How can I ascertain quality of soil I buy from local nurseries?

I live in Kolkata, India.

  • What are you trying to grow?
    – J. Musser
    Dec 29, 2015 at 17:00
  • Mostly seasonal vegetables.
    – Muddassar
    Dec 30, 2015 at 17:49
  • It's difficult - in Australia I've found that even soil that looks ok in the supply place can have nasty seeds in it. We've twice (different suppliers) got a truckload of soil that turned out to have noxious weed seeds in it.
    – Móż
    Dec 31, 2015 at 4:28
  • If the soil is stated as being heat treated to a particular temperature >100'c to kill pathogens and dormant seeds you would hopefully be ok. If not, then as above it could have all manner of noxious stuff in it. Unfortunately heat treatment also kills all the beneficial bacteria as well. Depending on location you could place your soil and allow the weeds to grow then weed before planting anything in it.
    – user13638
    Jan 5, 2016 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


Does it smell? It shouldn't smell of anything other than 'soil' and should have anything really recognisable in it e.g chunks of Woody material, gravel,sand or stones. It should be brown and crumbly and almost dry. It may or may not have much organic matter in it which is the bit that adds to nutrients for plant growth. Hope this helps.

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