Saving Last Season's Potting Mix for Reuse

yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)April 24, 2012

I have an 18 gallon pot filled with pine-bark based potting mix that I grew a Brandywine in. I have removed the thickest roots from the mix but there are still very fine hair like roots throughout the mix.

I can't start seeds again until late July so the mix will sit in hot, humid, wet Florida for about 4 months before I can plant seedlings in it in September. I would think the fine hair like roots would break down under those conditions.

What do you think about reusing the mix with these roots left in it for 4 months?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sure, no problem, just recharge it first.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Recharge it with what? Tomato Tone?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:08PM
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You might want to check the smell of the soil down deep before planting, and you also might want to remove it and fold in some fresh of whatever potting mix you use. Just my 2 cents.

I tried that, and the tomato failed to thrive. When I dumped the pot, the soil in the bottom had all gone bad and smelled horrible.

I think the previous poster means to rewet the potting mix, but I'm thinking it will be plenty wet if you have rain, and might even go bad like mine did.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:28PM
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I have been "recharging" potting soil for a heck of a lot of years. I don't know how DigDirt defines the recharging process, but here is what I do:

Each October, I empty all of my containers, window boxes, flower pots, etc onto a pile of junky stuff I have gathered all summer which includes grass clippings, failed startups, Holiday gift plants, (the good garbage goes into my tumbler-type composter). About the end of March. I get out there on a nice day and screen the whole mess and store the resulting product in barrels which I use later to fill my containers for the new year. I "recharge" the sifted stuff with a bit of lime, a few shovels full of aged manure, a bit of an organic fertilizer like Garden Tone, a little time release fertilizer and I am good to go for the new gardening season. The stuff is too expensive to throw away andd too valuable/useful, ecologically, to waste. I have using it primarily for flowers but it should be useful for vegetable gardening as well. Been working for me.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:05PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Pretty much as sconticut outlined above. There are many discussions about how to re-use potting mix in containers available for all the details. Check the container gardening forum.

Standard recharge approach is to dump all the containers out on a tarp or such, let it air dry, mix well together, sift or sort out any weird stuff, add in some fresh mix, fresh fertilizer of your choice, maybe some lime, maybe some fresh bark fines depending on mix you are using, etc. and refill the containers ready for planting.

Personally I don't use compost or manures in my containers. I keep them soil-less.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:13PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Here you go.

Here is a link that might be useful: re-using potting mix discussions

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:15PM
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