Can soil be recycled???

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Can soil be recycled???

Postby KevinTJH » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:22 pm

I've read that it is best practice to use fresh/new soil when growing new plants. However, I live in an apartment and it is pretty difficult for me to dispose of all old soil.

Would burying loads of humus into the old soil replenish the nutrients for the new plants?

One of my mates chucks all his fruit and vegetable peelings onto his backyard and the plants are really thriving there.
I'm thinking of doing the same thing with fresh unwanted organic matter, but in pots instead.


Thanks in advance!
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby Geoff Clifton » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:41 am

Kevin ALL organics can be recycled.

I'd suggest making compost in at least an upside down garbage bin placed ON THE GROUND. Cut a hole in the bottom and put the lid on that. Trying to compost on the ground, unless it's a big heap, just dries stuff up and feeds all the rats and roaches. Layer your used soil with the compost until the bin is full then *** leave it alone for 6-12 months and start another bin. I'm running three large bins and thinking about number four :)

HNY, Geoff.
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby karyn » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:03 am

Yes, you can freshen potting mix up by adding compost, fertiliser and mulch. If you're gardening mostly in pots, take half the potting mix out, add mushroom compost and some good quality slow release fertiliser and then top up with fresh potting mix, and mix it well. I usually tip it into a wheelbarrow and mix it up there.
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby KevinTJH » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:47 am

Thank you!! But would processed compost (those you buy off the shelves) be any different from homemade ones? I'll be using the soil fairly soon so I won't be able to wait 6-12 months to make the same compost as Geoff mentioned here.

Cheers!
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby karyn » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:30 pm

I'd buy a bag of mushroom compost, I always make my own but for the short term, bought is fine. I can't say if it's better, but it shouldn't have any weed seeds in it which is sometimes a problem with home made compost.
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby KevinTJH » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:49 pm

I dropped by New Leaf Nursery (NSW) just a while ago.
I bought quite a few things at the nursery and the guy was nice enough to give me a small bag of their on house compost for free. It looks like really dark chunky soil to me.

What is the ratio of compost to old soil I should mix in? Also, how often do I add more compost into the soil?
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby gardenlen » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:06 am

yep soil can be turned into something better, adding lots of rotable material will go a long way toward that as will in most cases the use of gypsum oddles of it. we are recycling our soil pushed up for our building site, the plants are growing well.

len
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May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."

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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby greg.l » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:39 am

I think you are confusing potting mix and soil. generally in Australia we don't use garden soil in potting mix, though some good quality loam is fine to use. Generally nurseries use a mix of drainage material with compost, though weight is a big consideration for them. At home you can add compost and maybe sharp sand, if a mix is all compost it will dry out quickly and be hard to re-wet. Landscape suppliers are the best place to buy potting mix, they can sell you the ingredients and usually have their own mix, but check it out before buying.
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Re: Can soil be recycled???

Postby KevinTJH » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:43 pm

Yes I'm probably a little confused with all the terms. Basically I bought loads of Debco Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix, which I have used the same potting mix 3 times for 3 different seasons of plants. Before using it again, I add a cup full of this product called "soil improver", which is basically made out of seaweed, blood & bone, fish etc....

Now I'm thinking of mixing in some of that free compost before using the 4th time. I also just bought 2 different types of organic fertilisers which I am meant to mix together to improve vegetable growth.

Am I doing anything wrong?



Thanks!
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