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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Hi,

I'm somewhat of a newbie to gardening in the Houston area. I have a lot of containers that I'm using for vegetables and am wondering if throwing out used potting soil every year is absolutely necessary? Even if the plant is healthy? What about just adding zeolite and compost?

Thanks,

Pam


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
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I have a lot of containers that I'm using for vegetables and am wondering if throwing out used potting soil every year is absolutely necessary? Even if the plant is healthy? What about just adding zeolite and compost?


The health of the soil depends on the nutrients and biological activity - are these all outdoors pots and are you putting new plants in every year, or are you keeping plants alive in each pot year-round?

What kind of potting soil are you using - something you mixed yourself, or a commercial type?

Personally, I tend to do a mix of the old and the new - I empty the dirt from the existing pots (plants dead and gone) into the wheelbarrow then shovel in more dirt, compost, and soil amendments. Mix it around and put it back in the pots. I don't use a commercial potting soil but I try to have enough mulch or compost mixed in so it doesn't compact down too hard in the pot once it is planted again.

If you'll look in the Library you'll find a lot of information on amendments and on making your own potting soil.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Thanks, Northwesterner, for the tips. These are mostly outdoor annual vegetable pots and a few going into a second year. I buy commercial organic potting soil, lava rocks and organic compost and use Garrett Juice. I will try the custom mix.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:33 am 
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I keep a galvanized trash can full of potting soil (organic) that I use all the time. When it's finished in the pot, I dump it back in. Every so often I add a bit of compost. If the soil is really root-bound, I throw it in my compost pile.

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