Soil Sterilization You add a little of This and a little of That!
What is Soil Sterilization • The process of destroying all organisms in the soil ecosystem
Why Sterilize • Sterilizing soil destroys most pathogens (Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, nematodes, etc), weed seeds, and other harmful organisms that may be in the soil.
How do Growers Sterilize the Soil? • Fire • Solar • Pesticide • Steam • Composting
What's Necessary for Composting? • Raw Material- Used plant material, bark, wood, etc • Heat- heat will occur naturally as microorganisms break down the plant material. It will also destroy most unwanted organisms • Moisture- helps facilitate decomposition • Cover- either bark or plastic
What are important considerations? • Ability to monitor and control temperature- temperature may rise to high levels, resulting in spontaneous combustion • Space- depending on scale, you must have adequate space to compost • Must make sure compost is cured- uncured material will result in nutrition problems. In uncured compost, microorganisms will use up nitrogen, resulting in iron chlorosis.