Container garden salvage plan

Well, I have a hideous fungus gnat infestation. I figure I need a plan for handling this, so I’ve typed one out below.

  1. Stop panicking.
  2. Prioritize plants to save(everything else is either already dead, or really sickly):
  3. Rosemary
    Basil if possible
    Lettuce box 3, if possible
    Thyme, oregano, and sage if possible

  4. Empty out and sterilize containers that currently hold dead/sickly plants.
  5. Continue using sticky traps.
  6. Apply DE to soil of banana and rosemary and perhaps also the strawberries if it’s not to hard.
  7. Apply BTi drench to plants I wish to save. (Basil and lettuce box 3 are self watering containers, so I’ll add the BTi to the water reservoir and keep my fingers crossed.
  8. Repeat steps 4-6 until the pests are gone. Repeat step 3 as needed.
  9. Make soilless mix and replant what needs replanting. Also transplant rosemary into a bigger container with soilless mix at this time.

It’s possible that using DE and BTi is overkill, but right now an aggressive plan of attack makes me feel better.

I’m definitely going with a soilless mix in the future. The gnats got in through contaminated potting soil. I just hope a soilless mix really will be pest free.

I’m trying to decide of I want to use coir (coco peat) instead of regular peat. There seem to be advantages and disadvantages to both, though i hear coir has fewer problems with fungi and fungus gnats. Either way, I need to find a good potting mix recipe. I’ll be adding some container gardening books to my library request list, and taking copious notes.

2 thoughts on “Container garden salvage plan

  1. Just ran across your writing. Good luck with the gnats and fungus.
    I personally don’t think you’re going over-board with the BTi, etc..

    Container gardening has it’s ups and downs, but hang in there.
    What about trying something like Miracle Grow potting mix.

    Good Luck,


    1. Unfortunately, Brad, the fungus gnats came in with the Miracle Grow organic potting mix. I’m not sure how exactly they first got into the bags of soil, but I did see them in the last bag I opened. Perhaps they were stored improperly, perhaps the soil/compost wasn’t properly prepared.

      Either way, next time I’m trying something different.


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