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What to do with tired soil

Every year I have extra soil from pots that I’m not entirely sure what to do with. I currently have a pile where I dump all tired soil but at this rate I’ll have a mountain. What do other people do? 

Also, in my flower beds if I’m adding good soil/compost every couple years how do you prevent mounding? Do you remove the top layer or just let it compact down? 

Thanks! 
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,827
    Where is the “soil” in the pots coming from?

    Are you buying bags of topsoil?  Getting it from the flowerbeds? 

    Is it soil, or is it commercial compost?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 2,860
    edited 10 January
    I chuck old compost from pots etc on the beds (usually spread it around shrubs).
     When I add compost etc (usually as mulch unless I'm digging over an area for new planting) I just leave it to settle down. I don't notice any long-term mounding.
    PS I just noticed it's your first post, so welcome to the forum :)
  • @pansyface so it’s primarily purchased at the moment. Good quality compost and potting soils. Primarily Coast of Maine. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,176
    I usually empty my pots on to an old plastic sheet, get rid of any rubbish and then spread the compost over the flower beds to settle in over Winter.  Usually by the beginning of Spring the level of soil has dropped, but l appreciate your query about the level. As someone who is rubbish at getting levels right, l rely on my OH to do it 😳. 
    I'm sure there's someone on here who can give you some tips about level. I look forward to reading those as well.
    How big is the pile at the moment?  If possible l'd suggest getting it on the beds ASAP, weather permitting. 
  • @JennyJ thanks first post had to figure out how to even respond to these comments! 
    Do you worry about enriching the soil around your perennials or shrubs once they are established or just let them run their course? 
    My soil is really sandy and acidic so I have to give it a lot of love when I initially plant stuff. I’ve heard that nutrients leeches from sandy soil quickly and outside of liquid feeds I’m not sure what the best options are. 
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,827
    Well, like Jenny, I just throw it on the flowerbeds or onto the compost heap. Most gardens are large enough to accommodate a few litres of additional compost.😊

    And if it is compost and not earth it will disintegrate over time into what all vegetable matter disintegrates into, nothing.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,664
    Do you have a compost heap/bin for your raw kitchen waste, plant waste ?
    I layer any really "spent" soil in mine along with the usual paper/cardboard/wood shreddings.
    Any excess, as said above, is just spread on borders. The weather over the year will settle the soil so rarely a problem with mounding :)
  • KiliKili Posts: 444
    edited 10 January
    I use mine again and again for pots. Just before use at the start of the season I tip all the pot compost out on to my drive rummage through for any old roots and then sprinkle with fish blood and bone (FBB). Turn this over with a shovel so its all well mixed then use it for the pots again. Maybe mix it with a small amount of new compost for a boost.

    Or you can sieve it and use it for seed sowing as you don't want a very fertile medium for sowing.
    If I have too much over as others have said it makes a good mulch especially as you said you have sandy soil it would be ideal for that along with plenty of manure.

    Doing this has certainly cut down on my purchase of compost which I hope is helping the environment.

    And welcome to the forums  :)

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 2,860
    @JennyJ thanks first post had to figure out how to even respond to these comments! 
    Do you worry about enriching the soil around your perennials or shrubs once they are established or just let them run their course? 
    My soil is really sandy and acidic so I have to give it a lot of love when I initially plant stuff. I’ve heard that nutrients leeches from sandy soil quickly and outside of liquid feeds I’m not sure what the best options are. 

    I have poor sandy soil as well - it's like beach sand with loads of pebbles below the top 6" or so where it's not been improved, eg if I take out a shrub that was already there when we moved here. I'm not terribly diligent about mulching but even so, years of haphazardly adding old compost from pots as well as the new stuff from the compost heap has greatly improved its texture and moisture retention (it still drains pretty freely though).
    For feeding I generally mix in a bit of bone meal or blood, fish and bone when I put in a new plant as well as forking in some compost-bin compost (I use BFB for spring/summer planting, bonemeal for autumn/winter because things don't need the fast-acting nitrogen then). I also give everything a sprinkling of chicken poo pellets in spring and maybe again later in summer if I think about it. But really, I'm not too worried about enrichment. What really helps is to try to choose mostly plants that prefer (or at least tolerate) well-drained and not too rich soil.
  • @philippasmith2 it’s probably due to lack of experience but I wasn’t sure if it was ok to add to a compost pile. Sounds like between that and just sprinkling it around existing beds this should suffice.
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