LadyLolo87
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question about soil

I have a few cucumber plants that, despite my best efforts, have died. So is it possible to reuse the soil in the pots or is there anything I can do to reuse for my next attempt at making a healthy vegetable garden?

=^_^=

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Kisal
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I used to toss used soil on my compost pile. It might not be good to do that, though, depending on what caused your cucumbers to die. Some plant pathogens can live in the soil for a few years, and infect any new plants that grow there. If you have a decently, hot compost pile (over 60º Centigrade), or can leave it to compost for more than a couple of months, you'd probably okay, but otherwise, I would be hesitant.

You would be perfectly safe to reuse the soil for species of plants that aren't susceptible to whatever killed your cucumbers. You would need to mix it with nice, fresh healthy compost, to replace any depleted nutrients.

And the third possibility is to sterilize the soil by steaming it in your kitchen oven, but of course, that means you would be killing all the good bacteria and other living things in the soil, along with any bad ones. You would still have to mix the soil with fresh, healthy compost before you reused it, but if you just need it for 'volume' in a plant mix, this does work. I've done it many times during periods in my life when I didn't have enough money to be buying a lot of plant mix. (Be prepared for it to stink up your kitchen, however. :lol: )
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

LadyLolo87
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My fiance watered my plants for me this morning and he said that as soon as the water hit the soil gnats just swarmed out. Are gnats known to destroy plants and the soil?

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rainbowgardener
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gnats

sounds like most likely fungus gnats, which stay hidden down on the soil until disturbed. They don't do much harm to the plants, but they are a sign that you have fungus in the soil that does harm the plants. Perhaps what killed your cucumber? You never said what it died of.

You can type fungus gnats into the search box on upper left and read more about them.

It likely means your soil was staying too damp and not aerated enough.

At this point I would definitely not plant anything else in that soil, but I agree that it's probably ok to throw it in the compost pile.

LadyLolo87
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WOW! Thank you so much! I should have done so more homework before I started. I really can't thank you enough. This does help figure out the cause of death. I had no idea.

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