Potting soil recycle

Asked March 22, 2016, 11:06 PM EDT

Hello, I am a container gardener in the city and I have 2 questions. In past years, I have been adding 1/3-1/4 new compost to the soil from the year before . This year, I would like to downsize and not buy new soil. Is there a way to revive old potting soil without adding new soil? Also, is there a place I can legally throw away extra soil that I have from downsizing some containers? I don't have any yard space so I cannot recycle it in my property. Thank you

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

You can reuse your soil as long as there are no disease issues. You’ll need to fertilize more frequently the second year because many of the nutrients will have been used by plants or leached out the first season. Organic media will weather over time causing a decrease in the size of particles and pore spaces. This may slow water drainage and root growth to a small extent. See our publication on Container Gardening and reusing soil page 3 http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG600%20Container%20...

If you decide to recycle your soil and have no room, find someone that has a garden and may need some soil or contact some school or park systems and spread in the area.