Change Container Garden Soil


If you live in Zone 7 and up and grow varieties like impatiens and petunias, this may be a challenge because they tend to over winter and come back strong season after season. I’ve changed their soil a couple of ways.

I’ve ripped them out, change the soil, and planted new plants. But I’ve also carefully dug them up, changed the soil, and replanted. And it works.

The watch word is carefully. Don’t just plunge your trowel in, breaking the roots, and expect them to live. Gently insert your fingers and try to extract as much of the plant and root system as you can. You’ll definitely rip and few roots but try to get as much of a complete root ball as possible.

The one family of veggies that this warning is especially important for is…

Nightshade Veggies

Changing soil is particularly important if you’re growing veggies in the nightshade family. Nightshade includes yummies like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.

Here’s why this is so critical for the health of your crop.

Nightshades – bless their little hearts – have the ability to leave bacteria in the soil after harvest that can spend the winter kicking back like it’s a Florida vacation.

What that means for you is that you can end up with plant diseases you didn’t see coming if you don’t do one of two things:

  • Change the soil each year, or
  • Plant nightshades in a different place every other year

If you’re gardening in a large container with a liner, like a GardenRack, you can solve the soil change issue by flipping the liner back to front. This method can continue for years as soil born diseases usually don’t hang around for more than one winter.