C asked in Home & GardenGarden & Landscape · 1 decade ago

what do to with used/old soil?

my mom is asking me and wants me to research on how she would save her old and used soils from dead plants on her pots. Visually, some of it is colored brown and kinda wet, some looks orang-y like the color of bricks, and the others looks very dry and cracking.

She was asking me if it can be treated organically or what to use it for? Is making use of it as a compost ok? if it is...how can i do it if i dont have space at home to make a pit for it? If not..are there other ways? Also...as for the treatment...is there any method of treating the soil so that it can be used again organically and just be using household items? The main problem my mom has is what do to with the soil? buying new soil here is expensive and she wanted to save these soils, the problem is..she doesnt know how to

kindly help! thanks!

5 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Composting doesn't require digging a pit. You can compost in a 55 gallon drum if you poke holes in it for ventilation. Throw all your used soils and kitchen scraps (except meats, dairy, bones, and oils) and leaves into the barrel. These will break down after a while. Keep the compost moist, like a wrung out sponge; and put it in the sun. The heat helps break down the compost.

    You can also just make a small pile in the back yard. You don't need anything special to build a compost pile.

    Source(s): Horticulture student and avid composter
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Old and used soils can be added to household materials and dead leaves and cut grass to give it new life. Add scraps from vegetables and fruits and egg shells to give the soil nutrients it will need to be used again. Remember not to add oils or fats from fried foods or meat. No plastic or coated newspapers (the ones with the glossy pages). You can toss in shredded plain paper, newspaper, etc. If you don't have room for a compost pile, you can use a large trash can but holes will need to be placed in it to allow it to breathe. Heat breaks down the items and turning of the items is necessary. It may take a good six to eight months for things to break down to be used again. I'm sure you can find plenty of simple composting ideas on line.

    Source(s): Personal experience
  • 1 decade ago

    Deb's idea of composting it is fine, if there's room and done correctly. Otherwise the new soil will be teeming with bugs and other ickies not for indoor use.

    I'd be concerned about pathogens in the soil. You'll need to sanitize the soil before reuse: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4dmg/Soil/st...

  • 1 decade ago

    those were all right answers, the only thing they forgot - what happened to plants which were planted in those soils? if they were healthy and u replanted them and those re soils which left after healthy plants - fine, u can recycle them. but if plants died of some causes in those pots u must not recycle the soil, u must dispose of it - u can put it under any tree outside. never ever use soil from the pot where a plant died - it might have died from fungus mostly, which continues to live in the soil, from bacterias or from parasites. they all continue exist in soil, that's why u must dispose of the soil and in better case from the pot too. otherwise disinfect the pot, but if it was fungus disinfection won't help

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sorry to say, most the time I just Trash my Spring/Summer time old used potted soils every year.

    Remember...you want to always 'start fresh' every Spring times with brand new fresh bought soil for the most healthiest gardens.

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