It is time to delve into the dark dirty secrets of soils! This series of blogs are dedicated to demystifying the many varieties of soil and help you pick which one is best for your garden and budget. Here at Hook’s we know that choosing what type of soil to buy can be tricky considering there are many options to choose from, but the variety in soil types available at garden stores are necessary for meeting the needs of every gardener. The type of soil needed depends on a number of factors including which types of plants are being planted, whether they will be planted in the ground or in a container, and on the quality of the local soil.

Each soil is made to have different nutritional values. There is potting soil which is made to suit the needs of a container garden or raised bed. It drains excess water and retains moisture. We recommend Pro-mix Premium Potting Soil. Topsoil is used for the finishing layer in your garden. It’s meant to loosen heavy soils and improve the moisture retention. Garden Magic Topsoil is our favorite topsoil. Compost and manure can be included in a variety of different gardens. However, it works especially well to help get a young garden growing. We recommend Garden Magic Compost and Manure. Peat is perfect if you are dealing with more difficult soils. It provides nutrients for sandy soils and breaks down clay to make problem soil more manageable. Pro-Moss Peat Moss is our recommendation and should get your soil back into garden shape.

Each type of soil that we use is equally important for gardening. There are many other types of soil. These are the basic foundational soil that you will find in every day gardening. It is important to know what kind of soil you need to improve your plant health. Be sure to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are happy to help you figure out your soil and gardening needs.

Last year we introduced a new line of soils here at Hook’s called Happy Frog by Fox Farms. We love so many things about the brand, like how this brand of soil can help improve root efficiency and encourage nutrient uptake. This soil includes, earthworm castings, bat guano, and aged forest products to help your plants thrive all year long. This soil is meant for container gardening weather it is indoor or outdoor plants this soil provides all your plant needs to be healthy. 

Here is a listed guide of Hook’s recommendations for a variety of common gardening situations.


Annual Containers

Good – Miracle Gro Potting Soil

Better – Baccto Potting Soil

Better – FoxFarm Potting Soil

Best – Pro-mix Premium Potting Mix


Organic Options

Good – Garden Magic Compost and Manure

Better – FoxFarm Soils

Best – Pro-mix Organic Vegetable & Herb Mix




Good – Garden Magic Topsoil

Better – Garden Magic Potting Soil

Better – FoxFarm Soils

Best – Pro-mix Premium Garden Mix