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spent tomato grow bags

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:43 pm
by taralastair
This is probably an obvious question, but would like to make sure I am not making more work for myself. Do I need to get rid of old growbags from tomatoes (which have now succomed to blight) or can it be composted? Also, can the ring cultures be re-used?


Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:26 am
by Sue
Hi Tara - it is possible that some blight spores may have landed on the grow bag compost, but I would compost them. The ring cultures can be reusued but scrub them thoroughly in a weak bleach solution and dry completely before storing. These are going to be in close contact with next years toms, so do carry some danger of spreading blight.


Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:48 pm
by taralastair
Thanks for the advice. I think I will chuck the compost, but hang on the the ring cultures and clean well.


Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:58 pm
by John
Hello Taralastair
I wouldn't worry about the compost - just add it too the compost bin in the normal way. My understanding is that blight spores are very widespread and that they just need the right conditions of warmth and moisture plus a suitable host to cause infection. I think its the case that almost all infections are airborne.
It would be sensible though to dispose of the infected plants and fruits and clean up any containers.


Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:42 pm
by Allan
Growbags are valuable as a soil improver but as they are made of peat or similar dead material fortified with nutrients they won't add to the rotting down process which usually causes an initial temperature rise. Any roots etcetera in the medium will rot down.
Certainly 'throwing them out' is not the thing to do if you have any soil outside.

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:38 pm
by Johnboy
Hi Tara,
It is perfectly alright to reuse this peat because although the Blight Spores may well have infected the plants any spores will die off.
However I would not add to the compost heap but would use it up on your flower beds.
The Blight is Potato Blight and the Mycelium is hosted by the Potato and not other plants although blight may affect the vast majority of plants of the same family that grow in this country it is not hosted by them. I say do not add to the compost because no doubt you add potato waste and the odd small potato in the compost and this is as an added precaution.

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:01 pm
by Geoff
I always add some blood, fish and bone then use them to mulch what I call my posh shrubs - camellias, magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons.

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:58 am
by hiroko clark
I mix grow bag contents with root vegetable bed soil. Our soild is slightly clay type so carrots used to be unsuccessful all the time. But since I started to mix I can get much better carrots.

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:27 pm
by madasafish
Like the previous poster we have heavy clay soil. I use the peat from old growbags as a mulch for my raspberry canes and as a soil improver for my strawberries.

After 20 years it has made a significant difference to soil texture:-)