Is it possible to reuse the compost from died plants?

Discussion in 'Container Gardening' started by Black Orchid, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Black Orchid

    Black Orchid Gardener

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    Most of my plants are in pots with compost. Unfortunately not all plants survive. How do you reuse the compost from such pots? Do you disinfect the compost and the used pots? If yes then how?
    I disinfect such pots with potassium permanganate dissolved in water. But is it fine for disinfecting compost?
     
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      Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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      Join the club. Most of us experience the same problems, pot plant failing etc. Re-use of the compost/soil. Tip it out, perhaps add some general fertalizer and go ahead. The compost/sol is simply a medium to contain and support a plant. It acts like a scaffold around the roots. For instance. You could substitute compost for say, paper waste, wool, leaf mould, pine needles and so on. Do you remember early school days. A piece of blotting paper and some mustard & cress seeds.

      In the natural world. Soil, the ground is supplied by many nutrients. Reducing the growing area, we have to sometimes substitute the nutrients. So. rip out the soil/compost, either leave it open to the elements or simply, add perhaps the odd handful of growmore or whatever and reuse.
       
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        Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        I reuse some of my spent compost on next years crops, e.g. early potatoes in containers (provided it wasn't previously used to grow tomatoes). I add some fertilizer and a bit of garden soil plus sharp sand to improve it. The rest goes as a soil improver on my borders. I don't bother sterilizing it, too much effort. Also I wash out my used pots and containers with a mixture of bleach and soap, usually in the spring.
         
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        • john558

          john558 Super Gardener

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          I mix spent compost with Coir and my own compost with some Perlite thrown in, works for my seeds, throw in some feed and it's good to go for the plant stage.
           
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          • Macraignil

            Macraignil Gardener

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            I just throw it on the compost heap or under shrubs that look like they could do with a bit of mulch. Never bothered with disinfecting it but the compost heap material is usually just spread out under shrubs as a mulch as well so there is no need for it to be sterile.
             
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            • Upsydaisy

              Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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              Mulch here too.:dbgrtmb:
               
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              • Logan

                Logan Total Gardener

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                This year i did re use it for my pots and it was fine but at first i did worry about vine weevle at first but they were fine, usually i use it as a mulch.
                 
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                • Upsydaisy

                  Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                  I have in the past used old compost at the base of some pots but I always microwave it first to ensure all unwanted things get zapped.
                   
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                    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
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