I have some problems with mold attacking my vegetable seeds before they even germinate. I am told the answer is to sterilize the soil by baking it. Any thoughts? How do I do it?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/sterilizing-soil.htm
The first answer to your question should read. the soil you Sterilise if using the oven should NOT be more than 4 inches deep. Regards Jim.
To sterilize planting soil, turn your oven to a low temperature of approximately 180 degrees. Add peat moss, manure or compost to the soil before sterilizing it making sure that the soil is moist. Place the soil in a metal baking pan or any container, which is not plastic, then, spread the soil uniformly out using your hands ensuring that it is more than 4 inches deep. Cover the container very tightly with aluminium foil and then, stick a meat thermometer through the foil in the centre of the container until it enters the middle of the soil. Check the thermometer occasionally until it reaches 180 degrees. Keep the temperature constant at 180 degrees for thirty minutes. Finally, remove the soil from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature.
Have also heard of digging out a pit of about 1ft deep by 2/3 ft square & building a fire in it (similar to a BBQ pit) then put a sheet of thin metal ie Corrugated tin ! Make a couple of holes in one side edge to enable you to drag it off the heat when sterilisation time is up! Sift soil onto heated surface of 180 Degrees, use Temperature Meat Thermometer for checking constant heat of 180 dg's for about 1/2-3/4 hour or so, hope this helps. Jim.