REUSE SOIL

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by frank taylor, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. frank taylor

    frank taylor Apprentice Gardener

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    I have just cut all my tomato plants down and have about a dozen bags of soil.
    is there anyway i can use it , or is it best to get rid of it.this is only soil from
    around the root ball, none of the plant itself. but it is full of tiny roots.

    Thank you.
     
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    • Sian in Belgium

      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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      I am assuming the tomato plants were relatively healthy? Just tired and worn out after producing toms for you this summer?
      If you have a compost heap, I would break up the soil/root mass and scatter it as a layer in your compost. If you don’t (!) and you have a hedge, or shrubs, again I would crumble it up, and sprinkle it as a mulch around the base, or stems. The roots will break down quickly, and the compost structure will help suppress weeds, and retain moisture.
      But I have a weird attitude to any “goodness”, as my soil is extremely sandy.
      More “normal” gardeners will be along soon, I’m sure!
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I usually just put used compost from summer plants on the surface of my allotment, it then gets dug in in the spring and over a period of time help to break down any clay that I have left.

        I'd not use it for potting purposes again as usually the structure seems somehow different from when it was first used.
        You could possibly add a base fertiliser and try it, but make sure you grow a totally different type of crop the second time round.
         
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        • Sian in Belgium

          Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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          I think the only way I might re-use it for potting, is for bulbs. They do best in a relatively poor mix, and if you plan to plant them out in the garden straight after flowering, they would probably do well in the slightly open structure of fine-rooted spent compost
           
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          • sandymac

            sandymac Gardener

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            I use my spent tomato compost for other plants the following season, I turn it out onto a large canvas chop it up mix it with 20% fresh compost, add 100 grams FBB to each 11 litre pot full and use it for onions, carrots, peas, beans etc and always have good results, my kelso onions gown this way this year have averaged four pounds in weight, 20 inches circumference as they are grown in 12inch pots they would not get any bigger whatever compost I used. Then the spent compost from the onions is spread around perennials as a mulch.
            alex
             
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            • frank taylor

              frank taylor Apprentice Gardener

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              Thanks to all of you for replying as i don't have a allotment i will just take it to the tip.
               
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              • ricky101

                ricky101 Total Gardener

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                As said, it will be fine if you just spread a small layer of that soil around any part of your garden, have done it with my toms /pot plants for many years.

                If you must take it to the tip, check that they do allow soil, our local council have now banned soil, allowing only true green plant waste.
                 
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                • ARMANDII

                  ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                  To be honest, I think calling Compost, if we are, "Soil" can be a bit misleading for beginners as they could be confused into thinking what is being referred to is actually good old earth:dunno:. Some new members have even filled their large containers/pots with earth/soil and ended up with "concrete" when it has dried out:wallbanging::hate-shocked:
                   
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                  • KFF

                    KFF Total Gardener

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                    I just put my old growing medium ( spent compost ) into large pots and break it up into until it's quite fine ( roots as well ) then spread it around perennials etc for the Winter, it provides a mulch for the Winter, especially around borderline hardies such as Salvias etc. You'll find it gradually gets taken down by worms etc into the existing soil/compost etc. to enrich it for next year.
                     
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                    • Sian in Belgium

                      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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                      So you grow all of your plants in pots, and have no access to open ground in your garden? (Ie it’s all concreted over....)
                      You have my sympathy and greatest respect, if that is the case...
                       
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                      • strongylodon

                        strongylodon Old Member

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                        Same here, shake off all the compost from tomato/pepper pots and spread around the garden, always use fresh compost for potting.:smile:
                         
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                        • pete

                          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                          That seems a shame as it still has a use as a soil improver, taking it to the tip will probably just mean it ends up in land fill.
                          I bet anyone local, with a garden, would take it off your hands, and possibly collect it.
                           
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                          • Mike Allen

                            Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                            My Hon friend. So sorry. As not being simply a gardening member of this forum but also being a bit of a scientist. Might I respectfully ask you to elaborate on your comment. And for the benefit of our fellow members. To each and everyone of us. What do you and I mean, when mentioning, soil and compost.
                             
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                            • ARMANDII

                              ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                              Hi Mike,

                              The definition of soil/earth, for me, is that layer of a mixture organic matter/clay/stone that naturally coats the ground i.e: the natural material that composes the earth of fields and our gardens.

                              Compost is a man made decayed material used in different recipes with loam, peat, coir, etc with added fertilisers, etc, as a growing medium.

                              So, for instance, if you were standing in front of a gardening table on which there was a heap of compost, either from a garden heap or commercially made, on your left and a heap of earth/soil just dug from your garden on your right, and I asked you to point to the soil....would you point to both?, or would you point to the left or the right?:scratch:

                              My original point being, that if we experienced gardeners refer to compost as "soil" it will, and has, lead to new, uniformed gardeners using soil as compost in containers, and if you have ever done that you will know that just using soil in a container will, when it dries out turn into a concrete like medium:wallbanging: which, obviously, a mixture of compost, grit, and sand will not do.:dunno:

                              My point, Mike, being is that if we gardeners refer to compost as being "soil"
                               
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                              • frank taylor

                                frank taylor Apprentice Gardener

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                                up to now i think my tip takes it so i will go there. thanks.
                                 
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