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Nifty, Thrifty Ways to Reuse Potting Soil

Yearly the containers on my deck multiply like rabbits. One pot of basil turns into three, a cherry tomato fills a pot so massive I can barely transfer it, and let’s not get began on the petunias. Whereas it’s nice enjoyable to develop crops up shut, container gardening can price a small fortune in potting soil. Why let it go to waste? With considerate dealing with, you may reuse potting soil in subsequent yr’s containers, or use it to resolve different gardening issues.

Step one is to let used potting soil dry out, both in pots or dumped right into a wheelbarrow or onto a tarp. I favor the dump technique for 2 causes. In my local weather pots should be saved empty and dry to maintain them from cracking in winter, and it’s straightforward to comb by way of a mountain of unfastened soil to take away stringy roots. Previous potting soil needn’t be bone dry once you retailer it, however an excessive amount of moisture can create comfortable circumstances for undesirable moldy microbes. Dry soil weighs much less, too.

See more: Best way to store soil

Permit moist potting soil to dry a bit earlier than combing out residual roots.

Storing Potting Soil

I wish to retailer potting soil used to develop edibles separate from the stuff that supported flowers, which helps limits illness carryover from one yr to the subsequent the identical manner rotations work within the vegetable backyard. The soil used for flowers this yr is honest sport for edibles subsequent yr, and vice versa. Any storage containers that may maintain the soil dry will work, together with bins, small rubbish cans, or heavy-duty plastic baggage.

Publicity to freezing temperatures is sweet for saved potting soil, as a result of it can make life troublesome or not possible for any bugs that could be current as adults, pupae or eggs. When saved underneath heat circumstances, used potting soil could give rise to mysterious hatches.

Nifty, Thrifty Ways to Reuse Potting Soil
Storing soil used to develop edibles and flowers individually is an easy solution to break frequent illness cycles.

Good Makes use of for Previous Potting Soil

A lot of my outdated potting soil will not be used for potting up crops. Although it might lack vitamins, outdated potting soil nonetheless accommodates nuggets of perlite, threads of humus, and only a few weed seeds. This makes it an excellent materials for protecting newly planted carrots, beets and different slow-sprouting seeds. A topdressing of moisture-holding potting soil enhances germination of the seeded crop, with fewer weeds competing for area.

Used potting soil additionally is useful when moles, canines or different critters create holes within the garden that have to be crammed and patched. Grass seed that’s lined with a skinny layer of potting soil often comes up robust, with few undesirable weeds.

You can also use outdated potting soil to pot up giveaway crops. Sharing divisions taken from asters, bee balm, daylilies and different vigorous perennials prices nothing once you drop them in a cracked plastic pot and comfortable them in with used potting soil.

Nifty, Thrifty Ways to Reuse Potting Soil
A topdressing of outdated potting soil promotes germination of carrots planted as seed tapes.

Rejuvenating Used Potting Soil

Many gardeners merely combine used potting soil with new materials, utilizing about half of every, with just a few handfuls of natural fertilizer added to spice up plant diet. Or, you may place the outdated potting soil within the bottoms of very giant containers, and fill the higher elements with a recent combine.

This straightforward observe works effectively with soil that hosted wholesome crops, however my humid local weather is rife with blights and mildews, so I take the additional step of heat-treating potting soil that was used to develop edibles. Solely half-hour of publicity to temperatures above 120°F (49°C) will kill most illness pathogens, however you needn’t stink up your home by utilizing your oven. As a substitute, put just a few gallons of used potting soil in a black plastic bag, and place the bag inside a translucent storage bin set in full solar on a shiny day. A parked automotive with the home windows rolled up makes a superb solarization chamber, too. As soon as used potting soil has been heated and cooled, it’s prepared so as to add to any kind of latest combination you wish to create.

I nonetheless use a recent bag of seed-starting combine for beginning seeds, however by recovering and storing a lot of the soil from outside containers, I make far fewer journeys to the backyard heart for store-bought filth.

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