Pasteurizing field soil

Asked June 5, 2017, 6:05 PM EDT

Your article on pasteurizing potting media mix says that one can use the soil immediately after it cools down. Does that also apply to sandy soil I plan on getting from the field? I have been told by others that I should wait 2-6 weeks before using pasteurized soil (steamed) because of the chemicals released by the process. Is that correct? Thank you in advance.

Anderson County South Carolina horticulture soil and fertility issues

3 Responses

Potting media (pine bark or peat based) is essentially inert, so there is no need to wait. If you are pasteurizing field soil then is is best to wait. That's about all I can say without more information.

Thank you for the reply. I am contemplating on making my own mix. It will be a 4:2:2:1 ratio of sand:gravel:vermiculite:peat moss, respectively. For that mix, I assume that I do not have to wait since it is peat based. Is that assumption correct or do the other components make a difference?

It depends on the intended use and the source of the ingredients, but you would probably be ok.