General Discussion:

Reusing potting soil

Messages posted to thread:

Jingshi19-Oct-09 11:36 PM EST 6b   
christine15-Nov-09 11:40 PM EST 6a   
Shaewn04-Dec-09 08:21 PM EST   
Dave26-Dec-09 11:28 AM EST 5a   
Geri26-Dec-09 01:56 PM EST 7   
monica dunn07-Jan-10 04:05 PM EST 3   

Subject: Reusing potting soil
From: Jingshi
Zone: 6b
Date: 19-Oct-09 11:36 PM EST

Hi everyone,

I'm new to gardening and just started growing some vegetables in containers this summer. My brussel sprout plants unfortunately have become infested with pests. The caterpillars love to chew up the leaves and a couple of plants have been devoured by tiny grey insects that like to huddle together on the undersides of the lower leaves. I'm not sure what they are and the overall affect is very unpleasant.

I am going to throw out the plants -- what I am wondering is if it is okay to reuse the potting soil of plants that have been infested with caterpillars/aphids/yucky grey bugs?

Thank you for reading this!

Subject: RE: Reusing potting soil
From: christine
Zone: 6a
Date: 15-Nov-09 11:40 PM EST

I would not reuse it because it is probably pest infected!

Subject: RE: Reusing potting soil
From: Shaewn
Date: 04-Dec-09 08:21 PM EST

In the greenhouse I usually reuse potting soil (only the Pro-Mix soiless) as a "filler" for other soil mixes, but would never reuse soil if there has been an infestation of any kind. Eggs can be laid in soil and the cycle of infestation would start all over again

Subject: RE: Reusing potting soil
From: Dave (
Zone: 5a
Date: 26-Dec-09 11:28 AM EST

potting soil can be sterilized by placing on cookie sheets in an oven on highest setting for a half an hour or until thoroughly dry. We used to do this when making our own for starting seeds when I was a kid. This will also kill any weed seeds present in the soil.

Subject: RE: Reusing potting soil
From: Geri
Zone: 7
Date: 26-Dec-09 01:56 PM EST

I wouldn't reuse it to repot plant boxes - but I have put it out on garden beds and into the compost.

Subject: RE: Reusing potting soil
From: monica dunn (
Zone: 3
Date: 07-Jan-10 04:05 PM EST

Another method is to microwave it, however I would suggest doing this outside as the smell may bother some people, or make sure your vent fan is on. Kills everything!! My favorite way is of course to use and outside solar oven. Place the soil mix in a container and let the sun cook it for you. Easiest way to make one is just like a cold frame but with a bottom, paint the inside black or use tin foil, and a window or plastic for the cover. Dont open the lid and you have a solar oven.

In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row