The Battle of the Veggies: Organic Vs. Nonorganic Soil Part 4

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container gardening

Earlier this spring I planted two large pots: one with regular potting soil and the other with organic soil. (Read about my previous updates here,  here and here!) Each pot was planted with:

  • 3 seed potatoes
  • 14 sugar snap pea seeds
  • 8 red onion bulbs
  • 6 strawberry plants
  • 6 lettuce starts

harvesting potatoes grown in containers

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. 

container gardening

Until I harvested the potatoes.

growing potatoes in organic potting soil

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.

growing potatoes in containersSo 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?

~ Mavis

All photos courtesy of Mavis Butterfield

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