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Seasoned gardener warns against the 'biggest mistake' people make when planting: 'Makes such a big difference'

"I do this!" said one user.

“I do this!” said one user.

Photo Credit: @carmenjohnstongardens / Instagram

If you use pots or garden beds for any of your plants, you'll want to hear what this gardener has to say —  new soil may be just the trick to keep your garden extra healthy. 

The scoop 

Carmen Johnston (@carmenjohnstongardens) uses her Instagram page to share her gardening and lifestyle hacks

In one of her recent videos, she warns people not to make a common gardening mistake. 

"Do you want to know one of the biggest mistakes that people make when they're planting their container garden?" she asks at the beginning of her video. "They forget to add good soil." 

Johnston recommends replacing at least some of the soil each year for your potted plants. For larger pots or raised beds, replacing the first six to eight inches of soil should be enough, but for smaller pots, Johnston suggests replacing all of it. In particular, she suggests looking for soil with peat moss, pine bark and perlite, or vermiculite. You'll want the soil to be "light and fluffy." 

"If you have smaller pots … I completely empty them out all the way and fill [them] up with new soil every single season," she says. 

How it's helping 

Though it may take some extra effort, it's important to make sure that your flowers and produce are set up for success each season. That way, you'll end up with strong, beautiful flowers or a great crop of produce as a reward for your hard work. 

Although potting soil isn't cheap, the outcome of having happy and healthy plants is worth it if you can afford it. Plus, if you're able to plant perennials like Russian Sage, you'll save more by not needing to buy flowers each season. 

If buying potting soil isn't in the budget, you can find other ways to ensure the best possible quality soil — like this recipe for DIY fertilizer — and you can compost to make sure that your soil has plenty of nutrients. 

The best part is that just about any plant you decide to grow, whether it's produce, flowers, or anything else, is good for the environment. 

Plants naturally clean the air in the process of photosynthesis, where they take in carbon pollution and turn it into oxygen. Plus, many plants attract and provide for pollinators — which are vital to our food source. So even if you just have a few flowers in the front yard, you're still making an impact on pollution as well as helping out your local gardeners and farmers. 

What everyone's saying 

Some commenters on the post were thrilled to see that the hack they'd been using was endorsed by Johnston, and happy to encourage others to use it. 

"I do this!" said one user, while another added, "Makes such a big difference!"

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