How To Revive Old Potting Soil

Steps to Improve Old Potting Soil

How To Revive Old Potting Soil-checking- soil
Checking soil

A key component to growing healthy plants begins at ground level, a good potting or garden soil is at the roots of plants that thrive. But after many use potting soil can lose its strength or become depleted of nutrients and therefore must be revived. But before we can determine that it is the soil that needs our attention and not other factors here are some signs to look for to make that determination.

  • The potting soil may become hard meaning it takes long to absorb moisture or moisture may take a long time to drain
  • Moisture may drain true quickly before plants have time to absorb it
  • There may be fungus on the soil
  • The top of the leaves or the leaf’s surface may have burn spots that appear brown
  • The Plant leaves  may show signs of wilting
  • White crust can be seen on the soil
  • Leaves start to turn yellow
  • The edges or the tips of the leaves turn brown
  • Flower buds form and then drop before opening or shrivel after opening

1. A Soil pH Test

Carrying out a soil pH test is a great way to see what nutrients are lacking, once the test shows what’s needed go ahead and make those improvements.

2. The Addition of Compost

For soil structure that needs to be improved because of poor water drainage or soil that lacks nutrients, the addition of compost can help to condition your soil providing what’s lacking.

3. Too Much Salt

A sign that the problem may be salt buildup includes salt deposits may be seen at the soil line,  around the pot, or around the drain holes of container-grown plants. Plants will also show signs like wilting and browning of the leaves. A solution is to drench the soil with water to wash the excess soil away or use a bucket with holes, fill the bucket with the soil now hang the bucket up where it can be off the ground next add sufficient water and allow the soil to drip-dry.

4. Adding Fertilizer

Soil, where plants are grown without hardly being fertilizer, may show signs of a lack of nutrients, a soil pH test can help with knowing what to add and the amount of fertilizer that the soil needs.

5. Improving Aeration

The reason to aerate soil is to reduce soil compaction allowing water and fertilizer to reach the plant’s roots where it is takeup and for proper airflow, if your soil is compacted then break up the soil with a hand trowel followed by the addition of either coarse sand, vermiculite or perlite. Sphagnum moss and peat moss are also used for soil improvements for their water-holding capacity.

6. Soliarizing

This method is used for soils that have weed seeds, soil insects, and fungus, how this process works is to moisten the soil with water followed by placing it in a black plastic bag. Now properly seal the bag so no air can get in. Next, take the bag and placed it in a sunny location for about 4-6 weeks, the moist soil will really heat up in the presence of the sunlight killing everything in the soil and giving you a fresh start with soil that’s revived and energized.

The final word on how to revive old potting soil

Your old potting soil may have had its time and is no longer giving the results that are needed to grow healthy plants, the good news is your old potting soil can be revived providing what’s needed to keep your plants growing healthy. These proven methods have given great results in bringing dead soil back to life. Reviving soil is one of those wonders that’s so amazing so if you are faced with dead soil don’t trash it but energize and give it life with what we have discussed you will be happy with the results as your potting soil goes to work for you.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.