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Re using last years patio pots

I have a number of pots that I used last year for summer plants  still have the compost in.   do I have to fully replace the compost for this years plants


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,391

    I do, but if you want to economise you can replace just the top half - but tip them out and go through the old compost to check for vine weevils and any other nasties first image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    I'm not sure what the right answer is but I have taken about half of last years out and out it on the garden then topped up with fresh compost bought this week.  I have only done a couple yesterday though and also repotted my Christmas Tree image

  • Susan 17Susan 17 Posts: 95



  • If you do decide to use last years compost you will need to add some slow release fertilizer as the nutrients will have been used up.  I buy it from the pound shop and in a pot comparison I did last year it worked just as well as the expensive stuff from the garden centre!  



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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,181

    I put new in on top too, but not as much as half the compost from my big pots, which have earth mixed in with the compost in the bottom half. I remove top 6 inches of compost and replace with new. When I plant out my bedding plants I add slow release fertiliser granules.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • I do half and half, at the end of the summer I let the pots and tubs dry out. This makes it easy to tip it out, the roots from the bedding plants bind the soil together. Then I saw it in half. I throw the top half away and put the bottom half back in the pot. I throw in some hort grit as a drainage top up and fill to the top with fresh MPC. I let it get soaked in the rain for a few days to make sure the water can drain through OK before putting plants in, you can always top up with slow release feed.

    I only do this every other year, it's best  to start from scratch the following year.

  • Hi Edd,

    I put the pot shape bottom half back in the pot, then I only have to fill half the pot back up with fresh MPC. Simplesimage 

  • In general I always fully replace old compost which I spread over the open soil each winter to improve its structure and drainage. This also improves all plant/soil interactions eg nutrient uptake and hence better root growth and plant health.  I feel you can always continue to improve the soil quality and the results show up in the summer.  

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