Reusing potting soil

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)February 21, 2013

I'd like to reuse some potting soil that I have in a large pot on my deck for some tomatoes. I can add some amendments to it before planting. The problem is...
the pot had a hybrid tea rose growing in it last year that had developed anthracnose disease (the rose was shovel pruned last year). The pot has sat out all winter through the freeze, snow, etc. Will the soil be ok to replant in? Or should I just dump it and make new? (the pot is a 18 inch diameter pot)

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

There isn't a simple answer to your question. I do believe that it's sometimes possible to rejuvenate a potting medium to extend its life. But, the medium has to be pretty darned sturdy in the first place. There are very few of those on the commercial market. Peat based media just don't cut it.

Ammendments should include such things as pine or fir bark fines, perlite, granite grit, etc. Stuff that creates porosity. Probably the most important elements in a productive potting medium are the pore spaces...voids. That's why most potting mixes just can't be reused ; they break down into tiny particles.

Now...all that being you want to plant into disease contaminated soil? REALLY? Because it's still contaminated.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:01PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey kent.. long time no see ...

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Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Eighteen inch pot for 'some tomatoes'? That's too small unless you are planting something like tiny tim or other miniature variety. Or were you just thinking of using the soil? If it were a flower I'd not be too bothered for re-using potting mix. There isn't much to peat-based mix other than a growing matrix. You have to add the nutrients, it's just something to hold roots. But, I don't plant or start tomatoes in anything other than santised pots and new planting mix. They are just too susceptable to disease and it's not worth the savings to lose them from innoculation from some pre-existing crud.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:09PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

How deep is your 18 inch diameter pot?

There are a couple ailments roses and tomatoes can give to each other (tobacco mosaic virus comes to mind) so I'd be inclined not to share soil between them.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:41PM
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