Grow pag/planter question- panic


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Hi,

I've got an xxl large shallow grow bag I grew my courgettes and cauliflowers in last summer. There's a lot of soil in there, I don't drive so I've been putting chunks in the brown bin each week and I'm focusing on the top layer.

My question is do I need to ensure it's fully empty and start this year with totally new soil or is it OK to get rid of top half and mix the rest in with new?

I plan to put my courgettes in it again, and some chilli plants.

I don't have an actual garden, just paving slabs which is why I need to make a fake space for my plants!

I'm in a bit if a panic as I grew my plants too early this year, my runner beans are already 5ft and courgettes have 5 strands!!! I was trying to wait til mid May to plant out but may only be able to hold out until next week. (I live in Manchester UK)
 

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As long as you don't contract a soil borne disease or think you have one, I'd just use the same soil over. If you do, then dump the soil and start over. That is one reason why it is recommended to rotate crops. Another reason is the same crop pulls up the same nutrients so you will have to replace whatever nutrients are pulled up by the plants with fertilizer, compost, or some other ammendment which isn't really a problem.
 
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Thank you for your reply.

Yes I think it's fine but I'm getting rid of the top 50% that's full of weeds etc. I will mix in new compost etc so in the end it will be 40% old soil and 60% new.
 
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If using growbags you can extend the rooting area by placing 8" pots with the bottom cut out ,upside down onto your growbag.
16520323134194033683219249057447.jpg

Then either fill in with compost and plant or with tomatoes I plant in the bag then top up with compost.
Draw around the pot but cut 1/2 " inside it as shown so the bag holds the pot tightly. Happy growing.
 
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Now planted up with a Indigo Rose tomato. The root ball is touching the bottom of the bag so I have about 12 inches of rooting stem in the soil.
16521751458906810606025385009660.jpg
 
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Thank you for your reply.

Yes I think it's fine but I'm getting rid of the top 50% that's full of weeds etc. I will mix in new compost etc so in the end it will be 40% old soil and 60% new.
I would also add some blood fish and bone to refresh the old soil.
When growing in the ground you don't get rid of the top soil but by rotating your crops in the correct order and refreshing the soil I can't see why you can't use the same soil over and over again.
Minerals,humus, creepy crawlies, oxygen, and water are what's it all about. Together they make your soil. Available silt with about 15 to 30 %, humus needs to be about 5 to 10 %, you need a good crumbly texture so air can penetrate and excess water can drain away. You need the correct pH for your crop .
The first year grow your leafy greens that need a lot of nitrogen, second year your root crops , third year your beans and peas and they naturally produce nitrogen on their roots so cut them off at ground level when they are finished leaving the nitrogen in the soil ready for your leafy greens.
So it's successional planting with complementary crops and a 3 year crop rotation.
Hope this helps and saves you a bit of coin.
 
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