Tips&TricksRecycling soil after plant transplantation: When and how to do it effectively

Recycling soil after plant transplantation: When and how to do it effectively

I reuse the old soil for plants.
I reuse the old soil for plants.
Images source: © Pexels | cottonbro studio

11:40 AM EST, February 2, 2024, updated: 4:27 AM EST, March 7, 2024

The soil from potted plants and gardens can lose its properties and need replacing. This raises the question: What should be done with the old soil? Not all types of soil are fit for reuse. Inspecting the soil's condition is crucial to determine its suitability carefully. Your plants’ health, as well as your expense, can greatly depend on this.

When is it appropriate to recycle soil after plant transplantation?

Old soil can harbor pests or disease-causing seeds and should be discarded. Therefore, ensure you smell and closely examine its structure. The soil may be harbored by plant pests, which could later cause significant problems. If the soil appears healthy and has no foul odor, you can safely reuse it.

Deciding how to use the old soil can be challenging, but there are many possible uses. Depending on your garden's requirements, it's perfectly suitable for new seedlings, flower beds, or compost. Regardless of its fertility, old soil does not contribute to plant decay. If you plan to use it, it's crucial to understand how to prepare and fertilize it correctly.

How should old soil be prepared for reuse?

Firstly, break up any clumps in the old soil before adding new substrate and fertilizer. This revitalizes the used soil, making it a fertile base for the new seedlings at a much lower price. The process is called soil fertilization. This revitalized soil will be especially beneficial in the upcoming spring season and is particularly useful for indoor plants. The process of soil revitalization should ideally span over a few days to allow the soil to regain its vitality.

Once the soil is adequately crumbled, gradually mix in new garden soil, followed by water. The old substrate will now have a muddy consistency – but this is not the final step. After the soil has dried slightly, add compost to hasten its fertilization. If you don't have compost, fermented organic matter, such as fruit and vegetable peels, can be used, or biohumus can be purchased. Old garden soil makes an excellent base for creating a perfect substrate for certain species of plants. It's even possible to adjust its acidic or alkaline levels precisely.

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