Soil sterilization is a process that removes microorganisms from soil. It can be used to reduce the risk of disease and increase plant health, especially in seedlings and transplants. Sterilizing potting mix helps prevent pathogens from entering your garden by eliminating the spores they carry on their bodies.
There are many reasons why you would want to do this, but one of them is because there are some plants that don't like being grown in soils where other plants have been growing before them--they'll get sick or die if they're planted in those types of soils. Another reason might be because you're getting ready to take a trip somewhere and won't be able to water your plants while away from home (e.g., vacation), so by sterilizing your soil beforehand, it will stay fresh until after your return and then continue thriving as normal afterwards!
Any time someone mentions "sterilization," people automatically think about using heat as part of their process...and yes indeedy there are several ways one can go about doing this depending on what kind of equipment they have available: For example: Boiling; baking at 250F/120C for 30 minutes; steaming at 212F/100C for 15 minutes; microwaving - however I've found these methods either take too long or require too much effort (and sometimes both).
To boil soil, put the material you want to sterilize into a large pot or bowl, add water until the contents are completely submerged, then place on high heat for 20 minutes (or longer). After boiling is complete, allow your mixture to cool before planting anything in it.
Heat kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses in soil. The best way to kill soil pathogens is by heating the soil to at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Microwave ovens are not recommended for this purpose because they heat unevenly; however, if you do use one as your sterilization method make sure that it reaches full power during its cycle and allow plenty of time for all parts of the container or bag holding your potting mix to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit before removing from microwave oven (about 10 minutes).
Soil can also be sterilized by steaming--this method works well if you have large quantities of loose potting mix or peat moss that need to be treated at once but aren't suitable for pressure cooking (see below).
If you don't have access to a pressure cooker and would rather not use chemicals, steaming soil is another option. Steaming sterilization uses heat (just like cooking) to kill pathogens in your soil. It's good for people who have small children or pets because it doesn't involve the use of toxic chemicals and can be done indoors without much hassle. The process takes about two hours from start to finish:
Brown rice, white rice, oatmeal and cornmeal can also be used to sterilize soil as a natural alternative. Rice is an excellent natural alternative to bleach. It's inexpensive and non-toxic. The microbes in the soil will eat it and die off over time so don't worry about having an unsterile garden once you've used these methods!
You can use any type of rice (brown or white) but it must be plain regular uncooked rice that you find at the grocery store with no seasoning added on it. You will need 1 cup per gallon of water which means if you have 4 gallons total then just multiply 4x1=4 cups total needed for this method which equals 16 ounces or 1 pound 2 ounces worth of uncooked regular white/brown uncooked whole grain rices combined together into one unit container before adding them into your mix along with whatever else might already be there depending on how much space left inside each bag after measuring out how many ounces exactly were needed beforehand because sometimes bags may contain slightly less than what we expect based solely upon past experiences alone so make sure not too much extra room exists within containers after pouring out contents onto countertops etcetera first thing when making purchases online via Amazon Prime Pantry service etcetera so as not waste any materials due + avoid spillage incidents during transportation process - especially since shipping costs might increase due + require additional fees later down road if something happens during transit
Soil must be sterilized before use. This is to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses that may be present in the soil. Sterilization can be done by boiling, steaming or baking. The most common methods are boiling water bath (212F/100C) for 15 minutes and pressure cooker at 15 psi for 20 minutes. You can also use an oven set at 350F/180C for an hour if you don't have a pressure cooker available to you.
We hope that this article has given you some ideas on how to sterilize your potting soil. Boiling is the most common way, but there are other options as well. And remember, if you have any doubts about whether your soil is clean enough for planting purposes then it's always better to err on the side of caution!