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old soil

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old soil

Post  foredeckguy on 2/4/2018, 8:40 am

I made a 2' x 8' box on legs in 2012 and filled it with Mels mix. We used it used the bed in 2012 and 2013 with good success. Life got in the way and the bed has not been planted since and weed seeds have blown in and took hold. Last fall I pulled out the weeds in anticipation of planting this spring. The soil has a lot of weed roots remaining in it. Is the soil recoverable? Can I just use a garden fork to loosen the soil and pull out the roots or are the seeds still there to take over in spring? Should I dump it and start with all new? 
Thanks, Gary
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Re: old soil

Post  sanderson on 2/4/2018, 2:39 pm

Hi Gary, There are probably viable seeds in the Mix. You can force them to sprout by covering the box with clear plastic after you amend with new compost. (Creating a hot box)

I have a box on short legs that has been out of use for 2 summers due to some overgrown trees. There are weeds in the box that can propagate both by seed and by underground roots. I have been pulling the weeds as they come up (Mel's Mix is great for pulling weeds and most of their roots!) and will cover the box end of Feb to force remaining seeds to sprout. [Neighbor is removing the 2 trees which will open up some of my area to sun again.] It will probably require all summer to get them under control but I think it is worth it to try.

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Re: old soil

Post  plantoid on 2/4/2018, 2:59 pm

Any hair roots from plants that are not perennials will rot & make compost in the bed . The few that are perennials can be pulled out before they develop strong roots .

When you think of it , sowing seeds Mel's way in grids & set patterns is fantastic .... for anything that grows elsewhere other than in the pattern/ grid  is a weed .
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Re: old soil

Post  sanderson on 2/4/2018, 3:08 pm

Amen, Plantoid.

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Re: old soil

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/4/2018, 4:26 pm

Gary, you are not alone!  I have a 3x7’ bed that apparently I used my straw laden compost in which proceeded to grow a nice crop of tall grass, to the detriment of my tomatoes....

I am going to lay a thick layer of newspaper on that bed.  Amend with fresh MM on top, and probably convert it to a strawberry bed.  I think for sure it can be saved, though, like yours.  I like the idea of forcing the weeds.  Might take most of the early season though...
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Re: old soil

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/5/2018, 7:49 am

Hi Gary. I won't add any more here since I don't have a raised box. And I think your question's been answered, lol.

But I will give you a warm welcome from Atlanta, GA! Welcome to our party!!

Can you tell us about your garden? We love pictures (hint, hint...).
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