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How To Dispose Of Potting Soil The Best Way

If you’re curious about how to dispose of potting soil, the single answer to this is upcycling. Contrary to most people’s beliefs, disposing potting soil does not literally have to mean throwing them. Proper cleanliness is vital for greenhouses and gardens to ensure that your plants will face no problems, but gardening materials like used potting soil can still be useful. 

Nowadays, gardeners have many resources for various DIY projects that can help them improve their growing experiences. Different extensions even provide tips and tricks in making potting media, to name an example. With the information below, you should be able to make the most of your used potting soil. 

 

How To Dispose Of Potting Soil The Best Way

Do This Instead Of Disposing Used Potting Soil

Perhaps it’s easy to assume that you can simply put your old potting soil in the garbage or compost bins. However, the best way to dispose of them doesn’t literally mean disposal. Instead, consider upcycling your used potting soil and have a more productive garden that’s also beneficial for your plants. 

 

Upcycling

 

Add back volume

When upcycling old potting soil, you have to add back its volume that’s lost over time. This involves adding fillers and materials that can improve the drainage capacity of the soil. These can range from rice hulls, perlite, peat moss, or coir fiber. 

You can also add kelp meal, fish meal, or alfalfa meal to further help the soil’s structure. The ingredients mentioned improve the soil’s fertility so that it will be as useful next time. Once you are happy with the volume, know how to add microbes back to the soil. 

 

Add back microbes

Besides improving the volume of the used potting soil, you want to add back microbes for optimal fertility and avoid deficiencies. Remember that microbes help potting soils because they digest organic matter into the perfect plant food, humus. But how do you add back these beneficial microbes? 

You can buy compost or make them yourself using diverse natural sources. However, it’s not enough to depend on the soil microbes to ensure mineral balance in the potting soil you upcycled. You have to test it as well to make amendments if needed. 

 

Add back minerals

Ensuring mineral balance also secures that the soil pH will always be within the ideal range. You can always add fertilizers to boost your potting soil, but you want to remember to use organic products. Otherwise, they won’t be beneficial for the microbes, and you also increase the risk of having salty soil damaging to plants. 

Otherwise, you can always upcycle potting soil in other ways. You can work them into gardens and flower beds or use them to fill holes in your areas. However, be mindful of the risks when reusing potting soil. 

You want to pasteurize them before using to kill harmful elements. To do this, place bags filled with potting soil in the sun, but never risk reusing potting soil where a diseased plant was previously in. 

 

How To Save Potting Soil

You can reuse potting soil in spring by mixing it with a new mix at a 50:50 ratio. However, don’t forget to add compost or slow-release fertilizer to ensure that the medium is optimal for plans. You also want to break up the old potting soil before using it, as it can get dry and compacted over time. 

This way, the roots can grow easily from the recycled mix. More so, ensure no debris or insects in the potting soil before storing it in winter somewhere protected. 

 

 

What To Remember When Recycling Potting Soil

 

Proper plant disposal

It will be easier to remove the plants from the soil if you let them die entirely from the containers. Shake the dead plants to remove the potting soil stuck to the root system and discard the plants on your compost pile. Their decomposition makes an excellent addition for use some time. 

 

Soil collection and amendments

Pour the soil and remove debris by hand or by sifting through a screen. You can then add peat moss, perlite, and compost to the old potting soil to restore nutrients and structure. Mix the potting soil thoroughly before baking it to get rid of pathogens.

 

Baking the soil

Place the soil on a baking tray and cover with aluminum foil before baking it for half an hour. This should kill pathogens and other harmful organisms left in the soil. Be mindful not to get the soil too hot as this can lead to plant toxins. 

 

Storage

Cool the soil and test it to know its pH level. You can make the necessary amendments to adjust the pH level to the ideal one for your plants. Then, place the soil in a sealed plastic container and into a cool, dry place for storage. 

 

Conclusion

If your potting soil previously held a diseased plant, please throw it properly to avoid the spread. However, you can also learn how to dispose of potting soil, so you don’t treat it as unusable trash. If it didn’t harbor pathogens, you can pasteurize the soil in the sun and store it in winter for use in spring. 

Before using the old potting soil, you must also know how to upcycle it. This includes adding volume, microbes, and minerals back to the soil so that it’s still optimal for plant growth and health. Otherwise, you can work it in the garden, flower bed, or use the old soil as filler in the backyard. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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