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Reusing compost from pots

Wondering if forum members re-use soil/compost from last year's pots?  It seems so wasteful to just put it on the garden when there are many pots to fill eachyear.  I have to say I do re-use, with the addition of a some more home made compost and a handful of national growmore or dried chicken manure, then feed as usual throughout the season.


  • I put mine on the garden but iI'm interested to know if it can be reused
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    It would depend what you're growing in them.  Old stuff is fine for carrots - not so good for sweet peas.  ;)
    Anything that needs a lot of sustenance [like sweet peas] would benefit from a much heartier mix - perhaps with manure, although in a very big pot, old compost can be used in the bottom to fill space, especially if annuals are only going to be using the top 6 inches or so. 
    I use most of mine as mulch - far better to feed the soil in that way, to improve the overall structure. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,699
    I take out the top few inches of old compost and spread it on the flower beds. Then add new compost. That's for planting annuals, petunias etc.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 624
    I'm really stingy and reuse mine. I have just emptied my bulb pots, and have saved the compost for my bedding annuals that are about to go in the same pots. I mix in some slow-release food and some new compost. It's fine. After a couple of years, it gets old and dusty, and I use it on the beds as mulch.
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 740
    Yes I reuse too. I mix into the old compost those 6month fertilizer pellets then mix 50 -50 with fresh multi purpose compost. 
  • I've found its pretty good for growing seeds like cornflowers, echiums, calendula, nigella etc.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,705
    Putting it on the borders is not wasting it though, borders need mulching every year, and old compost is quite useful for that purpose.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,030
    I have large pots for dahlias and come the Autumn I'll lift the tubers and put tulip bulbs in the same compost, given I treat them as annuals. Won't re-use compost with anything else as such but a lot of pots then supply a decent mulch the following spring once the tulips are spent.
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