Can potting soil be reused?
Potting soil can be reused but there are a few things to keep in mind! In a perfect world we would replace potting soil every year. More realistically, potting soil should be replaced every two to three years.
First, potting soil compacts over time. Watering, root growth, and settling of soil all cause potting soil to compact. Compacted soil makes it hard for your plant’s roots to grow. Compacted soil does not drain well and may hold too much moisture leading to over watering and root rot…
The Solution: Dig around and break up the soil. Remove any leftover roots from prior plants.
Second, potting soil loses its nutrients quickly. Between your plants taking up nutrients and you regularly watering your pots and containers, nutrients leach out of potting soil.
The Solution: Amend the soil. About one tablespoon of an all purpose plant or flower fertilizer (we recommend Osmocote) should be added for every gallon of soil.
Money saving tips for larger pots that hold a lot of potting soil:
- Add an inch or two of gravel, broken pottery, or something similar to the bottom of the pot. This takes up space and helps your pot drain better.
- Remove about half of the old potting soil. Break up/loosen the old soil left and mix in new potting soil.
For smaller pots, it is worth completely replacing potting soil.
Don’t waste old potting soil! Use it like you would use top soil. Use old potting soil to help fill in holes or ruts in the yard.
Have other questions about potting soil? Just ask!
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