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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:08 am
Posts: 3
I spent a lot of money last year for organic potting soils, which I used to grow veggies in white grow bags, in my small green house. I have only used organic fertilizers.

I am not sure how the bugs got in, but I ended up with white fly, spider mites & fungus gnats, which I treated plants with an omni rated pesticide.

My question is, is it possible to reuse the soil if I treat it in a certain way?

I was thinking to:

1.pour boiling water on top of the soil in the grow bags to kill any bugs still living in the top of the soil in the bags?
1b). mix up some organicide and pour over top of that?

2. make up a mix of dolomite lime, organic chicken manure, earthworm castings, perlite (1/4 of the amount of soil?)
Or if you have any ideas as what to add to make the soil nutritious for my seedlings please let me know.


3.use this soil mix for the bottom 1/2 (3/4 if possible?)of the new grow bags and fill the top with roots organics 707 potting soil mixed with a handful of earthworm casting, and roots organics beneficial organisms?

4. I thought of putting clear plastic down on the ground of the green house? the greenhouse has a dirt floor and when it rained some water seeped in and weeds hbegan to grow inside. Or would summer heat cause plastic to emit toxic gases?

Please let me know what you think? I have to start putting my seedlings into the green house next week.

Best Wishes,

Liona


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:31 pm
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Location: Allen, TX
I'm interested to find out what other people think of this too.

Is the goal to sterilize the potting soil before reuse?

If so, I think heating it is the best way to accomplish that. Using free energy like the sun, you could place it in sealed, dark, shallow, containers for a few months out in the sun.

Adding new compost and worm castings later could work to re-establish the microbial activity before you use it again.

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Brian Gallimore in Allen, Texas
Citizen Gardener, Permaculturist, Master Naturalist, NorthTexasVegetableGardeners


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:08 am
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the goal isn't to sterilize the soil
(I have read where people have baked soil in ovens and got a stinky mess)

What I want to do is to make sure I don't get an insect infestation in my new plants.

I hoped that if I put a few inches of new soil over the old ammended soil it would be too difficult for bugs to get to the surface?

I will be putting white garbage bags over the grow bags so bugs can't get in from the bottom.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 39
Location: San Antonio, Texas
I am not sure if this will answer your question, but I have been throwing my 'used' potting soil in an ongoing compost pile. For example, last years tomatoe and pepper soil were put in the compost pile around late September. I recently scooped out soil / compost mixture and placed in new containers for growth. It has only been about 3 weeks but the vegetable growth has been great.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:08 am
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thanks for the response, but I am mainly concerned about not getting bugs from last year into my new plants this season. There were spider mites, white flys and aphids.

If anyone can give me answers to the questions I posed I'd be grateful


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