Containers forum: Rejuvenating soil in containers

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jun 24, 2014 8:53 AM CST
I used to remove half the soil every spring and replace it with good nutrient rich soil.
Now what I do (as I approach old age) is pour manure tea through the old soil.
It works to renew the nutrients and it is easier on the back than dumping and shovelling soil amendments.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Jun 24, 2014 9:37 AM CST

I will look up a recipe online for that and see if I can use it.
Thanks Caroline. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Jun 25, 2014 4:13 AM CST
In a large garbage container:
Dump half a bag of manure (well rotted)----about 10 pounds
1 cup soluble fertilizer
1 cup Epsom salt
Fill the garbage container up with water
Stir with wooden rod
Let stand over night
Stir again, and then dip jugs full for the soil rejuvenation
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
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CDsSister
Jun 25, 2014 9:33 AM CST

That would be soooooo much more than I would need for the next 10 years. I found some online that I think I will just order a jug. But thanks I am sure others can use that formula.

Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Jun 25, 2014 5:44 PM CST
Thank you Caroline I am going to make up your recipe for the garden. For my out door garden I do keep a stocking stuffed with manure in a bucket of rainwater and I water my outdoor post from that bucket of manure tea. I never thought to add fert and epsom salt to the water.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 26, 2014 10:02 AM CST

Moderator

Great idea and recipe Caroline. You should put it into the Ideas and Articles so everyone can benefit from it.
I will definitely be doing this. Thank you so much.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Aug 21, 2014 7:10 PM CST
I really love the idea of rejuvenating potting mix by adding lots of beneficial microbes! Bravo! Do you ever water potted plants with that tea?

I think I'll add that step to my process for createing new soil from dead clay, for raised beds. Besides adding store-bought manure compost to my home-made soil, drench it with compost tea made as you describe (plus some screened fines from an active compost heap).

If you can borrow or scrounge an aquarium air pump and air stone to aerate it, it's good for the tea. Not vital, since you already have good results with a big garbage can, but it might keep the tea sweet longer than overnight.

If not, and if you live where it's hot, you might try to locate the barrel or bucket in shade where it will be cooler. Oxygen is more soluble in cool water than warm water, and keeping the deep layers aerated is beneficial.

I wonder if some "continuous" process would provide air as well as keep the exponentially growing aerobic microbes always in active growth? Say, use a 5-gallon bucket and every day or two take out two gallons of tea and add two gallons of water plus a small amount of manure?
At that rate, you could afford to use it for most of your watering or slosh it on leaves frequently as some recommend.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Aug 22, 2014 6:09 AM CST
Good ideas! Rick.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 22, 2014 6:09 PM CST
Caroline,

Do you think that "compost tea drench" would be enough to cure soil diseases that killed the prior crop? I'm guessing not.

I would think it would help to reduce the number of some microbes from "hundreds or thousands" down to "few or none".

But it would, at best, reduce "billions" down to "thousands or millions".

That's my guess, anyway.



Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Aug 23, 2014 5:35 AM CST
Most soil diseases are killed by our winters.
My containers are out in the weather all year.
The frost kills the plants.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Aug 23, 2014 6:58 AM CST
I work in compost from our bin and add watercrystals when I plant. The crystals have saved a lot of watering from daily to every three days.

Plus: the annual roots dont seem to need a deep a soil system so the compost worked in is about 4 to 6 inches down.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Aug 23, 2014 9:22 PM CST
I don't use the crystals because I use some of the containers for tomatoes.
Adding the compost to the top layer is a good idea too.
Then when it is watered there would be manure tea running into the soil.
Name: Dinu
Mysore, India (Zone 10a)
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Dinu
Dec 7, 2014 11:10 PM CST
This is nothing but 'liquid manure'!
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there. ~ GB Shaw, 'Adventures of the black girl'
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Dec 8, 2014 8:57 PM CST
I think liquid manure would be more concentrated.
Manure tea is less concentrated.
Name: Dinu
Mysore, India (Zone 10a)
Garden Photography Annuals Organic Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Dinu
Dec 8, 2014 11:12 PM CST
So liquid manure is diluted before application I guess.
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there. ~ GB Shaw, 'Adventures of the black girl'
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Dec 9, 2014 8:36 AM CST
Yes that would be necessary----otherwise you would burn some plants.
Name: Dinu
Mysore, India (Zone 10a)
Garden Photography Annuals Organic Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Dinu
Dec 9, 2014 10:43 PM CST
Ok ok, got it. I also read yesterday Dave's vermicomposting article.
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there. ~ GB Shaw, 'Adventures of the black girl'

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