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Can't stop thinkin'
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Discussion Starter #1
I periodically haul trash off for a small nursery/veggie stand. When her plants get root bound; she puts them in the trash pile along with plants that have died and such.
It seems such a waste; what can I do with all those plants, pots, soil? I've heard different things about not reusing the dirt because of disease; and same with reusing the pots. I've run out of space to plant these things directly into the ground. These plants are a mix of annuals and perinials. I kept alot of the geraniums from last year and they bloomed great this year.
I also know that later this fall I will be hauling lots of mums which will be root bound and such.
Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
 

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I have heard that you could empty all the soil in a bin that has holes in it and pour boiling water over it...my neighbor did this alot with some pots of soil she got from a nursery and it worked out fine for her...

~C~
 

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I have never had problems using pots for myself; I store them outside. (If you're really squeamish, you can rinse them in a bleach 5% bleach solution.) I'd dump the unwanted contents in my compost bin. Before everyone jumps on me, I never answer disease, fertilizing or bug questions because, other than that nasty borer, I don't have any experience in those areas; my garden contentedly does it's own thing. (Okay, I have had to water this year...)
 

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Oh, I'm green with envy! What a goldmine you have there. In the spring or fall, I dump all of my leftover container mix into a wheelbarrow, add compost and anything else that it looks as though it needs, like perlite, mix and reuse. Have never had any trouble with disease, also I do get a few weeds.

Our garden club members can pick up used flats, etc from the park horticulture people so we can pot up plants for biannual plant sales that help support the park greenhouse and programs. Used containers I dump into a 36" kiddy pool of soapy water with Clorax added. After they soak awhile, I can clean them with a baby bottle brush ($1 at the dollar store), toss them into a rinse container, and them toss them on the grass to dry. They are not sterile, but I have had no more problems with damping off then with new, sterile pots.

You might have a personal plant sale or market plants that have been rehabilitated at a farmer's market, or sell cut flowers. Of course, if you use the spent plants you haul off free to resell, your source may want you to pay for them.
 

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Can't stop thinkin'
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. I wasn't sure about recycling the soil and pots out of fears of spreading diseases.
As far as the source goes; I've offered to help her repot plants into bigger pots, using what she has onhand. BUt currently she insn't interested in that. So I guess I'll continue to pick up the stuff, sort thru it, and repot what I can salvage...now to learn what is worth salvaging! And I need a green house!
 

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In small batches, you can sterilize the soil in your oven. I use cookie sheets (only for this use) stack up the soil on the cookie sheet and bake for an hour at 250-300, stir half way through. When you are done, cool, put into zip lock bags and you can store them for your next use. Kills everything. Good luck.
joyce
 

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My attitude is that nature has been growing plants for hundreds of millennia without any support/intervention by humans. I break every rule - reusing dirt, reusing pots without cleaning them, etc, etc. I've never had a problem.
 

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I dump the potting soil in a bin made of pallets. The plants compost and the potting soil is good for potting up tomatoes ect next season. I wash the pots with dish soap or bleach and get a few years use out of them.
I don't try to reuse or continue the root bound plants, they just don't seem to thrive.
 
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