Must I buy new soil each year?

(Question)

Can I reuse the same soil for my pots for this year’s plants?

 

(Answer)

Although it seem to make sense for gardeners to re-use soil from containers and pots, healthy new plants require good soil structure so that water and air can move throughout the soil freely. Good soil supports development of a good root system, which, in turn, promotes healthy plants.

Plants growing in pots and containers tend to exhaust the soil, affecting soil structure.  As well, sometimes, plants growing in pots and containers become diseased. Pathogens can remain in the soil and affect the growth of any new plants placed in this soil. To avoid passing on this problem, get rid of any soil that you suspect may be infected.

It’s best to recycle disease-free soil from your containers and pots in your compost bin. Then, replenish your clean containers with fresh potting soil to grow new healthy plants for the next season.