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Best Way to Pull Up Plants

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Best Way to Pull Up Plants

Post  Fiz on Thu 10 Aug - 20:26

Hey all!

So, I've got a few plants (cucumbers and determinate tomatoes) that are in pots. They look like they are on their last leg and I will need to pull them up soon. Thing is, if I can salvage the potting soil, I want to use it to plant some shallow rooted crops like lettuce and green onions once the weather cools down, as well as broccoli if I can't really salvage the potting soil well.

My question is, what is the best way to remove a spent plant, roots and all, without ripping and cutting roots and having them still in the soil? 

Thanks muchly!
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Re: Best Way to Pull Up Plants

Post  sanderson on Fri 11 Aug - 0:24

Fiz, I use a cement pan* set on a picnic table (for my back).  I cut off most of the large plant like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc.), then slide mix and plant out into the pan.  Remove rest of plant and big roots, amend with more compost, moisten with hose wand.  Make sure the bottom of the pot has the weed fabric in place and replace the amended Mel's Mix.  For small plants like camomile, carrots, just pull the plant(s), amend and replant. *

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Re: Best Way to Pull Up Plants

Post  plantoid on Fri 11 Aug - 6:58

Water the plant well the night before  ,  
 Next day , use a garden or small hand fork to gently ease the plant up ,  cut the tops off the plant if there are seeds on it that you don't want & move them from the area .
Now gently shake the root ball  over the bed gently bashing it onth metal of the fork .
 Leave it 24 hrs to dry out to loosen any soil that's been left.

Use a hose on spray , to wash the roots clean , wash the plant roots over the bed to  leave the soil on the bed .

 You will get zillions of microscopic  hair roots  left in the soil .
 These are of no great consequence and will simply act like newly made compost that will rot down very quickly to provide your new crops with useful food.

 Obviously don't try & grow crops of the same family as the one you've taken out in case there is disease  related to those plants left in the soil as the new pants will often succumb to it fairly quickly & give you long term problems with that disease in that bed . 



 NB .
Weeds often had pernicious roots system that can re grow from the tiniest bit of broken roots .. Such weeds will have to be carefully taken out with any attached soil & placed in a light proof lidded container full of water.

Totally submerge the weeds using a brick etc & leave then for four week giving them an occasional stir & re weighting them down .
At the  end of the four weeks it will stink to high heaven ,  all growing capability will usually have been extinguished by the rotting down . Add the rotted weeds & stinky water to the compost heap.

 PS don't get the stinky black oily water on your skin or clothes ..lest you're never allowed indoors ever again
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Re: Best Way to Pull Up Plants

Post  sanderson on Fri 11 Aug - 9:48

plantoid wrote:Totally submerge the (sic. noxious) weeds using a brick etc & leave then for four week giving them an occasional stir & re weighting them down .
At the  end of the four weeks it will stink to high heaven ,  all growing capability will usually have been extinguished by the rotting down . Add the rotted weeds & stinky water to the compost heap.

 PS don't get the stinky black oily water on your skin or clothes ..lest you're never allowed indoors ever again
Razz Plantoid, sounds like a man of experience.

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Re: Best Way to Pull Up Plants

Post  Fiz on Fri 11 Aug - 19:22

Great advice, thanks TLC both of you!
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