Potting Soil Dangers

Asked February 16, 2020, 11:58 AM EST

I’ve been gardening for years and went through the OSU Master Gardeners program. I’m shocked this isn’t highlighted in the program. What are the recommendations for safe handling? Thank you. https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/109688672/dangers-of-potting-mix-highlighted-after-death-of-ch...

Deschutes County Oregon

1 Response

Hi, It is always a good practice to do the following when working with potting mix, soil, compost or other gardening media: 1. Always wear a mask and gloves when handling soil, compost or potting mix; 2. Wash hands carefully with soap and water after handling soil and before eating, drinking, smoking or placing hands near the face or mouth; 3. Water gardens and compost gently, using a low pressure hose 4. Open bags in a well ventilated space 5. Store bags of potting mix in a cool dry place. When stored in the sunlight, the temperature inside the bag can increase, creating an ideal environment for Legionella bacteria to grow; 6. Open bags of composted potting mix slowly, directing the opening away from the face to avoid inhaling the mix. Wet the soil to reduce dust when potting plants; 7. Avoid breathing in droplets of water from dripping pot plants, including hanging baskets, and when watering plants.

Thanks, Amy Jo