If you want some kind of nature vibe inside your house, one way to achieve that is through “container gardening”. Container gardening refers to the process of using pots to grow plants instead of planting them in the ground. This type of gardening is perfect if you want indoor plants or have limited space on your lawn or garden.
In any type of gardening, the soil is the most fundamental ingredient. Some people even use a soil test kit to check if their soil is a suitable environment for their desired plants. It’s different in container gardening, though; technically, you don’t need natural soil to fill your pots.
What you need in containing gardening is potting soil, which is vastly different from the natural soil you often see in lawns and gardens. So what exactly is potting soil, and can you reuse it?
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Components of Potting Soil
As it was mentioned before, potting soil differs from typical soil. Potting soil is a mixture of various materials that may not be present in regular soil. The components of potting soil usually include the following:
- Organic elements – Despite not being natural soil, potting soil still contains organic elements like sphagnum, moss, coir, and bark.
- Inorganic elements – To help improve aeration and drainage, potting soil also includes inorganic elements such as perlite, vermiculite, sand, and pumice.
- Water-retaining elements – As is the case in all living things, water is also an essential component of potting soil. Leca, perlite, and sand could be water-retaining crystals in your potting soil.
- Fertilizers – Depending on the kind of plants, you can choose organic or chemical fertilizers as growth boosters in your potting soil.
Getting hold of potting soil is very easy. You can do your own potting soil mix or buy one from a provider. However, you should keep in mind that every potting has a specific life span. A potting soil only has six to twelve months of good quality once you open it.
Changing potting soil from time to time might be expensive. On the brighter side, there are ways for you to reuse potting soil. Here are some tips to get you started.
How Can You Reuse Potting Soil?
Buying potting soil isn’t cheap, and it could cost a lot if you plan on doing container gardening. There’s some good news, though: you don’t have to discard potting soil after the first use. Your old potting soil can still be functional if you know how to reuse it.
1. Store Properly
Before getting to the part where you reuse your potting soil, you should also know how to properly store the potting soil you haven’t used. The easiest instruction here is not to open a potting soil bag if you don’t plan to use it yet. If you have already opened it, just seal the original bag again, store it in an airtight container, and keep it cool and dry.
2. Sterilize First
Before reusing your potting soil, you should first sterilize it to remove the presence of any kind of bacteria, pests, or fungi. You could sterilize soil by steaming or placing it inside an oven or microwave.
3. Combine with New Potting Soil
You can reuse old potting soil by combining it with new potting soil. After making sure that you have thoroughly sterilized your old potting soil, you can utilize a 50:50 old-to-new potting soil ratio as the habitat of your new plant. You can also add organic fertilizers to promote growth and nutrition for your potted plant.