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By TrapsAndDews
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#398026
How exactly do I sterilize soil with boiling water? Can the boiling water be tap?
Last edited by TrapsAndDews on Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By thepitchergrower
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#398027
Boil some water. Probably is best to use distilled or rain. Pour it on your soil. Let it sit until it is cool enough to touch.
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By thepitchergrower
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#398028
thepitchergrower wrote:Boil some water. Probably is best to use distilled or rain. Pour it on your soil. Let it sit until it is cool enough to touch.
This is not actually sterilization. But it gets rid of Fungus gnats, Mold spores, Moss spores. That kind of bad stuff.
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By TrapsAndDews
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#398034
How do I boil distilled water? (this may sound like a dumb question)
nimbulan wrote:Keep in mind that this sort of treatment will accelerate the degradation of the peat, so it won't last as long and may also encourage algae growth.
Is there any other way sterilize the soil (or kill all the algae and fungus) without accelerating the process of degradation.
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By thepitchergrower
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#398035
You can toast it, or bake it. But, it's not much better. Plus your house will smell like #$%@. Microwave it too.
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By thepitchergrower
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#398039
I meant toast the soil to sterilize it.
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By HisImperialMajesty
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#398040
thepitchergrower wrote:
thepitchergrower wrote:Boil some water. Probably is best to use distilled or rain. Pour it on your soil. Let it sit until it is cool enough to touch.
This is not actually sterilization. But it gets rid of Fungus gnats, Mold spores, Moss spores. That kind of bad stuff.
Actually, that is sterilization. Pouring 200+ degree water through it will kill any spores, critters, or microbes in it. The problem is that the media is not kept in a sterile environment after that, so it can pick up baddies again quickly. However, like someone else noted, that will accelerate the breakdown of the media, and could quickly leave you in a worse position than had you not done anything to begin with.
The best suggestion I had heard, many moons ago, was to just go with it as is. Maybe rinse it with distilled or rain water to wash out any potential minerals that may be there (peat and perlite), and watch it. If you start to grow some light, grey, fuzzy mold, that's pretty normal as long as it stays light. If you suddenly experience a big outbreak of mold early on, then steam the next batch by getting it moist and microwaving it in a microwave safe dish until at least 165 degrees. This will kill all critters and microbes and most mold spores, but will not degrade the media as much as 200+ degree water. Allow it to cool before you handle it. You'll probably still experience some mold/fungus and critters, but it should be manageable.
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By TrapsAndDews
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#398047
How long does the soil steam in the microwave? Would it also be possible to use 160 degree water?

My soil was just smelling kinda fishy (it literally smelled like fish).
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By HisImperialMajesty
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#398054
TrapsAndDews wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:13 pm How long does the soil steam in the microwave? Would it also be possible to use 160 degree water?
Steam it until it reads at least 165° F in the center. 160°F water would only affect the top layer, after that it is cooled by the media. If you used a lot of 160° F water, it would eventually get all the media. Easier to dampen it and steam it, takes about a minute or less.
TrapsAndDews wrote:My soil was just smelling kinda fishy (it literally smelled like fish).
Then serve it up with lemon and tartar sauce.
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By nimbulan
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#398061
I might actually have to try a heat treatment for my peat here. I've been dealing with an apparent pathogenic fungus in my current peat bale, which results in random pots of seeds developing lots of fungus on the seeds, failing to germinate for no apparent reason, or even damping off shortly after germination when that's a problem I've never had before. The only alternative to heat would be some sort of chemical treatment, but I'm not sure what would be appropriate.
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By thepitchergrower
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#398063
nimbulan wrote:I might actually have to try a heat treatment for my peat here. I've been dealing with an apparent pathogenic fungus in my current peat bale, which results in random pots of seeds developing lots of fungus on the seeds, failing to germinate for no apparent reason, or even damping off shortly after germination when that's a problem I've never had before. The only alternative to heat would be some sort of chemical treatment, but I'm not sure what would be appropriate.
I've tried chemicals. It works to sterilize the soil, but causes a bad environment for the seedlings.
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By HisImperialMajesty
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#398073
TrapsAndDews wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:39 pm Does it give off a smell in the microwave? Do you need spread it out evenly when microwaving, or can you just fill up a microwave safe container with soil?
When I've done it, I put it in a big glass bowl with a lid and just crack the lid. Heat it until it reads 165° in the center (careful, the edges will be hotter). Then let it cool.
Mine has always smelled like warm dirt.
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