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By Niggy

United Kingdom Gb

Can I return use the compost in my pots that had flowers in them last year? My local council tells me that I cannot put this in my brown bin so can I plant other flowers in the same compost next spring?



Reusing compost won't benefit hungry new plants very much. Much of it's usefulness is used up. Dump the old stuff someplace and use new compost for new plants and get them off well.

25 Nov, 2015


I would use it as an organic mulch around shrubs and perennials in the landscape. Reuse is possible, but besides the nutrient concerns that Bathgate raised, there is a chance that the soil structure will collapse, stopping drainage, and some diseases can become established, limiting your plant palette.

25 Nov, 2015


Re-use by mixing 50/50 with new compost and adding a couple of handfuls of fish, blood and bone or slow release granular feed - there are lots of ways of revitalising spent compost.

Most of my planting is in pots - mostly perennial plants - and I don't bother with renewing the compost annually - it gets done when the plants need moving up to a bigger pot and then I mix in new compost. "Structure" of purchased compost in the UK is hardly worth mentioning - it's mostly rubbish unless you are buying top quality John Innes mixtures.

If you have a lot and no garden to spread it around then you may have to make a trip to your local council reclamation site.

25 Nov, 2015


I sometimes reuse mine for annuals or bulbs as long as the old plants were healthy and there's no sign of soil pests , topping it up and mixing with either loam if I have any or new compost. Add fertiliser to the old compost. It costs a fortune to replace it all every year if you have a lot of containers.

Alternatively as the others say, use it as a soil improver or mulch in the garden. Throwing it away is a needless waste as long as you can find a use for it.

25 Nov, 2015


Provided there were no fungal problems or vine weevil affecting your plants this year, you can reuse the compost - I've done it loads of times, I just add a couple of handfuls of growmore and turn it all over, then plant. But I don't generally reuse it more than once, at the end of the second year, I spread it round the garden.

25 Nov, 2015

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