Earlier this spring I planted two large pots: one with regular potting soil and the other with organic soil. Each pot was planted with:
- 3 seed potatoes
- 14 sugar snap pea seeds
- 8 red onion bulbs
- 6 strawberry plants
- 6 lettuce starts
Even though I’ve been gardening for 20 years, I’m still pleasantly surprised from time to time when I perform garden experiments.
Last month when I harvested lettuce greens from my container gardens, I was shocked to find out I was able to grow more lettuce with the organic potting soil as compared to the regular potting soil. I harvested 3 pounds, 12 ounces of lettuce from the regular potting soil and 4 pounds, 3 ounces from the organic potting soil.
I thought for sure the regular potting soil that was jacked up with chemicals would outperform the organic potting soil by leaps and bounds.
At first I thought maybe the lettuce was a fluke.
Until I harvested the potatoes.
Holy smokes, man. The organic potting soil again outperformed the regular potting soil! From just three tiny seed potatoes I was able to grow 2 pounds, 9 ounces of spuds, compared to the regular potting soil that produced a piddly 1 pound, 2 ounces.
I had also planted a few peas, onions and strawberries and harvested slightly larger yields with the organic potting soil for those as well.
So what did I learn from this four-month-long experiment? Mother Nature rocks, plain and simple. When in doubt, keep it simple and go organic.
After all, that’s what home gardeners have been doing for generations, right?
All photos courtesy of Mavis Butterfield