Using excess plant material to re-use soil and improve soil fertility

Growing outdoors for beginners. Your grow is done. The harvest is in and has been processed. Now, you’ve got plant remains and used soil left over. What can you do with these? Throwing them away is a waste, so let’s check out possibilities to recycle stuff and improve your soil fertility organically. You can easily improve soil fertility organically by re-using soil and plant material and adding organic fertilisers and improve crop production.


Re-using soil

You can re-use potting soil for your next grow. All you need to know are a few tricks to revitalize the soil's fertility. This is a good way to save costs. The most important thing is to add new nutrients to the soil. Your plants have been in the soil for an entire life cycle and they’ve drained it of nutrients. Flushing before the harvest always washes remaining nutrients out.

Improve soil fertility organically

Break apart the used soil and stir it together into a big heap. Add plant material, like the trimmings from your finished grow. Mowed grass is fine as well. After that, add soil life like good bacteria, fungi and worms. You can get bacteria and fungi at many gardening stores. Worms are available freely, but you can also buy special species on the internet. All this soil life feeds on the new plant material that you've added. Cover your soil heap with a tarp to protect it from drying out or being flushed away. You’ll have to wait at least four months until your soil is good to go again. Be careful not to let the soil freeze through in winter because that would kill the soil life.

If you want to use the revitalized soil after the winter, you need to add some fertiliser. Blood and bone meal is a good choice to add some extra nutrition after winter. The soil life will have done its work though, so you won’t need too much. You could add some calcium or magnesium in the form of our organic product Calcium Kick.

Improve soil fertility with plant material

You can use the larger leaves you trim off during the harvest as food for your new soil life. Shred and mix them into your old soil. Hold on to smaller leaves that come from the actual yield. Depending on the plant type you can use these to make tea, infusions or extracts. Make sure you research the things you can do with the excess trimmings from your harvest.