How Long Does Garden Soil Last + 17 Tips To [Store, Revive, Care] Old Soil

Garden soil is the organic ingredient in which the best crops grow. When you have a garden and you’re planning to grow some plants.

You need to know what good garden soil is, how long does garden soil last? and how you have to cultivate it to make it productive and efficient. It also consists of compost. However, good garden soil holds moisture well and drains well too. It should be sufficiently loose and fluffy so that the roots get enough air to survive. In the end, it should have all the minerals that are needed for the plant to survive and grow adequately.

This blog will answer all your questions including miracle gro potting soil vs garden soil, and below points.

  • How to tell if potting soil is bad
  • What to do with old potting soil
  • Does outdoor potting soil go bad
  • How long does topsoil last
  • Does open potting soil go bad
  • How to store potting soil

What Are The Ingredients Inside Potting Soil?

How Long Does Garden Soil Last
How Long Does Garden Soil Last

There are different kinds of ingredients inside potting soil, all of which are important to the growth of the plant in the end. Does potting soil have fertilizer in it?

Hence, some of the ingredients which are missing in the potting soil in your garden must be supplemented with fertilizers and supplements specially made for personal gardens. Potting mix is also known as miracle soil.

Here are some Miracle gro garden soil ingredients. Mostly, potting soil contains a lot of peat moss hinted at with limestone or coconut coir based.

Some other ingredients that are a must in potting soil are perlite, sand and grit. One other ingredient is vermiculite to increase the water retention of the soil for the plant.

In potting soil, commercial fertilizer is not added. Specially made fertilizers for potting soil should be used only. We can also Add Calcium To Soil naturally, as it’s as important as Adding Nitrogen To Soil.

How To Store Potting Soil?

Potting soil should be stored in its original bag or the genuine packaging that you brought from the store. If you don’t have the potting mix bags, you can put the soil inside a protective container or box just like a storage tote.

For example, you can use Rubbermaid bins (preferably large ones) for this purpose. They work miracles on miracle soil! Planting in potting soil bags is highly beneficial for soil health.

However, you should not use the organic soil bags if it is not resealable because then, the air that gets in might ruin the qualities of the soil by moisture.

When Is The Best Time To Replace Garden Soil?

How long is potting soil good for? This question is best answered with a lot of answers.

The replacement of garden soil depends on the plant that is planted in the garden soil. However, you can get an idea by looking plant’s growth. Houseplants that have faster-growing qualities like pothos and African violets will benefit from repotting once a year. You can replace the soil with fresh soil once a year.

Does Bagged Garden Soil Go Bad? Opened And Unopened?

How Long Does Garden Soil Last
How Long Does Garden Soil Last

This is a question that is asked by lots and lots of people who have garden plants.

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Potting soil usually goes bad when it remains unused for a long. This unused soil can also stay fresh for an even longer time if you’re willing to do some soil rejuvenation. If you have potting soil that has been unopened and lying around your garage for months, it can still be salvaged and used in its entirety. If you think that your potting soil is going bad, you should look for some or all of the following telltale signs:

  • A bad smell or a bad odor.
  • Full of insects and crawling creatures.
  • Gone dense, compacted, and slightly hard.

Until and unless you have some or all of these criteria fulfilled, your potting soil has not gone bad and can still be used to the fullest. If you’re new to gardening, it might be an ordeal for you to accurately judge the condition of your potting soil. However, this intuition comes to you after some gardening and some practice.

How To Keep Soil Fresh For The Long Term?

How to store potting soil? If you want to keep your soil fresh for the long term, there are some methods that you can apply to do exactly that.

Here are some of the storage tips and tricks that will help you prepare potting soil for storage.

  • Before storing the bags of potting soil, inspect them well. Make sure you know which bags have been previously opened.
  • The potting mix must be completely dry before you store it. If you have a potting mix that is slightly moist, you must keep it somewhere where it can dry off gradually before you store it in airtight containers.
  • The finest way of storing the soil is to keep it in its original packaging. However, this should only be done if the packaging is resealable and has the option of airtight storage.
  • If you want to store your soil in the packaging that it came in, you have to ensure that the air does not come into contact with the soil all the time.

The acidic soil is the best for growing garden plants. You should avoid clay soils. It will not grow well here.

How Do You Know When Soil Is Bad?

Below are few things that tell if potting soil is bad.

  • It has a bad smell or a bad odor emanating from it.
  • It is always infested with insects and crawling with them all-day.
  • It has become dense, compacted, and slightly hard.
  • It has become infected with some disease that you know of.

If you see any or all of these characteristics in your soil, you can be sure that your soil has gone bad. In this case, you will have to change it or make sure that you take steps to restore it and salvage whatever is possible.

The identification of soil that has gone bad is difficult and you need a lot of practice before you can start to accurately determine whether your soil has actually gone bad.

Exclusive [8 Tips]How Do You Rejuvenate Old Soil?

How Long Does Garden Soil Last- Tips to revive
How Long Does Garden Soil Last- Tips to revive

Can you reuse potting soil from last year? Why would you use the chemical and preservative contaminated soil when you can make perfectly good soil at home?

Here are some of the ways in which you can make your own soil or even rejuvenate the soil that you already have for your garden.

  1. The first tip that you should use is to ensure that you figure out how much time your plant has spent in the same soil. If you have been growing plants that are perennial for one or two years, you must replace all or some of the soil in the plant to keep the plant healthy.
  2. The level of soil in the pot also has a very important part to play. If the growth medium (that is the soil) has gone below, it needs topping up. Hence, you must consider adding more soil or fertilizers to the pot for adequate growth of the plant.
  3. Consider the structure of the soil also. If you have used a bag of potting soil in the beginning, you might have a good structure. But there are high chances that the structure may have gotten tired. It may have gotten compacted. Hence, you need to get the quantities right.
  4. If your plant has already outgrown the pot that it is already in, you must consider moving the plant to a bigger container to aid in the growth of the roots and the entire plant. In this step, you can also replace the soil if you want.
  5. Practice good hygiene principles to respect the growth of the plants. The growth might get stopped short if your plant contracts a disease from your dirtiness.
  6. Add nutrients to the soil to build the overall health and protection of the soil. This also protects the plants from pests.
  7. If water runs out of the plant right after you pour the water in, you definitely need to re-pot.
  8. If you have been growing vegetables in the pot, you need to ensure that you rotate your crops from time to time (crop rotation) to maintain the integrity of the soil and aid in plant growth.

What To Do With Old Potting Soil?

There are several ways in which you can use old potting soil responsibly.

  • The best way? Simply remove the old plants from the soil, fluff up the material with your hands or a tool and then replant the plant.
  • If you have reused the same soil in this way for several years, you will have to remove 50 percent of the soil and replace it with new soil.
  • You can also work your old potting soil into your vegetable gardens and your flower beds or add it to your compost piles.

Why Does Outdoor Potting Soil Go Bad?

Does miracle-gro garden soil expire? If you keep your potting soil out in the open, it does have a tendency to go bad after some time. However, you can make sure that the potting soil stays fresh for a longer time by taking some steps to ensure that.

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You can store it responsibly and make sure that it does not have exposed to a lot of moisture.

How Long Does Topsoil Last?

How long does miracle gro last? The topsoil in which you grow your plants in the garden will eventually decay and rot especially in places where the weather and the soil are damp and see a lot of rainfall.

However, if you have a lot of maintenance done on your topsoil and ensure that it does not get infected with pests or diseases, it can stay for a very long time without going bad.

Why Does Potting Soil Get Hard?

During the summer, clay soils get burnt by direct sunlight and heat. Eventually, they can resist wetting.

This allows for the water that you pour to run off from the soil instead of getting absorbed in the soil by the plant.

Hence, if you want to re-wet your soil for the upcoming planting season, you must make sure that you repeatedly sprinkle the soil with little amounts of water so that it does not runoff.

Eventually, the soil becomes soft enough to break off.

Can Potting Soil Get Moldy?

White molds can develop over potting soil or on the surface of the potting soil where your plants are growing.

This mold is usually a harmless fungus that emerges into the topsoil when you constantly over-water the plant.

Poor drainage in the topsoil and hard soils usually develops this mold over time. When the water finds no way in or out of the topsoil, it becomes a breeding ground for this fungus which feeds on organic matter.

How To Tell If Miracle Gro Expire?

There are several ways in which you can ascertain whether miracle gro dirt or potting soil has gone bad. Many people also asked, Is miracle grow potting soil safe for vegetables? Yes!

  • Usually when potting soil has gone bad or has decayed, it will emanate a foul smell from the garden soil bags.
  • It might also attract a lot of insects in and around it and might show signs of the development of molds.
  • If this happens, it indicates that soil has gone bad. If you are aware that the soil has developed a disease, you must make sure that you take the necessary steps to fix it.

how long does fertilizer last in potting soil?

There are many potting soil brands that hold nutrients in Fertilizer for 60-120 days. You always need to check the kind of brand you are using.

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So after 60 days does potting soil is of no use? the answer is “No” it’s not like that, the fertilizer will still be useful but not as a brand new soil. So you can consider changing the soil periodically and see how your plant is growing.

miracle grow potting soil vs garden soil

For any plants growth, you need to decide wisely which soil to use. There is a variety of potting available in the market. In comparison, there is natural gardening soil.

Choosing appropriate soil can make plants healthy, on the other hand, the wrong soil type can make several problems like root rot, moisture buildup and soil compaction in the early stage of plant growth.

Find below a quick comparison based on which you can decide your plant’s soil type.

PropertiesGarden SoilMiracle Grow Bags
Soil TypeIts made with natural components like topsoil and sand which makes it bulky.Its made with non-organic products like peat moss, vermiculite.
pH LevelsNot acidic.Highly acidic.
Moisture ContentTend to dry too fast.Maintains the moisture.
Indoors / OutdoorsWork well for outdoor gardens and plants.Mostly suitable for hanging, potted indoor plants.
PricesEasily available at cheap prices.Much costlier than garden soil.

Frequent asked questions on How Long Does Garden Soil Last.

Q1: What Is The Shelf Life Of grass seed Potting Soil?

Does grass seed go bad? Potting soil usually has a shelf life of 6 months when stored in the packaging it was manufactured in. However, this might decrease if the package is opened, or the soil is exposed to moisture.

Q2: Do I Need To Replace Potting Soil Every Year?

It totally depends on the variety of plants you are growing. If you are growing perennial plants, you must ensure that you replace some of the soil every year.

Q3: How Do You Fill A Raised Bed Cheaply?

If you want to fill raised beds with cheap materials, you can do so with compost, organic soil, topsoil and other organic matter like manure. This gives the plants a nutrient rich environment to grow in.

Q4: What Do I Put On The Bottom Of A Raised Garden Bed?

You can never go wrong with grass clippings, leaves, straw, other organic material or wood chips from around the garden. Also, you can put compost at the bottom of a raised garden bed.

Q5: What to do if potting soil wet in the bag?

It’s not advisable to use wet potting soil as if it’s used then it can make plants root rot with several other infections. It’s best if we can remove excess water from the soil by soaking it in full sun and then use it.

Q6: Can I use miracle gro garden soil in pots?

Yes, Miracle-Gro Garden Soil can be used In Pots. As they are made especially for indoor plants.


Hence, these are the explanations of some of the concerns of gardening with regard to the potting soil or the miracle soil. We hope that with the information that you have On How Long Does Garden Soil Last. You will have the skills necessary to maintain healthy garden soil.

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