Seedling success through sterilized soil
If you grow seedlings, and you should, you too can have seedling success through sterilized soil. That sounds pretty serious but it is actually pretty simple. This process is only for starting seedlings. To do an entire garden simply would not be practical.
By sterilizing the soil where you start your seedlings you accomplish three things. Any diseases dormant in the soil from previous crops will be destroyed. If there are insects or their eggs in the soil this process will kill them. Finally, any weed or unwanted seeds will be prevented from ever germinating.
Growing seedlings in sterile soil helps ensure the plants are healthy and improves your chances of success in the garden.
How to sterilize your soil
The process of sterilizing your soil for the purpose involves a few cookie sheets and your oven. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place your soil on the cookie sheet. The soil should be 1/2 to 1 inch deep on the cookie sheet and the soil level.
Once the oven is preheated place soil filled cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cookie sheets and thoroughly mix the soil on the cookie sheet. re-level the soil and place it back in the oven and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
Once the soil has baked at 250 for a total of an one and a half hours it will need to cool before being used. You can put it into the containers where you will place your seeds or into a container with a lid to be used later.
An alternative to sterilizing soil
Another alternative to sterilizing soil for starting seedlings is to use a custom growing medium, Here in our garden we chose to start all our seedlings in sawdust and sand. It is nearly pH neutral and won’t contain any disease.
Watch the video on how to sterilize soil for starting seedlings
For those of you who are visual learners like me consider this video that covers the subject.