Potting soil. Do you ever have any left over after potting up containers? Did you know there are right and wrong ways to store potting soil once it’s out of the plastic bag? Learning how to store potting soil properly can help you make the most of the good quality soil you’re purchasing!
As a gardening enthusiast, I bet you understand the crucial role that potting soil plays in maintaining the health and growth of your plants. Whether you’re growing vegetables, flowers, or herbs, having a reliable supply of high-quality potting soil can make all the difference in the success of your garden.
This post may contain affiliate links, which simply means I may earn a commission off of links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!
However, if you have too much soil or want to store it for future use, it’s a good idea to know how to properly prepare and store it to avoid any issues with moisture or pests. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can rest assured that your potting loam will be in great condition and ready to use whenever needed.
Let me share with you everything I have learned about how to store potting soil to keep it viable to use for the next season and even beyond.
Why Would I Store Potting Soil?
Potting soil storage is not just about convenience, it is also an investment in the future health of your plants and a more sustainable gardening practice. By keeping a stock of potting soil on hand, you can be prepared for any new plants you might want to add to your garden or any unexpected planting projects that come up. This is particularly helpful if you have limited access to gardening stores or if you live in an area with a short growing season.
In addition to convenience, storing loam can also save you money in the long run. Buying fresh soil in bulk is often much cheaper than buying smaller bags, especially if you are a frequent gardener. By buying in bulk and storing the soil properly, you can reduce the overall cost of your gardening projects and stretch your budget further. You can also consider making your own potting soil by using my DIY Potting Soil recipe. Keep this stored well to use all season long.
In the long run, learning how to store open bags or leftover soil it is a more sustainable option than constantly buying new potting soil for each new planting project.
Preparing Potting Soil for Storage
Before you take on potting soil proper storage, you must be positive that it’s in good condition.
Ensuring that your leftover loam is in good condition before storing it is the first step of storing leftover potting soil. This means checking that the humus is clean, dry, and free from any contaminants or damage that could compromise its quality.
- Firstly, the unused potting soil should be free from any foreign objects or debris, such as twigs, stones, or clumps of dirt.
- Secondly, it should be dry because moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, damaging the unused soil and making it unsuitable for planting. Make sure the potting mix is dry before storing it, and if the loam is damp, spread it out in a thin layer and let it dry in the sun for a few hours before storing it.
- Lastly, unopened potting soil should not have any tears or punctures in the original bag, as this can allow moisture, fungus gnats, or other pests to enter and damage the loam. Ensuring the soil is in good condition before storing is the best way to help prolong its shelf life and help it remain usable for your gardening projects.
Packaging Potting Soil for Storage
To package potting soil for storage, it’s best to keep the original potting soil bags. Inspect the bags of loam prior to storing them to ensure that there are no holes or tears in the packaging that could let in moisture or pests. However, if the bag is damaged or you need to transfer the soil to a different container, there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you are wondering how to store potting soil, I can guarantee that solid storage containers will keep out moisture and pests. Clean the tub and lid before storing the potting mix to remove any dirt or debris that could contaminate the topsoil especially if it’s stored old soil before. When storing potting mix in an airtight container, ensure the lid is tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in.
Where to Store Potting Soil
A very important aspect of “how to store potting soil” is where to store it. When storing potting soil for future use in gardening projects, choosing a cool and dry place is a great way to keep your soil from being exposed to extreme temperatures.
A garage, basement, or garden shed is a good option as long as it’s not too humid or damp. On the other hand, you may want to keep the container away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as this can cause the soil to dry out and become unusable. Direct sun can also wreak havoc on a plastic container.
What if You Don’t Store Potting Soil Properly?
If you don’t learn how to store potting soil properly, it can become moldy, damp, or infested with pests. This can make the loam unusable and may even spread diseases or pests to your plants.
To avoid this, ensure you understand the tips I have presented here and keep researching and asking fellow gardeners about their experiences in similar situations. Sharing is caring, especially regarding delicate things like storing potting soil.
Potting Soil Storage Containers
If you’re looking to upgrade your storage bins, there are a few things to consider. Look for a good container made of durable materials like plastic or metal that have tight-fitting lids to keep out moisture and pests. Consider investing in a storage system with shelves or drawers to keep your potting soil organized and easily accessible. Here are some affordable options:
- 5 Gallon bucket with lid: If you want simple and basic storage, then look no further than this 5-gallon bucket complete with airtight lid. I have more than a few of these myself for storing grains and they’re easy to use and air-tight.
- Storage with wheels: Dog food containers with castor wheels are great for storing potting soil. They have hinged lids with secure snaps and can be moved around easily, even with the weight of the soil.
- Small but collapsible: If you don’t keep soil on hand year round, then this collapsible option is perfect for you. It is the perfect size to sit on a potting bench for easy access, but also collapses down flat for storage in the winter months.
How Long Can You Store Potting Soil?
Despite your best efforts, potting soil does have a shelf life. For best results, it can be used for up to a year or two if you’ve stored it properly. While some gardeners may be comfortable using old potting soil for their container plants, I would not recommend it, as the loam may have lost its vital nutrients over time.
Despite this, old potting soil can still be repurposed in various ways, such as mixing it with compost to improve the structure or using it as a filler in raised beds. It’s always best to use potting humus appropriately stored and not older than a year or two. For the old garden soil, simply toss it into your compost pile, and let nature do the work.
Potting Soil Storage FAQ’s
- Can potting soil go bad? Some potting soil bags do come with an expiration date of some kind, and you’ll have to decide if the old potting mix is worth keeping. If a soil mix is stored improperly or becomes infested with weed seeds or pests, then yes, it certainly has gone bad.
- Can dry soil be re-hydrated? Absolutely! In fact, some fresh potting soils may even be dry straight out of the bag, and you can add as much moisture as you need to make them suitable for use. Don’t get the soil dripping wet, but add a little water at a time, mixing as you go, until the soil has absorbed the right amount of moisture.
In conclusion, storing potting soil is an important step in any gardener’s journey. By following these tips on how to store potting soil, you can ensure that your product stays fresh and usable for all your gardening projects. Remember to inspect, package, and store it properly to avoid any issues with moisture or pests. And now that you know the right way for both opened and unopened bags of potting soil or homemade humus – happy gardening!