Reuse Potting Mix: potting mix

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Reuse Potting Mix

By Newyorkrita
September 6, 2015

Are you doing a lot of container gardening? The potting mixes always say you should use fresh mix each year, but here is a way to save a little money.

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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
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Lalambchop1
Sep 5, 2015 6:07 PM CST
Great idea, Rita! I've often wondered if folks reuse their mix. I usually add mine to a garden bed or the compost pile but I'll be using your suggestion in the future.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Linda
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quietyard
Sep 5, 2015 7:28 PM CST
I always reuse mine. Sometimes dump it out on a tarp and add new to it as Rita suggested, then mix it up and put it back in the pots.
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 6, 2015 12:06 AM CST
Every year I always get the Vermont Compost Container Booster Mix (Compost Plus) at Gardener's Supply and mix it with the old potting mix. I love it!

http://www.gardeners.com/buy/organic-compost-for-containers/...
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Name: Kim
Beaver Falls, PA (Zone 6a)
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klc
Sep 6, 2015 8:20 AM CST
I often use the same mix the next year... dump it out into an old kid's swimming pool, clean out any roots etc, add some new mix and a "splash" of time release fertilizer and repot. Plants seem to do well. If the old soil looks "funny" in any way... moldy etc.... I use it to fill holes in the yard etc. (Two labs that LOVE to dig!!)
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[Last edited by klc - Sep 6, 2015 9:42 AM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Sep 6, 2015 8:21 AM CST
I always use fresh for seed starting, but oh yeah, the old stuff gets reused for the larger containers! I generally dump it out into a bucket and mix it up with some of the fresh. It always seems to come out of the pots in a big lump, so that helps to break it up, too. Smiling
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Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Sep 6, 2015 9:00 AM CST
I'm happy to see that a lot of you reuse your potting mix. I've been doing this, too and it seems to work well.
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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
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Lalambchop1
Sep 6, 2015 9:41 AM CST
One thing I learned is NOT to use packing peanuts to lighten the weight in big pots. I thought I was so smart when I did that but I hate picking out the peanuts when I reuse the soil and have had them "float" to the top if I added something else to the pot later.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Sep 6, 2015 4:02 PM CST
@Lalambchop1 Been there, done that, too and I agree it's not the best idea.
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Sep 6, 2015 5:12 PM CST
Sometimes I put a brick on the bottom of the pot before I put in any potting soil. It uses up room and it also helps keep the pots bottom heavy so that they are not likely to blow over in the wind.
Name: kitty T
columbia sc (Zone 7a)
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goodgirl61
Sep 6, 2015 5:32 PM CST
yep I use brick or rock in the bottom so as to not have them blow over in the wind .
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Sep 6, 2015 7:28 PM CST
@Lalambchop, I do use the peanuts in the bottom of some of my big containers but I put them in a mesh onion bag closed with a tab. It sure lightens the weight and when I empty the container, all I have to do is lift out the bag of peanuts. I do save and reuse the soil with compost and time released fertilizer added.
Name: Dinu
Mysore, India (Zone 10a)
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Dinu
Sep 6, 2015 10:21 PM CST
I have been doing it for years. In some cases, when I have to empty the whole pot, I leave it in a pile and then use it for the bottom filling of other pots some other day... after well aeration.... In fact, nothing goes waste. The top one third is the crucial thing. When we water, the nutrients nourish the soil down ward.
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 6, 2015 11:52 PM CST
Newyorkrita said:Sometimes I put a brick on the bottom of the pot before I put in any potting soil. It uses up room and it also helps keep the pots bottom heavy so that they are not likely to blow over in the wind.


Great idea! Next time I've an empty container, I'm doing that! Thumbs up

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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 7, 2015 3:00 AM CST
I use coir and perlite in all my containers.. just add slow release fertilizer.. like previously mentioned I dump pots in a wheel barrow pull out the roots or anything funky.. and reuse with new slow release
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
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SCButtercup
Sep 7, 2015 4:04 AM CST
Great minds think alike, I do like Rita and use the old soil in bottom of pots. Another use for old container soil: in late fall when I do lasagna layers in raised beds I dump old soil on the newspaper top layer of lasagna beds to weigh down and prevent wind from blowing away the paper.
[Last edited by SCButtercup - Sep 7, 2015 4:34 AM (+)]
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Sep 7, 2015 8:56 AM CST
SCButtercup said:Great minds think alike, I do like Rita and use the old soil in bottom of pots. Another use for old container soil: in late fall when I do lasagna layers in raised beds I dump old soil on the newspaper top layer of lasagna beds to weigh down and prevent wind from blowing away the paper.


Judy, I have done that also with the old container mix. Works great.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
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Kelli
Sep 7, 2015 9:40 AM CST
I reuse old soil, too, sometimes 100%. My potted plants are mostly cactus and succulents and don't need rich soil. I never change the soil in a pot unless I am repotting. My plants go for years with the same soil.
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Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
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MaryE
Sep 7, 2015 2:13 PM CST
I started only changing the top part of the soil when I realized that the roots only used the top part, and that the bottom part was probably still as good as new. For using up space in the bottom of a pot, a plastic jug of water works just fine. The plastic lasts a long time if it's not exposed to the sun. Another thing that is wierd in potting soil mix is those water absorbing granules. They pop out on the surface and look like jelly ice cubes! (or ghost poop!)
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 8, 2015 2:38 AM CST
MaryE I expand the water gels prior to potting up and they don't pop out anymore .. just put a little sprinkle in a food tub and fill it with water the day before .. I have a white tub with a lid .. can keep them expanded all the time and it doesn't turn green with sunlight
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 8, 2015 3:33 AM CST
I learned this tip from you Allison awhile ago! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
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