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Options for old potting soil

After you have had that beautiful potted arrangement out all summer and the season has turned, you may wonder how you can make sure not to waste that soil but are not sure what best to do with it. There are a few ways to reuse that potting soil as it will help your gardening budget and mkae sure you arn’t throwing good resources out with end of the season.

However, if your potted plants left the greenside due to diseases or pests it will probably be best to discard that potting soil with your regular trash. If you really want to save it though you will need to look into sterilizing it, which can be attempted with “solarization” which is a fancy way of saying you’ll need to put the soil in a container and leave it in full sun to heat up. The Univesity of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program recommends a temperature of 158F or higher for 30 minutes OR 140F or higher for 1 hour to eliminate fungi and bacteria. This can be a hard process depending on your loaction and your practices you feel comfortable with in your garden.

5 Ways to Reuse Clean Potting Soil

  • Use it as a bulk fill to large containers
  • Use it as a base for a new garden bed
  • Mix with compost and use it in containers
  • Spread it on your flower beds and borders
  • Add it to your compost bin

If you don’t have a garden to add it to or compost pile, there might be a community garden or municipal program that will take donated soil.

All of these methods are dependent on makeing sure you are mixing them in or layering with them with new soil or compost. Essentially you will need to think of the potting soil as being used up after a growing season for their nutrients and it is being utlized for its bulkiness that it can provide for the growing substraight. You will need to make sure you are removing all roots and possible seeds so that when you use it into its new area you are not growing unwanted plants in your new area.