Container soil, how often to change?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Talk' started by Beth_B, May 20, 2017.

  1. Beth_B

    Beth_B

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    It occurred to me yesterday that the soil in my containers had not been changed in about five years, apart from some minimal amending with compost. So I dumped most of them and started fresh with new soil (combination purchased potting soil, a little aged compost, and some good dirt from my yard.)

    I figured it was pretty depleted, but is there a rule of thumb for container soil changing or amending?
     
    Beth_B, May 20, 2017
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  2. Beth_B

    LIcenter

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    I myself do not have that many container plantings, but the ones I do have I dump after the second year. By 'dump' I don't mean discard. What I do is empty the containers into my wheelbarrow. From there I mix in potting soil, compost, and some slow release fert. After it's all mixed in good, I refill the containers with that mix. Whatever is left over goes into the garden beds. The main reason for doing this is soil compaction.
     
    LIcenter, May 20, 2017
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  3. Beth_B

    Verdun

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    For bedding displays I change the top half of the compost every year. Fertiliser levels, etc. are thus topped up and refreshed. Compost is then clean and pest free. Sensible I think to do this.:)
    Beth, five years is a long time not to change the compost
    For permanent planting it is different of course.......a john innes base, etc. and a replacement of top few cm's with a mulch is done every year.
     
    Verdun, May 20, 2017
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  4. Beth_B

    Beth_B

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    Yes, I really did let them go too long! I put most of the old soil on my asparagus bed. Hoping to have much happier flowering annuals this year. :)
     
    Beth_B, May 20, 2017
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  5. Beth_B

    ChanellG

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    I only change soil if I transplant to a larger container. With my extra large containers used for edibles I just try to rotate the same as you would for in-ground plantings. I may refresh soil by mixing in new material if the container is completely empty of plants, or just top dress with compost.
     
    ChanellG, May 20, 2017
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  6. Beth_B

    Beth_B

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    Thanks @ChanellG , really that's what I've been doing but decided after this many years a near-complete change wouldn't be a bad idea

    Funny though, I found about 8,357 old walnut shells in my container soil, from the squirrels burying for winter.
     
    Beth_B, May 20, 2017
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  7. Beth_B

    alp

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    @Beth_B You sound like my dogmatic son. Are you sure it is exactly that figure? Haha! I've found peanuts everywhere and holes too. What annoyed me most if the newly planted outside canna got dug up to bury another peanut! :devil::eek:
     
    alp, May 21, 2017
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  8. Beth_B

    alp

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    I think we also need to take into account how hungry some plants are.
     
    alp, May 21, 2017
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  9. Beth_B

    Beth_B

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    Yep, I also bought some fertilizer. (y)
     
    Beth_B, May 21, 2017
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  10. Beth_B

    zigs Mr Naughty Moderator Moderator

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    I keep finding coconut shells in the compost :cautious:
     
    zigs, May 21, 2017
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  11. Beth_B

    Beth_B

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    Those are some big squirrels you have there in Dorset. o_O
     
    Beth_B, May 21, 2017
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  12. Beth_B

    zigs Mr Naughty Moderator Moderator

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    I thought they were dropped by Swallows 1yikestkt.gif
     
    zigs, May 21, 2017
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  13. Beth_B

    ChanellG

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    ROFLOL! Sounds like my friend's yard - there are always peanut plants popping up mysteriously all over the place!
     
    ChanellG, May 21, 2017
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  14. Beth_B

    zigs Mr Naughty Moderator Moderator

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    Your friend has an Elephant? 1yikestkt.gif
     
    zigs, May 22, 2017
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  15. Beth_B

    MaryMary Quite Contrary

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    It's a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut!
     
    MaryMary, May 23, 2017
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  16. Beth_B

    zigs Mr Naughty Moderator Moderator

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    At last, a believer :p

    She is the messiah :D:D:D
     
    zigs, May 23, 2017
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  17. Beth_B

    tbendl

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    It could be carried by an African swallow!
     
    tbendl, May 23, 2017
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  18. Beth_B

    MaryMary Quite Contrary

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    African swallows are non-migratory. :whistle:
     
    MaryMary, May 23, 2017
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  19. Beth_B

    zigs Mr Naughty Moderator Moderator

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    But then of couse African Swallows are non migratory :rolleyes:
     
    zigs, May 23, 2017
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  20. Beth_B

    zigs Mr Naughty Moderator Moderator

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    Supposing 2 swallows used a bit of string?
     
    zigs, May 23, 2017
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