Reusing bagged soil after synthetics.
Ok so I use potters gold soil with added perlite. I grow autos and photos in 5and 7 gallon fabric pots. Feed with VegBloom nutrients entire line. Curious if I can just shake out my root ball, then mix 5050 with new soil, and reside.
What difficulty's or deficiencies could I run into after a couple runs of doing this? Is that when I will start seeing deficiencies in lesser seen/known things like boran, iron, ect?
Can/should I reammend the soil with some type of top dress? If so, recommendations?
I've found that buying dirt for every pot is rather a pain. Eventually going organic and getting some super soil or a no till would be beneficial for me, but my living situation is about to change. At that point I'll invest in better long term options.
But for now, can soil be reused? If so, what's your method for doing so?
Reminder I'm using synthetics. VegBloom Powdered nutrients.
Soil that's been used can become hydrophobic, depleted of nutrients and microorganisms which creates poor soil structure. Disease can also be carried over into the used soil, so if it had root rot for example, you would not want to reuse it.
Mixing new soil in with old may take care of the structure, so it's probably a good idea if you don't have space or experience amending soil. Sometimes it can get pretty stinky when rejuvenating old soils and takes a little time. But if done right, could save a little money. Though it takes time to revive old soil. Soil tests are a great way to know what exactly to give it.
There will certainly be nutrients missing from the old soil, so take that into consideration when reusing it. You will have to provide what's missing all the time. It could help to inoculate the soil with beneficial bacteria and fungi to improve uptake of available nutrients. Earthworm castings, compost, mycorrhiza, and labs are a go to for any soil situation. I would recommend mixing a couple of these things in the old soil before mixing with new soil. Compost is pretty stinky so keep that in mind.
Since you're using liquid fertilizer, you're not really depending on what's available in the soil. When mixing with new nutrient rich soil, nutrients will be there and available. You should take that into consideration when using a solution, you could possibly create a lock out situation by giving it too much or too little of something. Some soil companies will provide info on how to reuse their soil. Some companies say it's a bad idea.
I ran some soil for a few harvests, but I wasn't using synthetic nutrients. Synthetic nutrients will outcompete organic inputs. Over application of these fertilizers can actually be harmful, the excessive use of chemical fertilizers causes nutrient imbalance in soils.
Synthetic fertilizers quickly release a predetermined quantity of chemically-based nutrients to the soil, but they do little to improve its overall health. In many cases, these products can damage your soil because they do not replace the vital nutrients used. After repeated application of synthetic fertilizers, the soil may be depleted of essential nutrients and become infertile, requiring a full replacement.