Can bagged compost get too old to use

KamoKamo Posts: 41
I've got some houseplant and multipurpose compost which are both several use old. I was repotting some houseplants but the compost isn't absorbing much water even when I've put it in a bucket of water for a few mins. Could the compost I'm using to repot have gotten too old too work or do I just need to leave it in a bucket of water for alot longer?


  • KamoKamo Posts: 41
    Sorry *years
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 3,809
    edited 14 April
    I think, but am not 100% sure, that compost does "go off" after a while, and if yours is several years old l would say it probably has lost any nutrients. To be honest I think you'd be better off splashing the cash and getting some new stuff.
  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 4,639
    6 months is the recommended time to keep your compost. After that it's best to get more.  Apparently it leaks nutrients even if you don't open it (according to my guru at Ashwoods Nursery).
    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,118
    But don't throw the old stuff away.  You can use it for the bottom part of deep containers for bedding plants which root shallowly, or to mulch beds/borders or even to top-dress lawns if you have sandy soil.
  • KamoKamo Posts: 41
    Thanks I didn't realise it had such a short shelf life, I use it in the garden beds instead.
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,863
    You can extras - bone meal, BFB, Lime, Grit, etc. - if you know what is missing as such.  It's surprising how you can rejuvenate old compost for specific purposes.  If unsure, do as advised and just spread it on your garden beds.
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,863
    Sorry - that should read you can ADD extras :)
Sign In or Register to comment.