Can I Put Potting Soil In My Compost? Find Out Now !

If you love gardening and care for plants, it is natural to do the composting.

Compost can be a great help for plants and it provides essential nutrients and minerals that are needed for the proper development of your greenery.

you may have heard that putting the potting soil in the compost can be beneficial for your plants. However, since you came across this article, you must be wondering whether it is the right thing to do or not. 

The good news is that you can put potting soil in compost and it can be beneficial. However, you need to know how much and what type of dirt to use. Otherwise, the result may not be good. So, below we will discuss how to incorporate potting soil into compost. 

Benefits Of Potting Soil In Compost

The life in the soil is incredibly abundant. Millions of microorganisms as well as other beneficial compost grubs, beetles, and creatures are present in just a small amount of the substance. And as you are aware, bacteria are necessary for the raw materials to be broken down during the composting process. 

So, ultimately, by addition of potting soil in compost materials accomplishes two goals.

The first one is that it works as a compost activator. The second benefit of potting soil is that it works as an inoculant

Potting Soil Used As A Compost Activator

Gardeners utilize a variety of compounds known as “activators” to hasten the decaying process, particularly in the early stages when a lot of fresh materials are piled up.

When you add soil, you also introduce a lot of helpful microbes that speed up the composting process and may enhance the quality of your completed compost. If you’re fortunate, you could even get a few worms too

Potting Soil As Inoculant

Inoculators for compost are only another kind of activator. They typically consist of latent bacteria and fungus that are presented to the pile a little later.

The objective is to introduce the proper bacteria to promote successful and quick composting.

But there are already a ton of microbes present in the soil. Soil acts as a natural and cost-free inoculator for composting. In addition, there are a few more benefits of adding dirt to your compost pile.

Help With Bad Odor

Sometimes your compost might run into trouble, and you find that it has become quite odorous or that it is luring flies or insects. This often happens because as the materials break down, specific gasses are released. An effective cure to these types of issues is a little dirt.

Try covering the heap with a few inches of dirt if your compost odor is terrible. This will function as a sort of biofilter to cancel out the offensive gases emitted.

Additionally, the presence of anaerobic microorganisms is frequently the cause of offensive smells. By providing the proper microorganisms, the soil will assist in balancing the compost mixture. 

If the flies appear in your compost, most likely they are the fruit flies. As their name implies, they are drawn to any rotting produce you may have added to the pile. The majority of the time, ants also cause a similar issue.  They won’t be able to directly access any fruit or leftovers if you put some potting soil on top of the compost. 

What Type Of Soil Should Be Used In Compost?

The best soil type that can be added to the compost is the one that consists of loam.  This is the name for fertile, well-balanced soil that includes ingredients such as silt, clay, sandy, and decomposing organic material. This indicates that it has a composition that most gardens would find to be excellent.

Composting it in a bin or heap is one approach to reusing used potting soil. This will organically replace the soil’s nutrients so that additional plants may be grown there the following season.

Used Potting Soil In Compost

In addition to used potting soil can be a wonderful decision. However, first of all, you will have to make sure to clean it and remove any additional bacteria, or seeds.  If you take a few simple measures, used potting soil is a wonderful addition to your compost.

When you utilize compost in your garden, the previously used soil may contain viruses that spread plant diseases and might harm the plants of the next season.

These pathogens might include nematodes, bacteria, fungi, viruses, and more. Simply follow the instructions below to ensure that the pathogens are made risk-free in your compost. 

Never try to recycle potting soil by adding it to the compost pile after having sick, rotting, or deceased in it.

You must reduce the possibility of spreading disease in the future because, as you know, soil that has previously been home to a sick plant will inevitably harbor illness. Instead, throw this dirt away in the garbage to prevent it from contaminating some other plants. 

You may eliminate any pathogens in your used potting soil as well as any invasive plant seeds that may be dispersed throughout it by pasteurizing the soil. Doing pasteurization can be done easily, even at home. 

Simply place potting soil you want to use again in your compost in black plastic trash bags to get started. Make sure to choose a bag that is black in color.

The color black absorbs heat from outside and transfers it inside to the soil. After placing the soil in the bag, take it outside and place it where the sun looks at it straight away. 

It is better to leave the plastic bag of soil out for at least one week. The heat will eliminate all harmful seeds and bacteria and will pasteurize it. This will make the soil safe to be used in the compost. 

How To Compost Using Potting Soil

Your composting system’s operation determines how you input your used potting soil.

Some individuals compost in bins, while others build bays to accommodate larger compost piles.

One fundamental principle applies regardless of how you compost: put the same amount of green and brown material.

While brown stuff has a lot of carbon, green matter contains a lot of nitrogen. This mixture yields the ideal all-purpose compost.

Potting soil that can be used as brown materials. The same goes for cardboard, straw, coffee grinds, and dry leaves. Manure, vegetable scraps, and grass clippings are all examples of green matter. In addition to that, you can also use manure, leaves, coffee ground, and grass clippings

Put some water on the compost heap. The next step is to put a plastic tarp as a cover on your compost so the rain will not get in and the heat will not come out. You can keep the cover on by securing it with stones. 

The composting process can take between 4 to 6 months. In that time, all the components will be broken down and decomposed. And what can be better food for the plants than homemade, rich, and nutritious compost? 

Bottom Line

In the article above, we discussed whether it is useful or not to put potting soil in compost. Turns out, that old potting soil can benefit and increase the usability of compost. However, make sure to sterilize it beforehand.

This will protect the mixture from pathogens and the unwanted seeds will also be eliminated this way. 

Even experienced gardeners have reported that adding soil on a regular basis results in compost that is appropriately finished in a lot less time and with a lot better consistency and composition.

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Peride Beradze
Peride is an avid planter, Tour Manager and freelance writer. She is a plant collector who mainly focuses on succulents. She loves studying cultures, traveling and learning new languages.

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