Is It OK To Use Old Compost?

Is it OK to use old compost? It is entirely possible to reuse old compost: the books tell you not to, but they are assuming you have money to spare/a car/easy access to a garden centre. This is because roots need to breathe, and compacted compost has little room for air. Because it is made of organic matter, compost is always further decomposing.

Can compost be left too long?

If compost is left too long, it will still generally be usable. However, it may lose some of its potency if constantly exposed to the elements. Compost will often just become even finer as the microorganisms continue to work.

How long can you keep compost for?

You can store compost indefinitely, but the longer it's stored the more nutrients it loses. Compost is at its best for three to four months after it is completed. However, compost can be used even after that. Over time, the nutrients in the compost break down further or escape the compost.

Can I reuse compost from last years pots?

With thoughtful handling, you can reuse potting compost in next year's containers, or use it to solve other gardening problems. Old potting compost need not be bone dry when you store it, but too much moisture can create cushy conditions for unwanted mouldy microbes. Dry soil weighs less, too.

Can you reuse compost from tomato plants?

Yes, but it's not ideal. The nutrients in potting compost will usually be exhausted within a growing season. Obviously this varies within the actual mix and what you grow, but as a rule it's best to replace the compost, or at least a third of it, every year. Then, put the used compost on the garden or compost heap.


Related guide for Is It OK To Use Old Compost?


Can you use old compost as mulch?

Mulch your beds. Compost works brilliants as a mulch on your beds. Not only does it add organic matter, but it also helps to keep moisture in the soil and, perhaps most importantly, it helps to keep down the weeds.


How often should I flip my compost?

By turning more frequently (about every 2-4 weeks), you will produce compost more quickly. Waiting at least two weeks allows the center of the pile to heat up and promotes maximum bacterial activity. The average composter turns the pile every 4-5 weeks.


How do you fix stinky compost?

Compost that is too wet will smell putrid or like rotting eggs and will look slimy, especially green material. To fix this cause of a smelly compost pile, turn the compost and add some dry brown materials to absorb some of the moisture.


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