Reusing soil

Moth1992
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Reusing soil

#1

Post: # 83033Unread post Moth1992
Sun Nov 13, 2022 6:25 pm

So I pulled my tomatoes. Ive reused the soil for some pansies, onions and herbs but I have several gallons left.

I wonder if I can use it for tomatoes next year. I didnt see any nematode damage but I did have powdery mildew and sooty mildew from white fly. Are any of those going to be a problem?

Us there anything I should do to reduce the chance if soil borne deseases? like would vermicomposting or planting lettuce or pitting mishrooms over the winter do anything? Or just play it safe and use it for non nightshades?

Thanks!

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Bower
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Re: Reusing soil

#2

Post: # 83064Unread post Bower
Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:13 am

The important thing for reusing soil for tomatoes (in my climate) is to remove all the plant parts where the fungal diseases can overwinter. I believe the mildew is one of those that can't overwinter in soil itself, it requires plant material alive or dead. That being said, there are always hosts around in the environment and when the weather is right, they will spread it back to your tomatoes at the usual time in the season. But your own soil (without plant residues) will not be the source. (Viral and bacterial diseases may need a different protocol, it hasn't been a problem for me so IDK).

I've many times planted into soil where there were still residues of tomato roots. (I've even had tomatoes growing in an unfinished compost pile upon their half done brethren, and they were fine TBH.) But am trying to up my game a bit, by reconditioning with some fresh compost/horse manure and other ferts to get the worms active in the off season and eat up all the root residues before I plant tomatoes. I will plant some greens into that too just because it gives me a better excuse to water and helps to keep greenhouse soil moist and active. Sometimes I've let the soil dry out over the winter, and it's really disappointing in the spring to find no worms.
This is also the influence of our great growers here, who condition the soil really well in advance, and don't add ferts at planting time. I made a start on that approach this spring, by working stuff in at least a month before tomato planting. No complaints on the results. So this fall I'm hoping to start that even earlier, and scoot some green onions out there and some baby brassicas etc from under my lights. With the intention to pull those or move em some weeks before tomatoes are to go in, and time to recondition some more before I plant.
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

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pepperhead212
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Re: Reusing soil

#3

Post: # 83083Unread post pepperhead212
Mon Nov 14, 2022 11:49 am

I have a lot of SIPs, both Earthboxes, and homemade, and I have never had a problem with nematodes, probably because it is colder here, and they would be killed (also have never had any in the regular garden. As for the other problems that could be in the soil, I don't know if it really works, but I sort of "sterilize" the soil, by watering with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution - I just add a quart, to a gallon of water, a few weeks before planting. I try to do it mainly where the plants will be. Then, when planting, I mix some micorrhyzae into it, to re-inoculate it, STS, and don't really have any problems, until the leaf problems start, much later in the season (hopefully), usually from excessive rain, and or humidity, not soil borne disease.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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Paulf
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Re: Reusing soil

#4

Post: # 83106Unread post Paulf
Mon Nov 14, 2022 2:59 pm

Tomatoes and peppers are planted in the soil in my garden and soil borne disease is not much of a problem, but I do sanitize the cages and mulch heavily to reduce problems. We have two large raised bed gardens made from circular cattle waterers. They are three feet tall and 6 and 7 feet across. The bottom 1/3 was filled in with oak logs, covered with fine winds screen and then filled 1/3 with native soil and topped off with potting soil. As the soils all settle, potting soil is added every year to the top of the containers. Other than cleaning up old vegetation, no extra disinfection takes place. These containers grow cucumbers, green beans, beets every year and whatever sounds good at planting time. Since there has never been a disease problem in the five years of existence, We will continue to use the old soilless mix that has been there and just add new every year. In the spring we rake in 12-12-12 (or 10-10-10 if that is what there is) for fertilizer. Maybe some liquid plant food if necessary.

No nightshades in the raised beds or squashes either, so that may be the difference.

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pepperhead212
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Re: Reusing soil

#5

Post: # 83108Unread post pepperhead212
Mon Nov 14, 2022 3:14 pm

That's similar to something I do - I sterilize my trellises, using a bleach solution, and a roller - doesn't take too long, even with all those trellises! More likely to get diseases from that, than the soil, IMO.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

Moth1992
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Re: Reusing soil

#6

Post: # 83125Unread post Moth1992
Mon Nov 14, 2022 7:25 pm

Huh @pepperhead212 thats really interesting, its defenetly worth a shot! I sterilize the pots and trellises with lysol,never thought of using peroxide in the soil!!

@Bower so my soil is mixed with parts of roots. I pulled the stems, rootball and removed any leaves but there are still root pieces. Would diseases still overwinter in it?

I like the idea of having some worms do their magic.

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Shule
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Re: Reusing soil

#7

Post: # 83142Unread post Shule
Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:06 am

@Moth1992
Are you container gardening or growing in the ground?

If you're growing in the ground, I'd highly recommend cleaning up any garden debris as soon as you can, because pests can overwinter, feed on infected debris, and infect your plants the next season.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
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Bower
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Re: Reusing soil

#8

Post: # 83148Unread post Bower
Tue Nov 15, 2022 7:21 am

@Moth1992 I don't really know if a foliar disease could take hold and survive on roots when they became exposed by disturbing the soil. This could only be a problem if pieces of root ended up at the soil surface in next year's planting, anyway.
The advice given in the huge mega farm context is to bury all residues as deeply as possible and to use rotation of alternate crops which aren't susceptible to the same diseases. That allows time for the buried residues to decompose. So in theory, roots and other residues are treated the same way. Of course that may be due to diseases that also affect roots!
But it can't hurt to observe 'best practices' by having a winter rotation - not even to mention enjoying an off season crop!
WRT powdery mildew, I just did a google and it seems like every vegetable can get it! But the good news is that the mildews are very host specific, so pick an alternate crop that is tolerant of your winter conditions for best chance of success. And/or choose resistant varieties. I find brassicas and leeks or green onions are the most cold tolerant crops for winter, but your winter is a lot warmer than mine! If you want lettuce to eat, grow that for sure! We grow cut and come lettuce in a window box under lights in the winter, or mini romaines in slightly larger containers. That is with temperatures averaging 60-65F in the basement.
https://plantvillage.psu.edu/posts/6066 ... -last-year
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
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yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

Moth1992
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Re: Reusing soil

#9

Post: # 83186Unread post Moth1992
Tue Nov 15, 2022 8:19 pm

Shule wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:06 am @Moth1992
Are you container gardening or growing in the ground?

If you're growing in the ground, I'd highly recommend cleaning up any garden debris as soon as you can, because pests can overwinter, feed on infected debris, and infect your plants the next season.
container, i grow in grow bags in a small balcony

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Cole_Robbie
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Re: Reusing soil

#10

Post: # 83193Unread post Cole_Robbie
Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:36 pm

There is a product for goldfish ponds called pondzyme, which is an enzyme that digests old roots into available elements for plants. A lifetime supply is about 12 bucks.

Moth1992
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Re: Reusing soil

#11

Post: # 83194Unread post Moth1992
Wed Nov 16, 2022 12:19 am

Cole_Robbie wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:36 pm There is a product for goldfish ponds called pondzyme, which is an enzyme that digests old roots into available elements for plants. A lifetime supply is about 12 bucks.
Omg! Had never heard of this!

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pepperhead212
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Re: Reusing soil

#12

Post: # 83213Unread post pepperhead212
Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:41 am

There's something like that I use in my hydroponics - Hygrozyme (I'm sure there are many other similar brands, like Pondzyme) - that keeps it very clean, by helping to disolve the old roots up, basically adding fertilizer! It takes very little in the water (a half liter of it lasted me over 3 years), but I think there's too much other stuff in the soil - the dead roots are just one part of it, and probably a lot more would be needed.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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GoDawgs
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Re: Reusing soil

#13

Post: # 83270Unread post GoDawgs
Thu Nov 17, 2022 10:58 am

pepperhead212 wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 3:14 pm That's similar to something I do - I sterilize my trellises, using a bleach solution, and a roller - doesn't take too long, even with all those trellises! More likely to get diseases from that, than the soil, IMO.
I like that idea of using a roller. Much more effective than using a spray bottle. Thanks for the tip! :)

Kurt
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Re: Reusing soil

#14

Post: # 83279Unread post Kurt
Thu Nov 17, 2022 1:38 pm

If you have had any type crud,fungus ,flys,noticeable plant ailment's the climate will affect reoccurring malady’s.Nematodes will live to 18 inches below,so your frostline might kill them.I use old age solarization here in Florida after each season of planting.Plastic on top of spent container soils sans the root ball and left over trim dead materials.Most fungus will not survive the cold climes below freezing.Solarization also will kill the eggs of all those of those hornworms,leaf miners,white flys,aphids and my list will go on and on.All my plant containers are rinsed after use with a light peroxide spray and rinse.Slowly going to all fiber glass stakes,trellis net materials,no more bamboo,what a great harbinger for all the critters.

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Yak54
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Re: Reusing soil

#15

Post: # 87284Unread post Yak54
Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:52 pm

Paulf wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 2:59 pm Tomatoes and peppers are planted in the soil in my garden and soil borne disease is not much of a problem, but I do sanitize the cages and mulch heavily to reduce problems. We have two large raised bed gardens made from circular cattle waterers. They are three feet tall and 6 and 7 feet across. The bottom 1/3 was filled in with oak logs, covered with fine winds screen and then filled 1/3 with native soil and topped off with potting soil. As the soils all settle, potting soil is added every year to the top of the containers. Other than cleaning up old vegetation, no extra disinfection takes place. These containers grow cucumbers, green beans, beets every year and whatever sounds good at planting time. Since there has never been a disease problem in the five years of existence, We will continue to use the old soilless mix that has been there and just add new every year. In the spring we rake in 12-12-12 (or 10-10-10 if that is what there is) for fertilizer. Maybe some liquid plant food if necessary.

No nightshades in the raised beds or squashes either, so that may be the difference.
Hi Paul....Just wondered what method you use to "sanitize the cages" ???

Dan

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Paulf
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Re: Reusing soil

#16

Post: # 87293Unread post Paulf
Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:22 pm

When my kids were little and then when the grandkids visited, we had those small plastic swimming pools. I would fill the pool with a few gallons of water and add a gallon of bleach. Then the cage would go in and get spun around in the bleach water. Later after there were no more pools I would use a garden pressure washer filled with bleach water and spray down the cages. Both worked. The sprayer is easier.

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Yak54
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Re: Reusing soil

#17

Post: # 87339Unread post Yak54
Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:13 pm

My cages are almost 15 yrs old and never been sanitized but I'm thinking I should do that for this years tomato plants. I have a 2 gal sprayer that I could fill with a 10% bleach solution. But I wonder if the bleach will affect the O-ring seals in the sprayer ?

Dan

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