As a gardener, you might be having a hard time choosing between garden soil and potting soil. Although both products are made from quality organic materials, they have their pros and cons. Since these products can help you grow strong and healthy plant roots, some gardeners are undecided about picking garden soil or potting soil. Although they provide plants with excellent growing conditions, it is essential to know that they are not interchangeable. Suppose you have picked the latter, you might ask, does potting soil go bad?
What is Potting Soil?
Potting soil is also known as potting mix. It refers to the blend of materials, including sphagnum moss, bark, perlite, vermiculite, compost, or coir. Since these plants are ideal to be planted in a container, they need soil. However, soil can carry fungus and other plant pathogens that can infect your plants. But since the potting mix is sterile, it means it’s fungus-free and safer for potted plants.
Using potting soil allows you to have access to the organic material that feeds the plants. Not only that, but it also has vermiculite or perlite that keeps the mix loose and well-draining. As such, it doesn’t compact around plant roots or holds too much water. This way, it can also control the roots from breathing and killing plants. Some potting mixes may contain added chemical fertilizers or water-retaining crystals.
Does Potting Soil Go Bad?
Although potting mix refers to a specific type of soil made of different materials, it may still expire. It is essential to know that potting mix goes bad when it expires. Suppose you have a sealed potting mix; it can still not be used if you let it sit in your home for years. Remember that one of the potting soil’s primary ingredients, peat moss, has a lifespan of roughly one to two years. You have to be aware of this because using an expired potting mix can increase the soil’s salts. As a result, it reduces soil drainage and cuts off your houseplant’s oxygen supply.
Guide on How to Properly Store Potting Soil
If you want to use a potting mix, it is vital to use it as soon as possible after buying it to avoid expiration. Here are some of the must-consider ops you need to know:
Keep the potting soil in secure storage.
You may store potting mix while it is sealed in its original bag. Keep it inside a protective container like a storage tote. If there are large Rubbermaid bins that work well, you may re-purpose the dishwasher detergent containers. Supposed the original potting soil bag is not re-sealable, you may use tape to re-seal the bag.
Store the potting mix in a cool, dry place.
Potting soil can become moldy if it has too much moisture. You can avoid this when by keeping it in secure storage away from warm weather. You may kill off the mold by allowing the soil to dry. Try to spread it out in the sun and let it dry completely. Another technique is to bake your soil to kill mold, especially if you have large soil quantities.
Whether you are an expert in gardening or not, it is essential that investing in good soil is critical to your plants’ growth. You may use the typical soil or opt for potting soil that can benefit your plants. Remember, a healthy garden needs a lot of care, so considering potting soil that contains a mix of organic and inorganic materials can improve your plants’ growth. But make sure the potting mix is in the best condition because it can go bad if not. Besides, potting soil has a long shelf life as long as you handle it with proper care. It can even last for several years.