

Potting soil is a collective name for various types of soil used for plants in pots and planters. Each type has its own composition and specific structure. Potting soil weighs a lot less than heavier, dark garden soil.

Each plant has its preferred soil type. You can consult a list of potting soils on the DCM website: http://dcm-info.be/nl/hobby/tuintips/74/elke-plant-heeft-zo-zijn-lievelingsgrond.

Noot van de vertaler: deze lijst met DCM potgrondproducten staat nergens online in het Engels.

Asef uses revolutionary “fibresmart” technology in some of their potting soil. Its wood fibres are 100% natural and peat-free and provide the perfect texture for ideal drainage. This ensures an optimal balance between air and water for strong roots and a healthy and beautiful plant growth.

Below we list the different types of potting soil, substrate, bark and soil improver in our range, which includes the following brands: Asef, Substral, Naturen, DCM Vivimus and DCM Ecoterra.

Universal potting soil

Universal potting soil contains basic fertiliser and has a neutral pH level, which makes it suitable for most plants.

Asef universal potting soil also contains Osmocote, which guarantees at least 6 months of basic nutrition.

Hydrangea and rhododendron soil

Hydrangea and rhododendron soil is suitable for acid-loving plants, such as hydrangea, rhododendron, azaleas, conifers and heathers.

Never use lime for acid-loving plants.

Soil for vegetables and herbs

Groente- en kruidengrond heeft een luchtige structuur zodat water en voedingsstoffen beter worden vastgehouden.

Soil for vegetables and herbs is airy and improves the retention of water and nutrients.
DCM Ecoterra for vegetables and herbs is perfect for organic gardens, sowing and planting in the open ground and raised vegetable garden boxes. It contains extra calcified seaweed to ensure optimal acidity and lava meal, which is naturally rich in trace elements that prevent and remedy deficiency symptoms. Together they will result in a bountiful harvest and healthy vegetables and herbs.

Potting soil for roses

Potting soil for roses is airy, promotes the development of the roots and contains iron for a beautiful green colour and phosphor for rich, prolonged flowering.

Mediterranean potting soil

Mediterranean potting soil contains TerraCottem, which absorbs water and nutrients. The water and nutrients are then supplied the soil as needed. This soil is excellent for oleanders, citrus trees, figs and outdoor palm trees, for example.

Boxwood potting soil

Boxwood (buxus) potting soil is suitable for box and other evergreen shrubs such as yew, privet, euonymus … The soil has a balanced range of fertilisers to start the plant’s growth in the first weeks after planting or repotting.

Quality soil for seeding and starting cuttings relies on the right amount of fertiliser and nutrients. Too much feed or salts would be harmful to the new roots. One of the natural ingredients that are added to soil for seeding and starting cuttings is sand, because sand is airy and permeable. Seed and cutting starting soil should not retain too much water, as this can attract mould.

Aqua Control (Asef)

This potting soil – ideal for pots, window boxes and tubs – absorbs twice as much water and retains it for longer compared with ordinary garden soil. This means you can give a plant of the same size 50% less water. Aqua Control potting soil contains Osmocote fertiliser that provides basic nutrition for 6 months. Its formula is based on selected peat, coconut coir and moisture control agents.

Instructions for use
Wash your window boxes or pots carefully. Dip the plant’s clod into a bucket of water or water the plants generously. Cover the drainage holes with shards and apply a layer of potting soil. Place the plant in the middle of the pot and add more soil up to 2 cm from the edge. Water generously.

Asef Water Smart potting soil for geraniums and other summer bloomers

Asef Water Smart potting soil for geraniums and other summer bloomers contains clay, which retains water and nutrients longer. The added fraction of organic fertiliser slowly releases nutrients and encourages microbial life in the soil. This potting soil is ideal for optimal growth and flowering of geraniums and other summer bloomers like surfinia, begonia, petunia, salvia … Water Smart technology removes the risk of dry zones and promotes the absorption of water. The soil will stay moist for longer and the number of watering sessions will be reduced considerably.

Cactus and bonsai

Cacti are found in hot regions with lots of sunshine and little precipitation. Besides light and temperature, the composition of the soil is another important element in the cactus’ growth and flowering. Cacti are accustomed to dry soil that is low in minerals. Cactus soil must be airy and permeable and must drain excess water fast.

Palm potting soil

Palm trees are very sensitive to being either too dry or too wet. A palm tree needs a lot of water during its growth period. Substral Palm Potting Soil retains water well and its airy structure allows adequate drainage in case of too much water. The potting soil contains fertilisers that will feed the palm tree for its first 3-4 weeks after repotting.

Did you know that palm trees should only be repotted if they have outgrown their pot or if the soil is hardened or binding? Remove any soil that falls off easily and handle the roots very carefully. Use a deeper pot, press the soil lightly and water generously. Make sure the soil is never dry.

Substral potting soil for houseplants

Substral potting soil for houseplants is a ready-to-use mix for green and flowering plants in pots or containers. It is based on renewable components, which makes this product environmentally friendly. For optimal growth and flowering.

Substral potting mix for orchids

Substral potting mix for orchids is the ideal solution for orchids, Tillandsia and Guzmania. Partly thanks to its selection of coarse bark and peat humus, this potting soil is just airy and permeable enough for both water and nutrients. It also contains lime, fertilisers and micronutrients. The potting soil is sold in 5 litre bags. Orchids are best repotted after the flowering period.

Pond soil

For information on pond soil, see Water – Water Plants.

Soil improvers

One example of a soil improver is DCM Vivimus for roses and flowers. You can mix the soil improver into the soil when you are planting all types of roses: shrub roses, standard roses, climbing roses … Its specific composition improves the soil structure and creates the ideal growing conditions for roses. The soil is enriched with organic fertiliser and encourages soil life. This mixed organic soil improver is rich in organic matter.

Naturen soil improver

Naturen soil improver for gardens and vegetables is a ready-to-use product that is perfect for planting shrubs, trees, hedges, fruit and flowers in the open ground. The carefully selected mix of components makes this soil improver particularly rich in organic matter, which is important to ensure healthy microbial soil life. This mixture is also a source of humus, which enriches the soil naturally. The use of this soil improver creates the right conditions for easy rooting, strong growth and rich yields.

DCM Vivimus® for heathers, rhododendrons and all acid-loving plants

DCM Vivimus® for heathers, rhododendrons and all acid-loving plants should be mixed into the soil when planting acid-loving plants such as heathers, rhododendron, azalea, camellia, hydrangea, pieris, skimmia … It has a modified acidity level and specific composition to create the ideal growing conditions for acid-loving plants and promotes rapid rooting and excellent initial growth for a successful shrubbery. This mixed organic soil conditioner is rich in organic matter.

DCM Vivimus® for fruit and vegetables

DCM Vivimus® for fruit and vegetables should be mixed into the soil when planting all types of vegetables in a greenhouse or in the open ground. The specific composition includes dried horse manure and a high level of organic material to create a humus-rich, airy soil that can retain high quantities of water and promotes active soil life. It creates the ideal conditions for fast rooting growth and a successful shrubbery and contains additional seaweed meal to supplement your plants’ daily nutritional needs. This mixed organic soil conditioner is rich in organic matter.

DCM Vivimus® for the lawn

DCM Vivimus® for the lawn should be mixed in with grass seed to quickly fix any bare patches on your lawn and improve the result of over seeding. You can also use it after levelling molehills or low spots. You can also mix it into the soil when you are laying a new lawn to ensure a humus-rich, airy soil for good water management. This enriched mixed organic soil improver is rich in organic matter.

(Trans)planting tips

Cover the drainage hole with a flowerpot shard and apply a thin layer of potting soil, such as Asef Osmocote Universal potting soil. Remove any old soil that falls off easily and any rotten or dead roots. Always handle the roots carefully to avoid root damage. Place the plant in the middle of the pot and add more soil. Press the soil down with your thumbs, add soil up to 2 cm from the edge and water generously. The best time to repot is early spring, just before the plants start growing again.

Always allow excess water to drain in order to avoid root rot.

Naturen Aqua Control bark chips

Naturen Aqua Control bark chips are ideal for flowerbeds, shrubberies and heathers. Naturen Aqua Control bark chips are a 100% natural product with a 2-year lifespan. Naturen Aqua Control bark chips gradually break down and can be mixed in with the garden soil. This enriches the soil with organic matter. Naturen Aqua Control bark chips stop water from evaporating, which guarantees the soil’s humidity up to 6 times longer than uncovered soil. These very fine bark chips create a compact layer that is more efficient than coarser chips.

Instructions for use
Remove all weeds around the plants and scatter a layer of bark chips on damp soil. The layer should be level and 4 to 6 cm thick. Then carefully clear the base of the plants again.

DCM 20-40 mm bark chips

Decorative and durable, these chips of beautiful, brown-red mulched bark (Pinus maritima) have been sieved with a 20-40 mm fraction. This colourfast, decorative natural product keeps soil weed free and protects against dryness and frost. The bark breaks down very slowly.

DCM pine bark chips

DCM pine bark chips are decorative and durable. These brown bark chips (Pinus sylvestris) have been sieved with a 20-40 mm fraction. This natural, decorative ground cover protects against weed growth, dryness and frost. These bark chips turn grey more quickly.

DCM Mulch

DCM Mulch keeps the soil free from weeds. This fibre-rich bark is native to Belgium and was sieved with a 10-20 mm fraction. This budget-friendly ground cover protects the soil from weed growth, dryness and frost. It breaks down fairly quickly.

DCM Castanea CoverChips 5-40 mm

These decorative wood chips are used as natural ground cover. They are a 100% natural product derived from chestnut wood chips. CoverChips prevents weed growth and protects the soil from temperature fluctuations. The chips get a beautiful grey colour (similar to chestnut fencing). They are hardwood and break down very slowly. The remains can be worked into the soil.

DCM Cocover®

DCM Cocover® is decorative and durable. It is a 100% natural product consisting of calibrated pieces coconut husk. It is decorative ground cover for plant borders, plant bowls and containers, prevents weed growth and protects the soil from temperature fluctuations. Cocover does not acidify the soil, breaks down slowly, retains its colour and improves the soil structure thanks to its fibrous texture.

Peat humus

Peat is a natural product: 100% pure peat humus improves soil structure and acidifies the soil. It is therefore suitable for creating ornamental gardens and lawns. Peat in its purest form usually does not contain many nutrients, but does create a warm, airy environment for the plants’ roots. Peat also retains water and any added nutrients and ensures excess water can drain away easily. We stock 4 kg Asef peat humus and 150-litre DCM peat humus.

Naturen hemp mulch

Naturen hemp mulch is ideal for the vegetable garden, small fruit and garden beds. Naturen Hemp mulch is a 100% natural organic product that has been through a process called scutching (the separation of the fibres and hurds). Hemp mulch has a 1-year life span: it gradually breaks down and can be mixed in with the soil. This enriches the garden soil with organic matter.
Hemp mulch ensures that the plants do not come into contact with the soil. This avoids any splashing and keeps your plants clean. It can be used on paths for easier garden access.

Instructions for use
Remove all the weeds around the plants and scatter a layer of hemp mulch on damp soil. The layer should be level and 2 to 4 cm thick. Then carefully clear the base of the plants again. Now all you need to do is wet the hemp mulch. Once the layer gets wet, it will form a dense layer that sticks together and will not blow away in the wind.

Naturen cocoa shells

Naturen cocoa shells are a 100% natural product derived from the cocoa tree. Cocoa shells can be used as ground cover in the garden and as a decorative layer in window boxes, tubs and pots. They prevent dryness and reduce weed growth. They are easy to scatter around and can save you a lot of time. They are rich in magnesium and other nutrients and therefore perfect to improve the growth and colour of your roses. Naturen cocoa shells form a layer on the soil that protects against sunlight. Weeds will not stand a chance for several months. The cocoa shells also make sure the soil retains more water and protect the plants and roots from frost.

Instructions for use
Naturen cocoa shells can be applied any time of year: in the spring to prevent weed growth and maintain the humidity or in the autumn to protect plants from frost. First remove all the weeds from the soil. Then scatter a layer of cocoa shells. The layer should be level and 4 to 6 cm thick. Finally, carefully clear the base of the plants and water generously to stop the cocoa shells from blowing away.

Naturen Herb’Control lava rock

Naturen Herb’Control lava rock is ideal for rock gardens, borders or paths. Naturen Herb’Control lava rock is a 100% natural mineral product resulting from volcanic eruptions. It is very durable and can be mixed in with garden or potting soil to make it more airy. Naturen lava rock is a mineral product that remains stable in the garden and has a 5-year life span.