What Can I Do with Used Potting Soil? 7 Ways of Utilizing It
When your indoor plants inevitably fade and die, it might seem like you have to throw away your used potting soil and start all over again. Constantly tossing and buying soil can become burdensome and expensive. But you do not have to throw out used potting soil. You can reuse it in numerous different ways. Whether you want to start a new garden or just want an effective way to recycle your used potting soil, there are easy things you can try right now. Don’t waste your old potting soil. Give it a new lease on life instead.
Here are 7 things you can do with used potting soil right now.
The 7 Ways of Utilizing an Used Potting Soil
1. Recycle It
Many municipalities have yard waste composting centers. These areas are where the county puts yard waste that is picked up on the curb throughout the year. The composting center will turn old tree debris, grass cuttings, and branches into compost which is often returned to the community. You can drop off your soil at one of these facilities to help boost your local community’s composting efforts.
Check the rules for yard waste pick up. You might be able to put a bin of soil on the curb during yard waste pick up times and have the soil taken directly to the composting center. Every community will be slightly different and will have different composting programs so be sure to check your local rules.
2. Reuse It
Another thing you can do with used potting soil is to simply reuse it. Unless the soil is contaminated with pests like flies, mites, or fungus, you can safely transfer the old potting soil to a new pot. It might need some water and compost to help refresh it, but the soil base will be completely safe to reuse in a different pot. Earth’s soil is millions of years old, and farmers have been reusing soil for generations. Check your soil for signs of pests. If the soil looks normal, you can simply transfer it and start using it all over again.
3. Store It
If you want to reuse your potting soil but it is not planting season, you can safely store your soil in a bin. Storing your soil is a great way to save it for the next planting season. Saving used potting soil can help you save money on new soil come spring or summer.
The best way to store your used potting soil is in a sealed bin. Make sure the bin is waterproof and weatherproof. Once you seal your soil in your bin, place the bin outside in a sunny spot. The sunlight and warmth will help keep the soil sterilized over time. Then, when you are ready to replant your pots, you can remove the soil from the bin.
4. Compost It
Another excellent use for old potting soil is to simply compost it. Compost piles need organic material, water, and time to decompose. Adding used potting soil to compost can help the composting process. It will also add a soil base to the compost pile that will eventually become rejuvenated soil that you can use to feed your gardens down the line. Simply sprinkle your used potting soil into your compost pile. Don’t add too much, though. You still want the organic material to be the bulk of the compost pile for the best results.
5. Add It to the Lawn
Used potting soil is perfectly safe to add to your lawn. Adding potting soil to your lawn can help promote healthy yard growth. It is also a safe way to dispose of your potting soil if you are done using it. Adding it to the lawn is not only easy, but it can also help enhance the health of your grass, which is a win-win for people looking for a cheap and easy way to get rid of their potting soil.
You can dump all of the potting soil in one spot and rake it out, or you can evenly distribute it over a large area.
6. Add It to Existing In-Ground Beds
Another place you can dump your used potting soil is into existing in-ground garden beds. If you are done with houseplants and have used potting soil inside that you don’t want anymore, you can distribute it to outdoor garden spaces. The used potting soil will blend with the natural outdoor soil just fine. Sprinkle the used potting soil under your existing plants to add some extra dirt to your garden. This is another easy and free way to reuse your potting soil.
7. Use It as a Starter Mix for Raised Beds
Lastly, you can use old potting soil to help start raised garden beds. Raised garden beds can take an enormous amount of soil. Buying multiple bags of fresh soil to fill large, raised beds can be very expensive. Adding old potting soil to the raised beds will help save you money. Dump your used potting soil into your raised beds and then add in your compost and fresh potting soil and mix everything together. You will get a very vibrant soil mixture that will be ready to go in no time while also saving money at the garden center.
Used potting soil might look like useless dirt, but there are actually many ways to repurpose it. Don’t waste your old potting soil by throwing it away. Reuse it, repurpose it, and save some money along the way. Even if you don’t want it, you can donate it to your community composting center or add it back to your lawn, allowing nature to reclaim it.
Featured Image Credit: M. Schuppich, Shutterstock