Reusing old soil can save you money and improve overall soil quality. Rehabilitating old soil for reuse when potting or potting-on can have a number of advantages. Learn more about them here.
How to reuse potting soil
You can create nutrient-rich recycled and sustainable soil that gives your new plant everything it needs with the promise of a robust harvest. First, you need to learn how to use the old soil.
It’s a three-step easy process:
First, you’ve got to clean the soil by running it through your fingers to eliminate harmful debris and old root ball.
Then revitalize the soil with enzymes. Enzymes are small machines made out of proteins that provide chemical reactions for the soil. Like fungi and bacteria, enzymes process organic matter in the soil, boosting the soil’s vitality.
Now you are ready to reuse the soil!
How to use enzymes to rebuild the used soil
- Get rid of the old root ball from the soil
- Choose a plant-safe and phytotoxic enzyme product (You can buy the enzyme product in medicinal plant shops).
- Place the substance on your growing medium (where you intend to grow the plant)
- Add some amendments such as worm casting and humic acid: this will reintroduce essential minerals into the growing channel.
- Leave the growing medium to rest for three months: this will allow the enzymes to catalyze the organic material.
- Mix the substance in the growing medium regularly so it can aerate the soil.
Although the enzyme method is very effective, it takes a very long time (three months) before the soil can be reused. So what other options do you have? Well, you can also try the boiling and amending method, which is faster. To use this approach, you will have to:
- Break the soil down by emptying your planting container and loosen up the soil. Break the soil up with your hands or with a gardening tool.
- Get rid of roots and worms with the worms placed in your compost pile, which will serve as organic matter for the soil.
- Pasteurize the soil by pouring boiling water over your soil and allowing it to sit for an hour. Strain off the water and let the soil dry in the sun.
- Add beneficial fungi and bacteria, which are healthier and more productive to the plants.
- Now you have rebuilt the soil so top up with some extra soil through aged compost.
- Transplant the seedlings into the rebuilt soil and watch them grow!
Some people erroneously believe that the medicinal plant directly gets its nutrients from the soil. But the truth is that the plants work with microbes to get the nutrients, and then the plant trade the sugars it got from photosynthesis for the nutrients.
Soon enough, the soil becomes depleted of some crucial nutrients hence the reason medicinal plant growers change their growing techniques from time to time. Soon enough, waste, debris, dead microbes, pieces of roots, and insect parts start to build up in the soil. At this stage, you know the soil is ready to be reused.
But instead of planting medicinal plant immediately, you will need to add enzymes that will speed up the decomposing process, which is now transformed into accessible nutrients. The nutrients make the used soil valuable again, and that is how you save money by reusing old soil.
The next time you harvest your medicinal plant buds, remember to keep the leftover soil, add the necessary enzymes, and tap into renewed soil with accumulated nutrients.
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