I have about a large bag and a half of potting soil that has become
lumpy and dried out because I didn't use any for a couple of years. It
smells musty inside. I'd like to dump it somewhere it might do some
good, but am afraid the musty smell means mold which might not be good
for grass or plants. Hate to just throw it in the garbage. Any
suggestions besides landfill?
Compost it. All you need to do is get something big enough to hold it
(large planter will do). Put the potting soil in whatever you use along
with some fertilizer and some other things (like weeds) that will
decompose. Add some water and mix it every few days and soon you will
have compost that you can use in your garden that is better and any
potting mixture you can buy at a garden center.
Now it would be nice to have one of those things you can turn every
couple days or so, but I can't buy everything right now. I think I can
find something large enough to dump it in around the house, add the
other stuff, and find a way to stir it up every few days. I can assure
you that some strange garbage will go in there along with as I have
become a recycler. I cut up watermelon rind and dump it in the yard
rather than put it in the garbage because it causes the bags to leak.
My garbage disposal has a narrow pipe in the basement, so I have to be
careful what I let it grind up. You don't put old beans of any kind in
any quantity in the disposal without flushing with tons of water which
is a waste and I've no patience for that anyway.
Thank you very much for the suggestion. That solves that problem. One
more down, many more to go.
Heh, that sounds like a winner! I was planning on using it as topsoil
for some areas I'm planting where I've had a problem with clay soil. I
bought a bag of fresh potting soil yesterday. And two bleeding hearts,
two columbine and one astilbe. And some cypress mulch. I also have
some more plants coming from arborday.org. I hope I can save them all,
it is iffy ordering like that.
I don't want to risk it on some odd variety of heirloom roses we
transplanted last Sunday. They are holding their own and a few are
looking pretty good by now with lots of rain and watering, but the tops
on about 3 of the six plants are drooping. One little one looks pretty
far gone, but I'm hoping the roots take hold and put out some new shoots
Who cares if it has a musty smell? It's potting soil, it's if the bacteria
started to break down the organic matter in the potting soil it's better for
the plants anyways. If the smell bothers you, just spread it out on a large
plastic bag, set it in the sun for a few hours. Once it dries out, the smell
will go away on it's own.
Then use as normal.
Not bothered by the smell at all. Just didn't want to introduce
something that would adversely affect new/old plants. I'll skip the sun
and just sprinkle it where I think it is most needed. Except the roses
as noted in the post above.
I'd be less inclined to use it in a potting mix indoors solely on the
smell. It will not harm anything however.
Most potting mixes are benefitted by the addition of an equal volume of
sharp sand or pearlite to open them up a bit.
You can use this to top dress anything you have growing outside without
Just got rid of half a bag of it when I planted some shade plants, threw
it over the top, not the plants, the ground. Will mulch tomorrow as it
was a bit much for the back, fought lots of roots while preparing the
bed and did a sloppy job at that. Let Mother Nature worry about it. I
bought a fresh bag of potting soil yesterday for indoor plants and for
using in pots outdoors.
Thanks much for the help. Sure beats calling the gardening store. Half
the time they have to try to find one of their experts like yesterday
when I thought I needed vermuculite, peatmoss and sand. It all worked
in my favor, said I'd come get it later because roses aren't ready yet
to try to root cuttings. Turns out I need vermuculite, pearlite, and
peat moss, no sand.
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