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What shall I do with this big pot of soil?

rolanda.woorolanda.woo Posts: 76
edited 22 June in Problem solving
So I had this giant planting planter on one side of my garden for about 3 years. It was from the previous owner of our house. For years, there were lavender growing in it. Until we did our extension, the planter was completely emptied just to be moved out of the way and then refilled. 

Fast forward 3 years after to date, I decided to use this planter to plant something. The first thing I did was to remove all the wild grass and weeds in it. The soil has become so dry and light that I actually lifted it up completely by trying to pull off the grass. Then when I flipped the whole thing around, massive amount of root veins were exposed at the bottom of this mount of soil. There's an ant nest there too!

I don't quite know what to do now. Shall I discard this whole pot of soil with the weeds/grass seeds/roots in it? Or is there a way to salvage the soil? Photo attached.


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,201
    If it were mine I would dump it.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,427
    I agree with Lyn, there probably won't be much goodness left in it by this time but if you really want to salvage any soil possible (why?) you could try sieving it.
  • rolanda.woorolanda.woo Posts: 76
    Thanks! I didn't really mean to salvage anything. Being a novice, I just needed some advice/confirmation on what the normal thing to do. :smiley: Thank you. Will dump it to bin tomorrow.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,309
    I'd break it up and put it on my compost heap.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,735
    Compost it. I never throw away soil.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,201
    I’d put it in corner of the garden and let the ants live in peace in it. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,971
    You can break it up and just add to borders, or the foot of hedges or similar. After watering/rainfall, it'll just break down into the rest of the ground. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,316
    I would break it up, pull out as much of the grass as possible and put it in the compost bin or council green waste bin, then chuck the rest on the backs of the borders.  Nice fresh compost/soil mix for the pot depending on what I wanted to plant in it.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,510
    Chuck the grasses and weeds away, but before you carry them through to the bin, shake off the soil into the container (which will make them lighter to carry). You can spread the remaining soil around your borders.
  • rolanda.woorolanda.woo Posts: 76
    edited 23 June
    Thanks to all. It turned out, as some of you indicated, when I tried to pick up the soil this morning to dump into the bin before the rain came, most of it just broke. It was no longer holding together like in the picture. So I grabbed whatever attached to the vein roots of the grass and left behind the bit seemed "clean". Even then it seemed heavier than I expected. But I didn't want to dump it back out and recomb the soil again. Just really messy with the ants and everything. 

    My main worry is the invasive grass. I have problem in my small garden to keep those fast growing grass away. But I think they are already everywhere and this pot of root probably wouldn't have changed things much.

    Thank you though, for the tips.
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