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Old 05-03-2009, 01:51 PM
 
5,065 posts, read 15,005,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonVivant View Post
Packing peanuts? Really? Is this true? I would've thought they'd be toxic, seeing that styrofoam in any form is bad for the environment! What a surprise. Tell me more.
I seem to get the biodegradable peanuts these days, but at any rate I just stuff them in a plastic grocery bag. That way they aren't in direct contact with the soil. Sometimes I'll also just stuff a bunch of wadded up plastic grocery bags at the bottom of big pots. It just saves me from completely filling up a huge pot with expensive potting soil. Or as also suggested, old potting soil, such as from the previous year.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperhouse View Post
Pour it into a 5 gallon bucket. Fill with boiling water to cover the soil. Cover and leave overnight to cool. Drain the water and it should be just fine if you are worried about disease. Indoors, it can be tricky reusing. If it were for outdoor containers, I wouldn't thinking twice.
Yup! Also, don't forget to bleach the container you plan on transfering into.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonVivant View Post
Packing peanuts? Really? Is this true? I would've thought they'd be toxic, seeing that styrofoam in any form is bad for the environment! What a surprise. Tell me more.
Some are made from polystyrene, others from just corn starch and some from both. Every once in a while you'll get someone who will try to freak people out (especially older kids) by eating a corn starch packing peanut.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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I reuse soil all the time. Unless you suspect that the plant died of a soilborne disease/fungus/what have you, no worries.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,909 posts, read 21,758,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonVivant View Post
Packing peanuts? Really? Is this true? I would've thought they'd be toxic, seeing that styrofoam in any form is bad for the environment! What a surprise. Tell me more.
I think the current generation of packing peanuts are soy based or something.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:27 PM
 
5,065 posts, read 15,005,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
I think the current generation of packing peanuts are soy based or something.
I'm glad you said that, because I am allergic to soy, I have a terrible reaction just touching anything with soy. I've seen packing peanuts made from corn (often companies will be proud of their peanuts and include a bit of paper describing them) and it never occurred to me that they could be made with soy, too. I will be very careful handling them in the future, thank you!
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 10,160,960 times
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If you are concerned about reusing potting soil, you can also spread it out and let the hot summer sun bake it, or even heat it to 250 in your oven to kill pathogens. Many folks I know mix up epsom salts with a gallon of water and pour it into the pot; epsom salts get rid of a buildup of fertilizer leftovers (a tablespoon to a gallon) in older potting soil. If your plants do not do well in potting soil, sometimes this gives them a new lease on life. If you use bleach on your pots, make sure that you rinse them VERY thouroughly and let them air dry in the sun for a few days, especially unglazed clay pots. Some folks I know who use their bedding trays from year to year just pop them and smaller pots in the dishwasher on the HOT cycle. This eliminates trace fungi (always a concern in indoor or greenhouse potting).
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,080 posts, read 13,989,339 times
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I just dump used potting soil into the compost heap.
If there are any mold, fungus, or disease nasties in it, they get eaten up and the soil gets purified, fortified, and recycled.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:14 AM
 
267 posts, read 1,092,329 times
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This is turning out to be very educational indeed. I learn more from threads in this forum than I do reading books. I am just getting into gardening this year. Btw, the soil I reused I believe was fine after all. So far, the plants I repotted using that soil are doing just fine. Thank you.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
531 posts, read 1,891,141 times
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This year I tried microwaving (for two minutes) used potting soil for starting my tomatos and green peppers. I also carefully washed all my reused pots with hot soapy water. I had read somewhere that microwaving will kill the fungus which causes "damping off". Well, it seemed to work! Hardly a scientific test, but maybe microwaving the soil would be a quick way for you to decontaminate it. Make sure you let it completely cool before you put your poor unsuspecting plant into it!
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