If you love houseplants as much as we do, there is a good chance you have a few bags of potting soil lying around. While there is nothing better than having some extra soil around, especially if you tend to get plants often (who doesn’t am I right?), you still may be wondering how to store potting soil so it’ll survive the test of time.
As you know, potting soil does not usually come with an expiration date, so you can store it in an airtight container away from the harmful elements, and it will be as good as a new mix.
- Blended for a wide variety of indoor plants
- Feeds up to 6 months
- Designed to be less prone to gnats (Contains no compost or bark, which are known to shelter fungus gnats)
- Contains coconut coir, which holds and releases water and helps soil easily re-wet
However, there are a few things you should be aware of when you store potting soil. Whether you are a newbie or a skilled professional with houseplants, these tips and tricks on storing potting soil will help you along the way.
So let’s get started!
Is Storing My Potting Soil Necessary?
Unless you want to buy a new bag of potting soil every time you run out of it, it is best to have some in reserve to use in case of any gardening emergency.
The primary reason to store and use the potting soil over time is the sterile content. This helps your plant develop and thrive by absorbing all needed nutrients and retaining moisture. The airtight container prevents excess moisture from the bag, which keeps the soil fresh for a long time.
Moreover, houseplant lovers prefer storing potting soil as it can be used during the offseason when soil is not readily available.
How to Prep The Potting Soil for Storage
As much as we would like to just put the leftover potting soil in a container and hope for the best, it is not a great idea, especially when you want to keep it fresh for subsequent use. You need to make sure that your potting soil ticks some of these boxes before you even start packing it.
Examine The Bags of Potting Soil
This one right here is a no-brainer. You have to organize all the potting soil into specific categories to make it easier for you to provide them with excellent storage care. This may seem complicated, but we can assure you it is no rocket science. All you need to do is keep the opened bags separate from the unopened or new bags of soil mix.
After this, you should inspect the soil for any signs of damage like foul smell, bug infestation, molds, etc. Even if you find any contamination, you still can use it as it is non-toxic, but you should reconsider the idea of storing it. Also, avoid using it as sterile for the soil; instead, mix it in compost to rejuvenate your soil mix.
Although potting soil doesn’t have expiry dates, some bags can come with them, so it is better to ensure your mix is up for use.
Don’t Throw Away The Original Package Just Yet
The cheapest way to store away your potting soil is by reusing its original packaging; why? Well, the actual pack has all the details on it, from ingredients to manufacturing dates which helps you know the products you add to your garden and plants.
Moreover, most of the bagged potting soil comes in a plastic bag with an airtight ziplock or seal, which saves you the trouble of finding the perfect bag to keep moisture out. Instead, all you have to do with these ziplock bags is put the soil, seal it, and put it away in any old box. However, if your packaging does not have an airtight seal to support the soil, then you have to find something more durable.
Potting Soil Should Be Dry
Damp soil or potting soil with high moisture content is prone to developing molds, attracting insects, or any harmful elements that can make it go bad. So you might want to steer clear of storing wet potting soil and ensure that it is perfectly parched before you pack it up.
To make sure you have arid soil, set it out to dry somewhere but avoid leaving it under scorching heat as that can damage it. Instead, spread it out in an airy space and let it dry out. This simple precaution ensures that your soil is fresh and prevents damage from high moisture.
How to Store Potting Soil
Now that you are done inspecting and preparing your potting mix, we can move on to selecting a storage container and packing it up. If you are using your original potting soil packaging for storage, then it is better if you use an airtight box for extra safety.
That being said, let’s have a look at all the tips and tricks of storing potting soil:
Get Yourself A Storage Tub
Most gardeners use a Rubbermaid storage tub to store their potting mix. However, you must remember that the best storage container is the one that fulfills all your needs and ensures your soil is kept away from moisture.
Suppose you want to protect your soil/plant from sunlight. In that case, you should go for a solid-colored Rubbermaid container but if you are more concerned about insects or mold developing on the soil and want to keep a closer eye without disturbing it, then go for a transparent container.
Either way getting a storage tub comes down to your preferences and needs, so you should be well-informed about your garden and plants.
Get Some Cleaning Done
This step saves you a lot of hassle as you know that just sealing the bag and keeping it in a container will not always work, especially if you are using an old box with dirt and debris on it. So it’s ideal to use a clean and dry storage tub to ensure you keep the soil properly.
Furthermore, you should clean and wash away all the dirt and residue from the container to prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms like bacteria or fungus. You can either use a disinfectant cleaning wipe and go around all the sides of the box or just use a weak bleach solution.
Don’t forget to let the container fully dry before adding the soil and sealing it.
Pack & Store These
For the last part, all you have to do is make sure to coax the air out of your potting soil bag and seal it. Then, you can either use a ziplock or tape to shut the bag tightly. After this, place the bag inside the tub or storage bin and cover them with a lid.
If you have a lot of different varieties of potting soil, then it is better to keep them separate, but if you don’t mind keeping them together, just dump it all, label it, and put them in your container.
But, again, this part is customizable so do what works best for you.
There you have it, a handy guide with all the tips and tricks for correctly storing your potting mix. As long as you take a few precautions and follow a few steps, you can easily store the soil.
However, despite doing all the right things, your soil mix can still be spoiled, don’t lose heart! You can always get new potting soil for the next season and maybe give the storage another go then.
I hope you had a great time reading this article and found it helpful!