Where Has The Soil Gone?

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Steve North, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    I have another question:....
    Lets say you take a planter, and plant a seed in the soil.. The seed grows into a plant.. You keep on watering it and it grows still larger.. Eventually you have to transplant the plant as the container is too small..
    OK... You get a larger container ready, and you take the plant out of its present container..

    WHAT ????? all you see are roots.. tons of roots... NO SOIL !!!

    Question: ????? Where did the soil go that was originally in the planter to begin with ????
     
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  2. Kate Ellery

    Kate Ellery Veteran Member
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    The birds ,get in my pots and scratch allot of the soil out ,but I know what you mean Steve ..I have a rather large ficus on my back verandah,I actually added a full 25 ltr bag of soil to the pot recently ..now I haven't swept up that much the birds have had "fun" with and I have smaller pots sitting in the pot the base of the tree so the birds can't get to the soil ..It's mainly blackbirds we have trouble with ..
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Could it be that the nutrients contained in the original soil, are consumed providing heartihood for the plant, while it produces roots seeking further nourishment? Frank
     
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  4. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    Frank.. The original pot was of a decent size, full with soil..
    Now that pot is only roots, not a drop of soil..
    The plant was indoors and NEVER outdoors..

    WHERE DID THE SOIL GO ??????????
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I agree with what @Frank Sanoica says about the dirt. We have had the same kind of experience, and any plant that is left in a container will eventually become what is called "rootbound" where the roots have grown so much that the whole post only has roots left in it.
    We know that plants absorb minerals and other nutrients from the soil, so I think that eventually the plant literally consumes the soil, and what dirt is left will be very compacted.
    We usually take the potted plant outside in the summer, and I dump them out of the pots, trim back the roots, and then repot them, putting them in a larger pot if the plant has grown significantly
    You would think that trees would have large depressions around them from the root consuming the soil nutrients; but probably the leaves falling each year offset that by adding compost material for new soil eventually. .
     
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  6. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I've never had it happen that when I removed a plant to repot it, there was no dirt at all. How long was the plant in the original pot? Perhaps there's a formula for calculating how long it takes for the plant to devour the soil? Back when I had about 125 plants, I would repot many yearly or biannually, so I guess that wasn't long enough for the soil to be used up. I definitely need to buy more potting soil now, because despite having just added some, the pots still seem too empty.
     
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  7. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Probably over .........time it foes through your cold air return and furnace filter, or down your drain, when you water it in the sink. The fine mulch-mix decays over time,as well. Just guessin'! Maybe the bushes & shrubs are stealing it.;)
     
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