Can you reuse potting soil? Yes, and you can find out how by reading this guest post by Jane Blanchard at Modernize.com, a home design and remodeling website. Enjoy!
Are you looking through last season’s potted plants and wondering if you can reuse the potting soil?
Some gardeners opt to start fresh and discard last year’s soil, but this isn’t necessary.
Reusing potting soil is a good way to save money and renew your commitment to the green movement.
The following guidelines will help you reuse last year’s potting soil for the upcoming gardening season.
Reusing potting soil from last year is an option, but you must take the necessary steps to make certain that it is in optimal condition for the current planting season.
Potted soil may have the consistency of real soil, but in reality it is only the fillers that substitute for “soil” and are comprised of nutrients and substances to help with water drainage.
Due this consistency, the soil is most likely depleted of its nutrients and it is crucial that you replenish what is lost.
By the time one season is completed the remaining “soil” only contains filler ingredients that will not help plants grow.
The following are ways to salvage last year’s soil:
1. Transfer the soil to a tub and make certain you pilfer and fluff the soil so that you can find the weeds, seeds or roots from the previous season’s plants.
You can use a trowel to sift through the soil. If you discover any earthworms while you are working through the soil, do not remove them.
Make certain that the soil is light and fluffy.
2. To add nutrients into last season’s filler, dump well-aged compost or a plant-tone organic food supplement into the soil.
The suggested ratio is to mix is 25% compost to 75% soil.
The supplement will likely have poultry manure, bone meal and feather meal to help replenish the soil. Compost will work equally well.
The right balance is needed between both so that the soil doesn’t feel too heavy and compacted. If this occurs, it is unlikely the plants or vegetables will have enough to grow.
3. Mix your re-energized potting soil with an all- purpose slow release organic fertilizer. This fertilizer is ideally formulated to work well with vegetables, flowers and shrubs.
It isn’t wise to skip this step because you ensure that last year’s potting soil returns to almost new for this season’s plant growing.
4. After all these steps, you can replant again.
Mix your “new” soil into your tub, water it well and begin to plant.
If you choose to reuse your soil, make certain that you don’t plan the same crop of vegetables and flowers in the same container every year. This will help in decreasing disease spread to the plants.
If you follow these steps there is no reason that you cannot reuse your potting soil from last year for the current season.
Make certain that the soil isn’t diseased and that you are replenishing all the nutrients necessary for growth.
Sit back and watch your flowerbeds or vegetables blossom!
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.
GrowHotPeppers.com back again…
We'd just like to elaborate a little bit more on Step #4 in regards to crop rotation. Each year, you want to make sure you plant an entirely different family of vegetable in a particular batch of soil.
For instance, after you've grown peppers, refresh the used potting soil and grow leafy greens. After the greens are done growing, refresh the soil and then maybe plant legumes.
This helps decrease pest activity and the spread of soil-borne diseases!