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Refreshing quite old tubs

I need step by step instructions for refreshing the contents of old planters now I have time. Lots of old bulbs have come to light. Old soil or new compost. What can I reuse? How can I move bedding etc from other parts of the garden? Any other ideas?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,959
    Hi @lizfield1953 - your post isn't very clear.
    Do you mean you have bulbs you want to replant? 
    You can reuse soil for certain things, including the bottom of large pots, and you would use fresh compost for anything that's been in a pot which you want to keep there.

    If you mean moving bedding plants from a different area into a pot, that will largely depend on the bedding, and how well grown it is, and your own ability to dig them out successfully.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you. Yes, these pots have not been refreshed for 15+years! I found lots of little bulbs at the bottom. What proportion of old soil to new compost should I use? Can I put the old bulbs back in? And if so at what depth? Should I soak them first? And how long will geranium cuttings take to root? I can’t get new bedding at the moment. Thanks. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,941
    Hello :)
    Do you know what sort of bulbs they are, have they flowered recently? 
    It depends if you have enough new compost to replace the whole lot, also what size are the planters? 
    It may be a little late for geranium cuttings,  l am not sure to be honest. 
  • Thank you. The bulbs haven’t flowered recently! No idea what they are - the pots came from my mum’s house after she passed. Might be daffs and grape Hyacinths? I have some new compost both organic from recycling and the usual peat-free potting compost. The pots are 12insx12ins and 20ins deep. Ta. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,959
    Do you mean pelargoniums? 
    I'd expect you can take bits off at almost any time except when they're flowering. I've no idea how long they'd take to root though - probably a few weeks at this time of year. I expect they won't flower for a while though, unless they're really prolific ones.
    If you mean hardy geraniums - cuttings aren't worth doing - you just divide them and pot them up.  

    The usual rule with bulbs is to plant at about three times their depth. I'd pot them all in new compost, unless - as @AnniD says, you don't have enough. They're unlikely to do well if they've had no nourishment for such a long time, but you may as well do it. Certainly don't cut the foliage off - that helps the bulb to rejuvenate itself. Again - without knowing the size of pots and what the bulbs are, we can only advise generally.
    I wouldn't soak them - if you don't know what they are, it's unwise to do anything other than what I've suggested.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Right thanks. That’s today’s job! Good advice on the hardy geraniums. Yes, waste of time  - I didn’t know that. And about the bulbs- I just needed someone to tell me the basics. Ta.
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