Have you ever sunk your hands into the soil and felt its cool, soft texture? That is the magic of loam.
When most people say “loamy soil” or “loamy compost,” they are talking about the texture and health of the soil. It feels soft and damp but drains well. It holds some of its moisture even if you squeeze it.
The technical formula for loam breaks down like this:
- 52% or less sand
- between 28% and 50% silt
- 7 to 27% clay
Loam composts have a loam base with peat and fertilizer added. The best place to buy loam compost is at your local gardening store or nursery, where you can take a look at all the ratios and talk with experts.
We have compiled a list of loam composts and soils you can buy on Amazon for your ease.
11 Loam Composts and Soils
1. John Innes Blend Compost Blends
You can hardly mention loam without mentioning John Innes Compost. John Innes Compost is considered the “traditional” loam-based compost. While the products are John Innes branded, it is more about quality and ratio standards than a specific product. Products that follow the formula and ratio can become a part of the John Innes Manufacturers association and sell John Innes branded compost.
John Innes has four compost and soil mixes, each for different purposes ranging from planting seedlings to reporting mature plants. They are all loam-based with very rigorous quality standards, which make it the gold standard for loam composts and soils. The primary drawback with John Innes composts is, because of their high standards, they can be pricy or hard to get ahold of. Depending on where you are from, you may have to get official John Innes certified compost.
2. Black and Gold Organic Compost
This is a very loamy, high quality, all-purpose compost. It has a high amount of organic material. The organic material includes peat moss, which is great for drainage. It also includes compost and earthworm castings, which are nutrient-dense. Perlite and pumice are also included to help with drainage and water management. It is great for use with vegetables to help raise their yields. It works well for flowers for the same reason.
It is all-purpose but is formulated for western regions. Because of the high nutrient content, I would not use it with young plants or seedlings. Using it with immature plants might burn them.
3. Cost of Maine Lobster Compost
This is another organic compost, but this one is made from lobster shells. Lobster shells are very high in calcium in chitin. Calcium is an essential nutrient for an array of fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, grapes, peppers, and tomatoes. Chitin helps feed the soil microbiome, making it an excellent soil amendment as it helps feed and takes care of the soil in the long term.
Again, because of the high nutrition content, this should not be used with young plants, even in moderation. It is ideally used as an amendment as it is a traditional compost. Using it in place of soil will likely result in burning your plants, even if they are mature.
4. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
This is a loamy soil more than compost, but it is suitable for use indoors. Being usable indoors is a big perk as it does not attract bugs or have a pungent odor. With most loam-based composts and many loamy soils have an odor and may attract insects. This soil is well balanced and doesn’t compromise on the nutrients while also not containing components prone to attract pests, especially gnats.
5. Burpee Organic Potting Mix
Adding appropriate organic materials is one of the best things you can do for your soil. This potting mix includes coconut coir to help maintain a good moisture level and prevent root rot. While it is loamy soil, it is not particularly nutrition dense and would be an excellent all-purpose soil as it can be used both inside and outside. It could also be used for younger plants or germinating seedlings.
6. Organic Succulent and Cactus Mix
This is a sandy loam or general sandy soil well suited to cacti, succulents, bonsai, and plants needing good drainage. This would be great for containers and reviving succulents. This isn’t a traditional loam but is still described as having a loaming texture. It has perlite and substrate, making it ideal for appropriate water retention and drainage.
It could also be used as a soil amendment to help the soil drain and make your soil loamy. It is also suitable for assisting with P.H. balance as it has a pH of 5.5. If you test your soil and it is alkaline and clay-like, adding an acidic, sandy soil like this may help balance the soil.
7. Espoma Organic Potting Mix
This soil gets its more loamy texture from the sphagnum peat moss and peat humus it contains. It is more on the clay loam side as it retains moisture more than most. It would work well in many different situations. It would work best with outside ferns or tropical plants needing water retention. In addition to aiding with water retention, this soil also includes earthworm castings, kelp meal, and other high-quality nutrients to aid in long term plant health.
This soil holds water a bit more, so it is not well suited to succulents, cacti, bonsai, or other plants needing fast drying soil.
8. Conrad Fafard Organic Compost
This is a well-balanced, nutritious loam compost perfectly blended for vegetable gardens and flower beds. Its high nutrient content comes from both shrimp and seaweed and is especially great for plants needing more elevated levels of nitrogen. Because of its high nutrient content, it is best for outside use as it may smell or attract bugs.
Since it is compost, it will burn young plants if used in place of soil and is best used as a soil amendment.
This soil booster is used as a compost to amend your soil and make it loamy by adding organic matter. Because it is granular, it should be a particularly good addition to clay soils needing a nutrient boost. It is formulated to help with the soil’s microbiome and improve the soil’s structure. It is made from buffalo waste, so it is not well suited to indoor use but, for outside use, it could be spread on the soil surface or mixed in.
10. Poultry Compost in a Bucket
This is a high-quality compost made from poultry excrement and mixed with peat moss and other organic material to give it a loamy texture on its own. However, due to its high nutrient content, it could be used on its own or mixed with the soil to help give the soil a loamy texture and nutrient content. It has high nitrogen content, so it is a great all-purpose compost, but it would be especially useful for leafy vegetables like kale, lettuce, and arugula.
11. Harvest Gold Organics Premium Soil Conditioner
Last but not least, we have a soil conditioner. While this product on its own is not particularly loamy, it has a high nutrient and silica content. This helps feed the soil and condition to be loamier. While it is all-purpose, it would do exceptionally well in flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. It stays in the soil for long term nutrient release.
For more information on compost, check out these articles.