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How to Re-Amend Soil for Reuse

Over the last few months, we’ve had quite a few people asking how to go about reusing the same soil that they’ve been using. This is especially true for those growing within containers, as well as specifically for cannabis. So, we figured we’d make a post because we love to recycle our soil and use it over and over again too!

Why re-amend your soil for reuse?

To start, if you’re growing a number of plants and continually transplant them to larger pots, you may find yourself with a giant stack of nearly nutrient-less soil sitting in those smaller pots.

Even for those simply growing veggies, we often go through a few pot sizes before placing them into the garden plot or final container it will call it’s forever home. We know we do, as we like to start seeds indoors early on and always take extra time to harden them off. By us, the wind gusts can reach up to 50 mph, so extra time hardening off is pretty much a necessity if you want your little guys to survive the strong winds.

Each time the pot size increases, we’re left with an empty pot and little nutrients left in it. Maybe some of you already tried to plant in the same pot only to discover nothing really grew well in them. For this reason, re-amending your soil to use over and over again is key in not only cutting waste but saving a butt-load of money too.

What about re-amending plots or raised beds?

For those looking to re-amend large garden plots or raised beds, the steps we explain below will work as well. It’s all about how much soil you have and how nutrient-rich you need it to be for your next crop to be planted and thrive.

Typically with plots and raised beds, you want to ensure you fully re-amend the soil at least three weeks prior to planting anything in it. This will allow time for the area to cook the nutrients into the soil.

If you’re looking to speed up the process, take a black tarp and place it over the area you re-amended. This will trap the heat in and allow for the newly amended soil to cook at a much faster rate than if just left open to natural conditions.

So, how do I re-amend my soil for reuse?

For those that are emptying small pots and containers, go grab a tarp to dump the soil on. Once you have all of the soil you’d like to re-amend dumped on to the tarp, it’s time to add the missing nutrients back into the soil.

For those re-amending a plot or raised bed, you do not need to move the dirt! Simply spread the missing ingredients on top of the area. Then lightly overturn the area to mix the amendments into the top six inches of soil or so. There is no need to go much deeper than that, as you will disturb microbes and organisms living down there. Therefore doing more harm than good.

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Alright, now it’s time to add the goodies to your soil, wherever it may be, in a plot or on a

tarp. Depending on the amount of soil you are re-amending, the below inputs will vary.

For our example, we are going to break it all the way down to a single 15-gallon pot, as well as what it would look like re-amending three-yards of soil.

To start, go ahead and gather the following amendments in the below quantities:

Single 15-Gallon Pot

Roughly 3-Yards of Soil

Optional Inputs:
½ to 1 Cup Gypsum 30 to 40 Cups Gypsum
⅓ to 1 Cup Bokashi 20 to 25 Cups Bokashi
½ to 1 Cup Alfalfa Meal 30 to 40 Cups Alfalfa Meal

Now, please note that you may find yourself needing more or less of the above nutrients. Additionally, you may also find yourself needing to add even more amendments to the soil, such as the optional ones mentioned above.

Grower Tip: Pay attention to the plants you had in the soil prior to needing to re-amend. They will clue you in on what is missing in your soil and what needs to be added.

Vegetable & Herb Specifics:

While the above inputs will work just fine for your vegetable garden, you may use less of the inputs. This is due to vegetables being much less demanding than cannabis crops. Additionally, if you find yourself low on calcium, we highly recommend adding the full amount of gypsum to your soil.

Cannabis Specifics:

The above inputs can be followed exactly for cannabis growers, in pots or in raised beds. Please remember to pay attention to the plants you had in there previously. This will be key in determining if other amendments need to be added to your re-amended soil.

Mixing Everything Together

Yup, you guessed it! Now with all of the needed inputs added to the soil, simply grab a shovel or rake to mix everything together.

If you have your soil dumped on a tarp, this should be fairly simple. However, if you’re re-amending a bed or plot, remember not to over till the area. Additionally, do not dig below twelve inches (preferably six inches) to avoid disturbing the ecosystem just below your feet.

Finally, you want to let the soil cook for a few weeks prior to planting in it. This will ensure the nutrients begins to break down into the soil. And, that’s it! Your soil is officially chalked full of nutrients again and ready to use!

Cannabis Grow Mediums: Are They Reusable?

Y ou’ve put a lot of time and effort into growing the best marijuana in the past and you’re ready to do it again. Besides, now that you have all the supplies (including plants if you take clones or harvest seeds), the monetary investment should be minimal. You can reuse lights, vents, pots – and even your grow medium if you treat it right. Today, we’ll discuss how to reuse different grow mediums to save you time and money, and get you growing your next crop fast.

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Tips for Reusing Different Grow Mediums

Grow medium refers to whatever it is a plant grows from. Different types of grow media include soil, coco coir, rock wool, grow stones, clay pebbles and perlite. Though some grow mediums are not recommended for reuse (rock wool cubes, for example, become very compact which makes them hard to clean and sanitize between grows), many others most certainly are.

However, reusing grow media is not as simple as fluffing it up and starting anew. If you want your next crop to thrive, you must clean and sanitize your grow medium, and amend as necessary. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Reusing Soil in Cannabis Grows

Just as you must clean and sanitize your grow room between cycles, you must clean and sanitize your soil as well. Cleaning the soil rids it of residual nutrients and salts and helps you better gauge your next crop’s nutrient needs. Cleaning also removes debris like roots and fallen leaves so that new roots can grow without restriction. Sanitization, on the other hand, kills pathogens and pests (and their eggs).

Begin by flushing residual nutrients out of the soil using copious amounts of water (and a nutrient flush solution if possible) to remove minerals from the soil. Repeat the process two to three times ideally. If you have had a pest problem in the past, rinse with boiling water a few times to help kill them off and if you had mildew in your last crop, add an antifungal to your water, as well.

Remember, reused soil is not only flushed of contaminants, it is also free of all nutrients. Before using your soil again, amend it with things like compost, worm castings and peat moss.

After a thorough rinse, set your soil out in the sun to kill off any diseased spores. Continue to remove plant matter at this point to improve your soil’s consistency. Soil should sit for around 10 days before being used again, more if possible.

How to Reuse Coco Coir

Coco coir, made from coconut fiber, is an excellent cannabis grow medium for many reasons – it is sustainable, nearly impossible to overwater, boasts the perfect pH balance, and is highly reusable in both soil and hydroponic cannabis grows. But, like soil, it must be processed before reuse.

The first step in reusing coco coir is to remove any excess plant matter from the previous crop.

Large roots and stems can be removed by hand but smaller roots are best addressed with a special enzyme solution designed to break down roots and improve their bioavailability for future root systems. Thoroughly removing all old roots further ensures that future systems have the room they need to expand and thrive.

Next, wash the coco with distilled water to rinse away dead roots and residual salts that can block nutrient absorption. If necessary, you can sterilize your coco at this point using a 35% hydrogen peroxide solution (remember to rinse thoroughly if you do, though). This step is only recommended if there is risk of contamination, however, as non-sterile coco likely contains beneficial bacteria that you won’t want to lose. Add fresh coco coir to your reused mix as needed to add volume and extend its shelf life.

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Grow Stones, Perlite, Clay Pebbles

Grow stones are made from recycled glass, perlite from volcanic glass, and clay pebbles from, well, clay. Though all of these products are made from different materials, their reuse procedure is the same. Begin by removing all dead plant matter with an enzyme wash and your hands. If old root systems are especially large, soak the medium for 30 minutes, break up the root system, then repeat as necessary.

After roots are removed and the medium thoroughly rinsed, place in the sun to dry for two to three days. This resting period is necessary to keep the medium sterile.


Investing in your own cannabis grow is a big deal. You need lights, pots, ventilation systems, seeds (or clones) and some type of grow media. After gathering your long list of essential growing supplies, cultivating your first crop of cannabis, and harvesting and curing it to perfection, it’s time to reap the benefit of your hard work…and then do it all over again for another harvest in about three to six months.

Do you have tips for reusing cannabis grow mediums? Share them in the comments below.


Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Reusing Cannabis Stalks, Leaves & More!

While the goal of growing cannabis is to produce resinous, aesthetic and potent bud for an enjoyable and effective smoking experience, there are many other parts of the cannabis plant that are often left unused and thrown out – including stalks, leaves and roots. While these components may not be the most desired part of the plant, each part can be used in a variety of ways to ensure that you are getting the most out of every plant and harvest!

Reusing Cannabis Stalks

Once a cannabis plant is harvested, you are left with the stalk which is an extremely fibrous material. It is for this reason that industrial hemp farming has a focus using the fibrous qualities of the plant in order to produce different materials. Most home and industrial growers would benefit from breaking down these stalks with a wood chipper to create mulch, which can be used in compost piles or for the next crop. However, mulch is best applied to grows that use living soil to ensure that it breaks down over time.