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What To Do With Old Potting Soil

Container gardening is a great way to cultivate an interest in sowing and growing, particularly if you want to start growing your own fruit and veg but don’t have a lot of space to play around with at home.

At the end of each growing season, however, you may find yourself in a bit of a quandary, unsure what to do with all the old potting soil you’ve amassed in your various pots and containers.

Once spring and summer have come to an end and autumn and winter start to make themselves known, it can be wise to empty the soil from your containers so you can help prevent pests and diseases from manifesting. If your pots are breakable, this will also help keep them in one piece since repeated freezing and thawing of soil can lead to cracks if you’re not careful.

You can empty the old soil into your green bin so it can be taken away with the rest of your leftover food and other such material to an in-vessel composting facility… which is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to get rid of it.

But you could also use it on your existing garden beds as a little top up or even spread it in a thin layer over your lawn. Alternatively, you can use it as a way to get your raised beds started and then top them up with some fresh soil once they’re partially full. Or you can add it to your own compost pile if you’ve started building one up.

It’s fine to reuse your old soil if the plants you grew in it were healthy, happy and thriving. You may want to err on the side of caution, however, and sterilise it before using it again. You can do this by putting it in the oven or by solarising, where you leave it in plastic bags outside in the sun for a month or so.


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