Potting soils – Saturation

Q: When I use some potting soils for the first time they are very dry in the bag. Water runs off it like plastic and doesn’t soak in. Why does it do that and how do I get it saturated?

A: When a potting soil won’t absorb water, it’s called “hydrophobic”. This is a common problem with soils that contain lots of peat moss. To combat hydrophobic soil, swish a bar of Ivory soap in a five gallon bucket of water. When you see the first suds, stop swishing. Use this faintly soapy water to wet your potting soil. Another option is to empty a bag of potting soil into a black plastic bag along with a gallon of water. Seal the bag and place it in sunshine for a day to thoroughly moisturize the soil.