Revive Potting Soil

If you grow container plants, you may just “set it and forget it” when it comes to container soil mix. Unfortunately, over time, potting soil loses its luster as plants feed on it and more or less wash it out. Even though last season’s potting mix may not be as fresh as the day you poured it in the pot, you don’t need to toss it away.



If you grow container plants, you may just “set it and forget it” when it comes to container soil mix. Unfortunately, over time, potting soil loses its luster as plants feed on it and more or less wash it out. Even though last season’s potting mix may not be as fresh as the day you poured it in the pot, you don’t need to toss it away.

The easiest way to spruce up old potting soil is by adding compost. Not only does this give the tired soil a nutritional boost, it also aerates the soil by adding pockets for oxygen and helps the soil maintain moisture, which is often a challenge in containers. Simply combine old potting mix with an equal amount of compost, and you’re good to go.

If you don’t think a quick mix with compost is going to cut it, you can undertake a more thorough rejuvenation of used potting soil. First wash out excess salts by pouring water through the old soil mix and letting it drain thoroughly. Complete this step a few times to ensure a thorough cleansing. Next, mix the leached soil with an equal amount of sifted compost, and sprinkle in a bit of lime and gypsum, as well as one tablespoon of slow-release fertilizer per gallon of soil.

Mix the soil, compost and additives together and water until it is lightly moist. Place it in a storage bin for a couple weeks to give the microorganisms in the compost time to spead throughout the potting soil. Although it takes a little time, when it’s finished, your container plants will have fresh, healthy potting mix to set root in.

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