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The lone stoner

Reused soil won't rehydrate

I decided to reuse some soil from a couple of runs ago. I riddled the roots out and added ecothrive charge and life cycle, soil looked great. Today I've attempted to start some seeds in the soil and it's got Gore tex like properties and simply won't rehydrate. Water in the top pools into a blob and slides straight off! I put the pots in a tray and filled it with water, hours later the pots have taken virtually nothing in. I've never seen this before, tried manipulating the pots to encourage the water down, poking bloody holes in the top of the soil, etc.

Anyone got any ideas as to why this is happening? The soil was pretty dry as you'd imagine from being removed from old fabric pots that have sat for a few months. I wonder if my water has got drastically harder recently as I can't think of any other variables water related that would make this happen, but my instinct tells me it's the soil not the water. All clues appreciated

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I've had this with stuff that I had stored for ages.  Totally dessicated but not grown in yet.  It takes a bit of bio wetter I found.  Some use or have horticultural soap.  I didn't have any so just used a tiny touch of washing up liquid to make my water wetter.  I chucked it in a crystal storage box and let the sun do the work for me.  It's better to add the moisture bit by bit until its reconstituted.  I finished off with a bit of maxicrop seaweed.  I remember clearly doing this but cant remember what plants I grew in it or the outcome so it cant have been catastrophic.  It's quite funky watching huge globs of water break dancing on the surface of the dry compost.

Good luck with it.

I don't think it should be sweated too much as it could promote the wrong type of bacteria.

;)

 

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Rewetting old soil is a pain in the arse. Ideally, don't let it get to the point of needing to do it because the quality of the soil will plummet. 

Crunch it all up and that will help water penetrate it.  

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Not wanting to fuck anything up but a couple of drops of fairy liquid is meant to help,and I'm tempted to say aloe vera gel,  search for  surfactants and wetting agents mate

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, Phoenix said:

Some use or have horticultural soap

 

3 minutes ago, Jimboo said:

drops of fairy liquid


Soap nuts, yucca root powder - anything of the sort

Edited by Nervous
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2 minutes ago, Nervous said:

 


Soap nuts! 

:yes: Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

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@Jimboo I prefer tooting fairy tbh mate (non-bio of course) 

lol 

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It took most of the day but I'm happy to plant some seeds in it at last.

I can't believe I didn't think of using a wetting agent myself... I've been consuming too much beer recently is my only excuse. Thanks all

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Posted (edited)

Bloody annoying when this happens.
I have a habit of "losing" bags of old compost in my shed from time to time, always ends up a hydrophobic mess.

 

I tend to just persist with it, bang it up into empty 10L pots and soak them through, leaving them sat in water for 24-48 hours, giving them a good mix round when done, does sort itself out with patience, though the quality is always rubbish and I wish I would stop doing it!

 

E2A - can you tell where I got half of the compost for my current run from? lol

Edited by audioaddict

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Posted (edited)

Letting soil dry out can damage its structure by turning the organic parts to dust, which normally create tiny little air-holes and acts like a sponge. Soil is not a purely granular, inert substrate, like sand, and should be stored damp to preserve its complex structural matrix.

Edited by catweazle1
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I found the old PM boost did a great job of rejuvenating old compost. Think that's the same as what's now called Veg Boost.

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