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For inspiration and advice about gardening in pots and planters, gardening indoors and outdoors, from balconies to terraces, and everything in between.

Postby Guest » Mar 07, 2008 6:14 pm

I am surprised to see no one has discovered how to reuse soil.It is a form of recycling. First if your soil is healthy and plants are cared for properly there will be no disease and insect problems.Also,the freezing of the soil and then the heat baking it under the tarp,is natures way of killing off anything bad that may have been in the soil.Secondly the soil is bulked up again with all the amendments,making it once again very fertile.This is just something that I do with mine and it works great.
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Postby Koot » Mar 07, 2008 7:02 pm

Sorry Liz , I don't mean to be rude I did it by accident and seem to delete it. Dam
KOOT (not the old, either) Libby zone 5
Cares melt when you kneel in your garden.
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Postby dlb » Mar 07, 2008 9:17 pm

I used to have a balcony garden, but I still use containers quite a bit. I don't fuss much with potting up. I use lightweight plastic pots scrunched up for drainage. I remove perhaps 1/2 of the soil every year and replace with fresh container soil, mix it up well. When I lived in the apartment I kept the soil from year to year, and mixed it with new soil each year. Which is why I ended up with about 30 pots on the balcony, I suppose. I never noticed any particular deterioration in plant health as a result of keeping the soil, or bugs, or weeds except for the occasional poplar sprout.

I will likely do tomatoes (dwarf heirloom varieties), cucumbers (dwarf) and zucchini in containers this year.

I've always grown lettuce in a container in the past - in some respects it works well because the container was such the slugs couldn't get in. But I never had very good growth with it. I'm curious to see what happens when I put it in the raised bed.

Dora
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Postby Eeyore » Mar 07, 2008 10:43 pm

I don't reuse the soil that I plant tomatoes in for tomatoes again. They get all new soil. The other planters I dump out and then mix in peat and manure and then pot up the plants. For ornamentals I don't mind but the tomatoes get top notch soil every year.
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Postby dlb » Mar 07, 2008 11:24 pm

Yes, tomatoes are heavy feeders. Most types also need fairly large pots, which is why I've gone to dwarves or determinate tomatoes which are somewhat less demanding in that regard. They can take a smaller pot.

Store bought container soil is so loaded with slow release fertilizers etc. though, that it can make it through more than one season, especially when 'freshened' with new soil.

Dora
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Postby keke » Mar 08, 2008 9:53 am

Reason why I said fist-size rocks is that once the tomato plants get going the pots get top-heavy. The rocks keep them from overbalancing -- don't forget, i'm on a hill here! Yes, I do level them at the beginning but it never quite works out that the darn plants grow evenly on all sides.

cheers,
keke
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Postby dlb » Mar 08, 2008 10:38 am

This is the first year I'm growing dwarf tomatoes, but by understanding is that dwarf plants get around that problem. They are determinate, which means they grow to a certain size, and that is it. So the plant never gets top heavy, but still produces fruit. They don't need as large a pot for nutritive purposes either. Also, it gets quite cold here at nights, because of the altitude, so I often have to bring plants inside during the night in the fall. It's much easier when you aren't growing a monster.
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Postby Eeyore » Mar 09, 2008 1:16 am

I'd have to say I agree with you regarding the determinants Dora. They do tend to do better in planters than the indeterminants.
Lyn
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Anyone interested in eggplants!

Postby Frankie » Mar 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Hi everyone,

If anyone likes eggplants, well you can grow them from seeds in containers. Black containers are preferable because it will provide more warmth. My dad grows white and purple eggplants every year and they taste amazing. If anyone would like some recipes I will be happy to share them...

Frankie
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Postby butterfly » Mar 09, 2008 1:54 pm

don't waste soil from the year before

I put it my compost to mix with veggies, leaves etc and it works well


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