Do you have to use new potting soil every year when potting flowers? I usually do, but I didn't know if it was really necessary or not. Thanks.
Melissa from Charlotte, NC
Most of the good stuff will have been leached out by the process of watering and the water draining out of the bottom of the pot. I would either mix it with new or just get new soil each time.
By Robyn Fed
I keep a 5 gallon pail with a cover to dump used soil in. I put in cut up chunks of fruit and veggie peels, egg shells, etc. Each time stuff is added, either stir or shake up the whole pail. When 1 pail is 3/4 full, start another, just keep adding used soil and scrap as you have them. You're actually composting in miniature.
I use this to fill about 1/2 of the next pot I want to use, put in the plant, then fill to desired level with new soil. Much cheaper than using all new soil, uses "garbage" as fertilizer/compost, and it's basically free. (03/12/2009)
If you have potting soil without combustible additives, pop the dirt on an old cake pan or cookie sheet and give it a whirl in the oven to sterilize it. Even works by putting a pan on the outdoor gas grill. Sometimes you need this to kill invading species of bugs, etc.
Or just go and find a spot in the veggie garden, scoop out old, scoop in new. I mix my own soils, using sand is very good, peat, black soils, etc. (03/12/2009)
I have outdoor planters that have had the same potting soil in them for at least 5 years. Every spring I break up all the soil in the planters and remove any large clumps of root or stem that did not decay over the fall and winter. Then I add my new plants and fill in with more potting soil as necessary. I have not had any problems with this method. (03/12/2009)
By Carol L.
I keep a large plastic storage tub near my potting area, this is old pot soil, new potting soil, and a little dirt mixed all together. I stir it all together in my wheelbarrow, then dump it in the storage tub with lid for ready soil. I leave it out in the hot sun, with lid tightly secure to heat and kill any bugs that might be in the old soil. Works year after year. (03/13/2009)
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