, that's a pretty good statement of re-using the potting soil. I felt it would be ok, but wanted some input from others. I had two big old plastic pots from years ago sitting around. A couple of years ago I rounded up old pots with potting soil in them and combined it all. There was enough to fill those two old pots up. I stuck a couple of tomato seedlings I had excess of last year into the pots. I really didn't watch them closely and they didn't do well at all. This year the pots had ants in them so I flooded them out daily for about a week until they left. I then put a small handful of 13-13-13 and a small handful of lime in the pots and stirred it really good...pulling out weed roots and whatnot. I had some left-over pepper seedlings so I stuck a Craig's Grande in one pot and a Corbaci in the other. They're growing like gangbusters!!!
This got me interested in trying container gardening a bit but then the question of re-using the potting soil popped into my mind. Thanks for your input!
, thanks for your imput, too! Yes, I'm figuring on covering the drain holes.
The old pots I mentioned above I put some weed barrier material in and it is working well. Let's it drain good but keeps the soil mix inside. The containers will be up on an old deck which will help with most bugs, but ants are a problem here...Argentine ants.
They are everywhere so know I'll be battling them as I've already had to do.
It sounds like you do a semi-hugelkultur on a micro-level in your pots. Cool! I might have to try that! And the way you described how you process your used potting soil sounds about the way I had it figured. I have a large plastic cement mixing tray that is great for working with potting soil in so the "refreshing" shouldn't be too difficult. Thanks!
, the disease aspect is what has me wondering. Seems here in hot and humid south Alabama we are a petri dish for all kinds of things...fungus, bacteria, legged-critters, etc.,. That's why I'm thinking of keeping the soils specific to their original pots. Knowing what grew "where" the previous year I can do a weak form of crop rotation between the pots. I duh-no, maybe it'll help?
I'll definitely be doing similar to you in refreshing the soil! Thanks!
Thank you all, again, for the feedback. I feel much better now going forward with trying a few containers. I've got peppers growing already and I hope to be soon be planting some cucumbers in a big 17gal tub. We'll see how things go.