Can I Re-use The Potting Soil From Last Year - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, IL
Avatar for lyy8
Question by lyy8
March 5, 2000
I planted some tomatoes and leek in the pot using potting soil last year. I plan to use them again this year for vegetable or flower and I found a lot of little roots in the soil. What should I do? Should I repace the soil totally or use some kind of mix?

Answer from NGA
March 5, 2000
Many gardeners will reuse at least a portion of the potting soil, often at the bottom of the new container if it is a large one. With tomatoes in particular this is probably not a very good idea because of the possibility of disease; tomatoes are also very hard on soil and use up many of its nutrients so your new plants would appreciate fresh. In addition, potting soil tends to deteriorate over time so it is always a good idea to repalce at least of half of it annually.

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