Garden Soil vs Potting Mix - Which should you use?

23 May 2023 by
Harley Thompson

Whether you are a green thumb or a novice gardener, the success of your gardening projects heavily depends on the quality of soil you use. Understanding the difference between garden soil and potting mix can make a significant difference to the health and vitality of your plants. At Daisy's Garden Supplies, we offer a wide range of gardening products suitable for a variety of gardening projects - from small potted indoor plants to extensive outdoor landscapes, vegetable gardens, and lawns.

Garden Soil vs Potting Mix: What's the Difference?

 Before diving into the specifics, it's important to understand that garden soil and potting mix are not the same, even though they may look similar. 

Garden Soil

  • Abundant in organic matter 
  • Quality and attributes vary based on the composition of topsoil and amendments used
  • Heavier in weight compared to potting mixes – not as useful for drainage in pot plants 
  • Comprises a range of macro and micronutrients, as well as beneficial microorganisms 
  • Retains moisture and nutrients effectively 
  • Offers sturdy support for roots and top-heavy plants 

Potting Mix

  • Incorporates non-soil additives like peat moss and perlite 
  • Consistent, lightweight texture – more useful for drainage in pot plants but not as useful for lawns and larger garden beds 
  • Sterile composition (free from weed seeds or plant pathogens) Provides no inherent nutrients (unless fertilizer is added to the mixture) 
  • Less proficient at retaining nutrients 
  • Balances moisture retention and drainage effectively 
  • Plant-specific blends available using varying ingredients

​Garden Soil

Garden soil is usually a mixture of clay, sand, and silt, along with organic material and other nutrients. It is best suited for outdoor planting as it is denser, retains water well, and contains natural organisms beneficial for plants' growth. 

At Daisy's, our garden soils include Vegie Mix, Organic Mix, and Lawn Mix. Each one is carefully formulated for specific types of plants.

Vegie Mix

Our Vegie Mix is the ideal solution for a rich, fertile vegetable garden. It is made up of budget soil that has been substantially enriched with mushroom compost, as well as other composts and manures. This creates a nutrient-rich blend that promotes the growth of healthy vegetables. You can add it to your existing soil to provide a boost of nutrients, or use it to create a new garden bed and plant directly into it. The Vegie Mix provides the optimal growing conditions for your vegetable plants, ensuring a bountiful harvest.


Organic Mix

Daisy's Organic Mix is our premium garden soil blend, crafted from sandy soil, composted organic matter, and composted manures. This mix is designed to enhance the organic matter and nutrient levels in your soil, supporting the overall health of your garden. The Organic Mix does more than just provide a range of nutrients and important trace elements:

You can dig the Organic Mix into your garden beds to enrich and improve the existing soil profile or lay it over the top and plant straight into it. Both methods will yield excellent results. Please note, this soil may not be suitable for some native plants. 


Lawn Mix

Our Lawn Mix is another high-quality blend from Daisy's, designed specifically to nurture and sustain vibrant lawns. It consists of sandy soil, composted organic matter, and composted manures, similar to our Organic Mix. This blend works to increase organic matter and nutrient levels in your soil, enhancing lawn growth and resilience. The Lawn Mix is specially crafted to: 

You can incorporate the Lawn Mix into your existing soil to enrich it or lay it over the top and sow your grass seeds or lay your turf directly into it. The Lawn Mix will provide an optimal growing environment for your lawn, encouraging lush, green growth. This soil may not be suitable for some native plants. 


Potting Mix:

Potting mix, on the other hand, is lighter, well-draining, and designed for container plants. It doesn't contain actual 'soil' but is made of ingredients like peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite that provide a good balance of water retention, aeration, and nutrient supply. Our Potting Mix is professionally blended to give your potted plants the best possible start. 

Perlite and vermiculite: Both perlite and vermiculite are minerals found in nature, commonly incorporated into potting soils to enhance soil structure, improve drainage, and promote aeration. 

Peat moss: Similarly, peat moss is a widely utilized natural resource obtained from peat bogs. This material possesses excellent moisture retention properties and enhances the texture of the growing medium.

Make sure to check out our new high quality Potting Mix for your next project!

​Daisy's Volume Calculator and Delivery: 

Purchasing the right amount of soil or potting mix can be challenging. To make your task easier, Daisy's Garden Supplies offers a handy Volume Calculator to help you determine the exact amount of product you need for your garden project. 

Additionally, we understand that transporting garden products can be cumbersome. That's why we offer a convenient Delivery Service, delivering your products straight to your doorstep!

Can I pick up garden soil or potting mix?

Certainly, At Daisy’s we have eight convenient locations, these are located across the whole of metropolitan Melbourne as well as in Geelong and Torquay making pickup of your Garden Soils or Potting Mix easy and convenient. Here is a map of our locations to find the nearest shop to you so we can help with your gardening needs! 


Understanding the unique requirements of your garden project and selecting the right soil or potting mix can greatly influence the success of your gardening endeavours. 

Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional landscaper, Daisy's Garden Supplies is committed to providing the best possible products and services for all your garden and landscaping needs. Explore our wide range of sleepers and let us help you transform your outdoor space today. 

About the Authors

Harley Thompson

Harley is a second-generation journalist with a passion for gardening and a keen eye for detail.  Currently studying a double degree of Commerce and International relations at Monash University, Harley loves learning new things. He specialises in creating engaging content about garden advice, using experience in store, with our team and customers. His writing blends his academic knowledge with practical experience, offering informative and inspiring articles.    

Greg Fitzgerald

Greg Fitzgerald is a qualified horticulturalist with more than 30 years in the industry and 16 years at Daisy's Garden Supplies. He manages production and procurement for all our products, ensuring high-quality gardens and landscapes for our customers. His vast experience and qualification in horticulture make him a key asset to Daisy's. He offers valuable insights and a wealth of knowledge in terms of mulches, soils, pebbles and rocks, composts and many other products.