Bedner's Farm & Greenhouse

The importance of having the right soil


Many people don’t realize that healthy soil is an essential part of ensuring your plants thrive. Whether itsย annuals during the summer or perennials that you want to enjoy for years to come, soil quality is key to ensuring a plant’s success.ย 


Healthy soil is comprised of a bunch of different organisms such as earth worms, insect larvae, beetles, fungai and bacteria.

A common situation we see with customers is that they recently bought a new home and want to make a significant investment in new plants, but are unsure of what condition their soil is in. We recommend any customer who is unsure of the fertility of their soil to get a soil test kit from Penn State.


It comes in a little bag with instructions on how to do the testing. We recommend youย collect dirt samples from 13 different areas around your yard for an accurate test. Allow your samples to dry out on a newspaper and then mail back a cup-size sample to Penn State. Soil test kits are available at our Garden Center and also from the Penn State Extension Office. Penn State will mail you back a report about what amendments your soil needs. Bring your report to Bedner’s and we can help you understand your report.


Many times people come to the garden center and they aren’t sure of what kind of soil to purchase for their new plants. When planting a potting garden, you should use potting soil. There are a few different types of potting soil. Some have polymer, a water holding crystal, to help hold water in the soil to reduce watering needs. Others have beneficial fungi to promote root growth. Many also have slow-release fertilizers that last anywhere from 3 to 9 months. How long the fertilizer lasts often depends on what you are planting in the pot. All of the potting soils at Bedner’s include some kind of fertilizer, but we recommend that in mid to late summer you use a water soluble fertilizer to help keep your plants healthy.ย 

Watch our full video about the importance of healthy soil below.