Recycling used potting soil


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I will be honest, I am one of those recycling people. I love to recycle anything that I can. If I have a plant that has died, I will reuse the potting soil as long as I know that there is nothing in the soil that caused the plant to die. For example when my tomato plants are through baring tomatoes, I will use the soil over. I make sure that the soil looks nice by removing old roots and weeds and simple repot the soil.
You have to be careful with anything that can get blight; it's good to leave the soil out in the sun for a while before reusing it. I know someone who uses his soil immediately, but he pours a diluted peroxide solution in the soil to get rid of any nasties. Tomatoes are one of those plants you should rotate, I think.
 
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I was given a jade plant that had so many bugs in the soil I just threw the pot and soil in the trash, I didn't try to use either the pot or the soil. I usually recycle both but the amount of bugs in the soil killed the plant and I did not want them to spread to my other plants.
Good idea. Some bugs, like spider mites are difficult to get rid of. However, in the future you could take the jade plant out of the soil, rinse it off well in a pan, treat it for the bugs and then repot it in new soil. You could then take the old soil and set the pot in a bucket of soapy water (use blue dawn) for a bit to soak. If it's flying bugs, spray (soap) first.
 
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This weekend we had a big pot with good soil that was left by a lemon plant that died after pests attacked the roots. We left that pot of soil as is for now and this coming weekend we are going to recondition it by mixing with compost and dried leaves. Then we will let the mixture stand for another week before we use the soil for another pot or a planting material mix.
 
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This weekend we had a big pot with good soil that was left by a lemon plant that died after pests attacked the roots...
Have you done anything to rid the soil of the pests that destroyed the lemon plant? I wouldn't reuse that soil for a while until you are sure it is pest free. You wouldn't want the problem to spread and cause the loss of any of your other plants.
 
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Have you done anything to rid the soil of the pests that destroyed the lemon plant? I wouldn't reuse that soil for a while until you are sure it is pest free. You wouldn't want the problem to spread and cause the loss of any of your other plants.
You are right, we will not reuse that soil for now until we are sure there is no more pests. It is rainy season here so we are letting that pot of soil get the rain and sunshine sometimes, that's a natural way of cleansing it. But I think we have to scatter the soil on the ground for better results. At least the pests would come out if they are still there.
 
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You are right, we will not reuse that soil for now until we are sure there is no more pests. It is rainy season here so we are letting that pot of soil get the rain and sunshine sometimes, that's a natural way of cleansing it. But I think we have to scatter the soil on the ground for better results. At least the pests would come out if they are still there.
The only problem with that is if the pests come out they can get to another plant. Do you know what type of pest it is? Someone I know treats old soil with peroxide and water, but for insects you can use plain dish washing liquid. I don't like using chemicals, but soil borne pests are very hard to control.
 
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If you are concerned about disease you could always scoop it into an old roasting pan and stick it in the oven and cook over 350 for 15 minutes should kill anything that may be living.

Do you think this would also work if done with a microwave? If so, how should I go about it? I will start gardening soon and good soil where I will be living is hard to come by, I don't quite trust the soil in the garden, so I'd like to make sure I don't infect my plants inadvertly.
 
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The only problem with that is if the pests come out they can get to another plant. Do you know what type of pest it is? Someone I know treats old soil with peroxide and water, but for insects you can use plain dish washing liquid. I don't like using chemicals, but soil borne pests are very hard to control.
My husband irrigates the soil in the pot with a certain liquid that I failed to ask. But more likely it is an insecticide to kill the pests. As you said, the pest will spread to other plants so it has to be annihilated. The airing of the soil is more than 2 weeks now but we still are not using it because it always rains. What's needed is the heat of the sun to make the soil like brand new and healthy.
 
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Do you think this would also work if done with a microwave? If so, how should I go about it? I will start gardening soon and good soil where I will be living is hard to come by, I don't quite trust the soil in the garden, so I'd like to make sure I don't infect my plants inadvertly.
I wouldn't put it in a microwave, but you can do it in a barbeque - the kind with a cover. I read an article a while back that you could compost pet feces that way also. I told that to my mother and her reaction was hilarious! Another alternative is the put the soil in black plastic and leave it in the sun.
 
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I wouldn't put it in a microwave, but you can do it in a barbeque - the kind with a cover. I read an article a while back that you could compost pet feces that way also. I told that to my mother and her reaction was hilarious! Another alternative is the put the soil in black plastic and leave it in the sun.
Oh I see, but why putting it in the microwave is not a good idea? I'm really curious. Lol and I can imagine your mom's reaction,i think mine would have the same reaction if I told her that, hehehe! I don't have a BBQ yet, but might get one in the future :)
 
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Oh I see, but why putting it in the microwave is not a good idea? I'm really curious. Lol and I can imagine your mom's reaction,i think mine would have the same reaction if I told her that, hehehe! I don't have a BBQ yet, but might get one in the future :)
I wouldn't bring anything like that in the house. You wouldn't want to use the microwave for that and then use it for food again after, would you? The microwave heats things, but you can't really sterilize anything in a microwave. Think about it.
 
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I wouldn't bring anything like that in the house. You wouldn't want to use the microwave for that and then use it for food again after, would you? The microwave heats things, but you can't really sterilize anything in a microwave. Think about it.
I read somewhere you could do that in the microwave, I thought it made sense because it's a bit soil :D:LOL: According to that article the heat from the microwave could kill most dangerous things in it, but I guess just a little bit heat can't.
 
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I read somewhere you could do that in the microwave, I thought it made sense because it's a bit soil :D:LOL: According to that article the heat from the microwave could kill most dangerous things in it, but I guess just a little bit heat can't.
It just doesn't seem all that efficient to me because of the way the microwave heats things. I think outdoors in the barbeque where you can get it really hot and were you don't have to worry about odor or fumes is the best way to go. The easiest thing is to let the sun do it and then use the peroxide water solution.
 
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It just doesn't seem all that efficient to me because of the way the microwave heats things. I think outdoors in the barbeque where you can get it really hot and were you don't have to worry about odor or fumes is the best way to go. The easiest thing is to let the sun do it and then use the peroxide water solution.
Thanks for the tip, but I have yet to purchase a BBQ :( I will see what I can do, but you mentioned fumes? How long are you exactly supposed to heat things up? I haven't tried microwaving dirt, but I never thought fumes would be involved.
 
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Thanks for the tip, but I have yet to purchase a BBQ :( I will see what I can do, but you mentioned fumes? How long are you exactly supposed to heat things up? I haven't tried microwaving dirt, but I never thought fumes would be involved.
I guess it depends on your soil, but think about it; everything has a smell. Soil that has fungus or bacteria is bound to smell bad and if you heat it up... that's why I just leave mine sitting in the sun for a while in the pot and then add it to the compost. For extra insurance you could always use the peroxide.
 
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I guess it depends on your soil, but think about it; everything has a smell. Soil that has fungus or bacteria is bound to smell bad and if you heat it up... that's why I just leave mine sitting in the sun for a while in the pot and then add it to the compost. For extra insurance you could always use the peroxide.
Thanks! Yeah, I guess in the end it's better to use the method you suggested (y) I will look more into this topic next year :) I'll be growing some edibles in a small greenhouse, so wish me luck! No idea if I will manage to grow tomatillos in the Netherlands, but gotta try it :LOL:
 
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Thanks! Yeah, I guess in the end it's better to use the method you suggested (y) I will look more into this topic next year :) I'll be growing some edibles in a small greenhouse, so wish me luck! No idea if I will manage to grow tomatillos in the Netherlands, but gotta try it :LOL:
If you have a small greenhouse you should be able to do it. You may have to bring the seed with you when you go though. Are tomatillos something that are commonly found in the Netherlands?
 
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If you have a small greenhouse you should be able to do it. You may have to bring the seed with you when you go though. Are tomatillos something that are commonly found in the Netherlands?
No, not at all :( I have investigated and it seems there is a dutch seed seller that does sell tomatillo seeds online. I'm not sure they non GMO though :( I'd buy tomatillos if I saw them there, but no luck so far, not even in Amsterdam. I asked about this tomatillo issue, but I didn't get the info I needed. Do you really think it can be done? I love mexican food! So I also want to plant poblano chilies as we as chilaca chile:

Pobalno chili:



Chilaca chili:



Do you think it can be done? The yard gets some sun most of the day, but the Netherlands is so cloudy and wet.
 
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Do you think it can be done? The yard gets some sun most of the day, but the Netherlands is so cloudy and wet.
I do. If tomatoes can be grown in greenhouses in Europe, I am sure tomatillos can as well. Perhaps you can take the seeds, or even the fresh fruit with you when you go. You might need to provide heat and a growth lamp, but as the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way!
 
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I do. If tomatoes can be grown in greenhouses in Europe, I am sure tomatillos can as well. Perhaps you can take the seeds, or even the fresh fruit with you when you go. You might need to provide heat and a growth lamp, but as the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way!
Thanks :) I might actually try that, not sure if I can take the fruit though, because they always check the bags (they have done that a lot lately). But I guess I can just get the seeds over here, and just take them there, I don't think they will mind that. I'll definitely let you guys know what happens!
 

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