Just as most of us don’t make our own soap any more, because it’s less time consuming and therefore cheaper to buy it already packaged at the neighborhood grocery store, so we don’t have to mix our own potting soil, as it can be easily and inexpensively purchased at the neighborhood ten-cent store, super market or garden supply store. There are a number of commercially packaged potting-soil mixtures on the market, some better than others, but all of them more than adequate for the job. These soils have even greater advantages over do-it-yourself potting mixtures than just those of cleanliness and efficiency. Packaged potting soil is properly sterilized and therefore free from pests and mites and larvae. Frequently the gardener who makes up his own potting mixture using garden soil finds that he has brought in an infestation of insects as well as dirt. Further, you are sure that the soil you are giving your plants is one that has been mixed by professionals expressly for the purpose. Potting soil is inexpensive to buy and easy to use. Unless you are planning to start a real greenhouse (in which case there’s still a good deal to be said for it) it’s a worthwhile expense. There is no sense in making it difficult either for yourself or for your plants when the means are at hand to do a better job more easily. Because African Violets require a soil with a higher percentage of humus that most house plants, there are special African Violet soils available for sale on the market. This same soil can be used for good effect with ferns and other tropical plants and Begonias.
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