Toxic Dirt in my Deck Box?

Asked May 28, 2013, 7:43 AM EDT

Hi, I have petunias in deck boxes. I think I have dead or toxic dirt cause the plants are not doing much...some have died. I used old dirt that had been stored in a wheelbarrel and it smelled sour. Any hints on how I can liven up the soil?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

If your soil smells, your best bet is to replace it. It is necessary to have drainage holes in the deck boxes so that water does not stand in the boxes and kill your plants. When the boxes are empty, scrub them with a ten percent chlorox solution and rinse well. Fill the boxes with a soilless potting mixture or a mixture of top soil and compost. http://extension.umd.edu/growit/food-gardening-101/what-growing-media The mixtures that we have listed for vegetables will work well for flowers. vw