Ever wondered if you could reuse your old potting soil? It can be done! Here are 4 Incredibly Easy Steps to Revitalizing Potting Soil!
The Easy way to revitalizing potting soil
Use compost to refresh potting soil from last season and keep your container plants with plenty of nutrients. If last year’s mix doesn’t look too bad, take the quick-and-easy approach and simply mix it with an equal amount of compost before putting it into your pots.
Other ways of revitalizing potting soil
If a more thorough rejuvenation is necessary, start by dumping the container into a large bin or a wheel barrow. Break up any large clumps of soil and remove any unwanted material. Then..
Soaking. Put the used soil into a bucket with several small holes in the bottom and fill the bucket with water. Let the water drain out and then repeat this process. After the water has drained away a second time, spread the soil on a tarp in the sun to dry. This will help remove any unwanted pests that may be hiding in the soil or excess salts that may have built up.
Equal Parts. Mix the freshly drained potting soil with an equal amount of rich, weed-free compost that has been sifted through a half-inch screen.
Feed the soil. At this point you want to add your slow release fertilizers. The guideline here is about 4 tbsp of fertilizer per five gallon container. You can add in some generalized fertilizers, something with a balanced NPK (ie. 10-10-10). The NPK refers to the Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). If you prefer organic fertilizer, use something that is as balanced as possible. You can also add in blood meal and bone meal for an additional boost. Also add in about 2-3 tbsps of garden lime per five gallons.
Add Life. For every five gallons of soil mixture, add in about 10-12 ounces of worm castings. Revitalizing potting soil by adding worm castings will kick start the soil with beneficial microbes. The microbes are what help to break the organic matter and organic fertilizers to make them readily available to your plants.
After you are finished revitalizing potting soil, add enough water to lightly moisten the mixture; then put it aside in a plastic storage bin or cardboard box to cure for 2 weeks. During this time, the microorganisms from the compost will spread throughout the mix.
When it’s finished, your container plants will have some well rounded and nutrient dense potting mix to help your plants get a great start on the growing season.
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