“The farther we get away from the land, the greater our insecurity” – Henry Ford
I know a lot of you out there are pulling up your lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, and hopefully some tomatoes. As you begin to harvest everything you can from the plant you are left with what should be piles of dirt. If you container garden like me, you are left with large containers of dirt. I’ve received a lot of questions from people asking me can they reuse the dirt?
Of course you can. You spent a lot of money on that dirt. If you are like me you went and got Miracle Grow which can cost as much as $8 a bag. There is no way you are throwing that out and purchasing new soil. No no no. We are going to save our money, gardening is already expensive enough.
Earlier in a blog I showed you how I sift my dirt at the beginning of the season. I call this a soil refresh. You can do this same thing in the middle of the season. Example, I harvested my green bean plants from my 10 gallon pot. I then took a spade and my hands and mixed the dirt up in the pot. I pulled out large roots along with rocks (don’t ask), bugs, and anything that simply didn’t belong in my soil.
After I do that I then dumped the soil into a five gallon bucket. This way it actually mixes a little more and you are able to pull out more debris. You will notice I’m not sifting the dirt at this point. Honestly its because I’m lazy. Sifting dirt takes a lot of time so I honestly try to do it only once a year if I can.
After I get the dirt in the bucket I try to stick with a two part mix. 1/2 old soil, 1/2 compost, and some fertilizer. It’s not an exact measurement because that would really depend on what type of fertilizer you are using. You have just completed a mini soil refresh.
If you are a fan of succession planting you are ready to go. I’ve already replanted some cucumbers, I did not have success this year. I also plan to thin out the garden before I start planting more veggies. Remember you can still do fall planting even if you missed the spring garden season.
In conclusion don’t ever through out soil unless you’ve had some disease or fungus on your plants. We are already spending too much money to add unnecessary expenses. Hope this post saves you some money and some time, and as always Let’s Start Gardening.