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2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

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2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby evepet » Apr 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Hi everybody. :) I've been a little scarce here during the past few months, but the nice weather has again got me thinking about getting ready for this year's balcony garden. I had lots of planters last year, and my concern is whether it's necessary to totally empty them and fill with all new container soil, or whether I can make do by mixing in about 50% new stuff. Would it work to take the last year's soil out (put in big storage box) and mix in some compost/manure mixture, then refill the containers with that 50/50 mixture?? I've taken all the old root balls out and worked the soil - it still looks pretty good, but I realize I'm going to need to replentish it somehow before planting. It was all new last year - the expensive Miracle Grow stuff specially made for containers.
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby Smitty » Apr 29, 2009 3:22 pm

personally I'd just mix in some manure and reuse last years.
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby evepet » Apr 29, 2009 3:26 pm

Smitty wrote:personally I'd just mix in some manure and reuse last years.


Thanks Smitty. I was wondering about that. It sure would be the easiest and less expensive option. :)
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby Smitty » Apr 29, 2009 3:33 pm

I have two large cast iron urns in the yard that I've had for years..I just dig out about a third of the soil and add manure . been doing this for at least 5 years now and they seem to do just fine
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby evepet » Apr 29, 2009 3:41 pm

Smitty wrote:I have two large cast iron urns in the yard that I've had for years..I just dig out about a third of the soil and add manure . been doing this for at least 5 years now and they seem to do just fine


Smitty... I'm going to dump the old soil from the containers into a big rectangular Rubbermaid storage container .. add the manure.. mix... refill the container(s). Can you give me any idea of the ratio of 'old soil' to 'new manure'?

I've been using Miracle Grow fertilizer too - the stuff you just dissolve in your watering can and use about once a month... would that work ok with the old soil/manure mixture too?

I appreciate your help. :)
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby bluewillow » Apr 29, 2009 4:20 pm

[color=#4000FF]I just dumped my special container soil but next year I'll take your advice Smitty and only add sheep manure. It does cost a small fortune. (Tote veggie planting). For container gardening I purchase a special soil that is very light and holds moisture. I also dumped this as well. If I had only known! Thanks again Smitty!

Lyn, I saw core adv @ C.T. I had no idea what its for and what it does. Should I add this to my flower containers?
I do remember Lyn when you were asking the other year ...too.

bw
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby Eeyore » Apr 29, 2009 4:44 pm

I re-use my soil in the planters. I just add about 30 - 50% of either manure, coir, peat or soil. It's usually a mix of coir, manure and new soil. If I can't find coir I'll use peat.

BW , coir is shredded coconut fibre, it's very water absorbant and keeps your planters from drying out as quickly. I like it better than peat because it doesn't form that crust on top that inhibits water penetration.
Lyn
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby bluewillow » Apr 29, 2009 5:08 pm

Thanks Lyn ..... shall look for coir for flower containers.

bw
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby Smitty » Apr 29, 2009 5:22 pm

yep 30-50% is what I do too. and yes I use sheep manure from Walmart.but have never used what did you call it coir?? will have to look for it and add it to my planters this year
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Re: 2nd year balcony container garden - Do I need all new soil??

Postby Eeyore » Apr 29, 2009 6:00 pm

It is called various things, Soil Sponge being one of them. I buy the blocks of it that you soak in water before using. It's a much better price than the stuff that is not compressed.
Lyn
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