All Things Gardening forum: Old Garden Soil Question

Views: 404, Replies: 3 » Jump to the end
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
May 25, 2013 1:10 PM CST
I didn't plant my garden this year. With DH in the hospital I knew I wouldn't be able to give it the attention it needed. There is one wheelbarrow of soil that I didn't get into the above ground planter. I recently emptied it of water and mosquito larvae. Bad, I know! I just am not home as much and I missed this! There was a smell to the soil. Not a good smell but very organic. Should I toss the soil or let it dry out and use it in my little garden this fall?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Aroids Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Vermiculture
Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Composter Plant Database Moderator
May 25, 2013 1:29 PM CST

Plants Admin

ShadyGreenThumb said:Not a good smell but very organic.

A swampy smell like rotting vegetation? I've had that when I forget to use the compost in a gardening bucket and leave it out, so I'll watch for reply's.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
May 25, 2013 4:56 PM CST
Swampy smell means no air in soil. I think if you dry it out it will be okay. I could be wrong but that's what I usually do.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Jun 4, 2013 8:27 PM CST
>> Swampy smell means no air in soil.

I agree. Plus, while there was no air, some aerobic microbes died, and other switched over from using oxygen (respiration) to their backup metabolism (fermentation). While fermenting, they produce organic acids and alcohols and other undesirable things. Hence the swamp-smell.

>> I think if you dry it out it will be okay.

I'd agree, as long as you turn it or 'fluff it up' and it has time to air out thoroughly and let the more desirable aerobic soil return.

It wouldn't hurt to mix it with a shovelful of healthy soil to "re-inoculate" it as it ventilates. But that's not crucial. The healthy soil microbes would come back as soon as you scratch it into healthy soil.

Also, nothing will kill 99.99% of any species of microbe, and 0.01% remaining is enough for them to come back and take over once they get their oxygen back.

I like to let rain or a sprayer flush THROUGH anaerobic soil or compost, so the organic fermentation toxins leach out, as well as evaporating. Alternatively, and probably best of all, just turn the swamp-mud under in your compost heap. The soil life in the heap will immediately put the populations back into a healthy balance, and digest the fermentation toxins just like any other carbon food source.

Compost cures all ills!

« Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« All Things Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:



[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by krobra and is called "Lantana Dew Drops"