pot cleaning

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Liz M
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by Liz M » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:20 pm

I would think there are different fungi in jam to what there would be present in soil and compost, so maybe the soil-based fungi would be susceptible to micro-waving. It's more a fact of how hot the compost gets, if you damp it and give it full power for several minutes, that should see off the spores.
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover, especially Aeoniums but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti.
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by ChrisR » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:58 pm

Is all this killing of bugs/fungus, etc by microwaving fact or supposition?
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see http://www.conophytum.com for about 1250 pictures of Conophytum, 370 Adromischus and 430 Crassula in habitat & in cultivation.
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gerald
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by gerald » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:38 am

If done long enough, it will kill of all fungi, bacteria and their spores.

Whether this is a good thing is debateable. Soil contains beneficial bacteria and fungi too which live in a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. All these will be killed off too - leading to a possibility that only the pathogenic ones will repopulate the soil.

If sterilisation must be done, then reintroduction into the soil of beneficial microbes & mychorizal fungi etc might be an idea.
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by GSV3MiaC2 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:42 pm

I always used to microwave seed pots (with compost in) before sowing (and then sealing up) with pretty good results. I have an ancient steam powered (almost) 600w microwave my aged mother donated for that purpose, some 30 years ago ... it used to live in the garage, but 5 years ago it was rehabilitated to '2nd microwave' status in the kitchen. Having just started cacti growing again, I may have to reclaim it (I figure using an indoor one is going to cause more grief than the bugs would).
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by jerryb23 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:49 pm

I find sterilising this way essential for seed raising - I use the microwaveable pasta sauce tubs with the re-sealable lids (as found in all supermarkets) and this allows the tubs to remain sealed after sowing for weeks/months without any algae or mould growing.

Other growers use boiling water - maybe I'm missing something but isn't this effectively the same? and do we know how the producers of John Innes compost etc sterilise their product?
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by StevenT » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:08 pm

According to the book Media and Mixes for Container-grown Plants - a Manual on the Preparation and use of growing media for pot plants by AC Bunt (1988), steam is the commonest way (or was at that time) of sterilising soil based compost. Loamless mixes are virtually free of pathogens and so don't need treatment.

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Brian
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by Brian » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:57 pm

What a catchy name for a book Steven.
:lol:
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Liz M
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by Liz M » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:50 pm

Yes Brian, very short and snappy!
I always mix my own sterilised compost with whatever other items I need to get the right consistency of potting compost, cooking terms are as useful as cooking equipment; so I guess there will be some useful soil bacteria that gets into the final result. At the end of the day I hope I have seen off some mealy-bug and vine weevil species, to reduce the number of attacks on my plants.
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover, especially Aeoniums but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti.
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Re: pot cleaning

Post by StevenT » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:38 pm

Brian & Liz
Yes, I guess that's got to be my entry if I ever find a longest book title competition. :lol:

Re 'cooking' of compost, the late Ed Storms in his book The new Growing the Mesembs said to put a container of wet soil mix in the oven at about 200F (95C) and note the time. Use a meat thermometer to check when the mix has reached 180F (85C) then allow 30 minutes to elapse. Future batches need only to be 'cooked' for the same overall time [just as well as I don't think I would get away with using the thermometer every time... :wink: ].

Steven
Cacti and succulents with data - especially clonotypes, topotypes, old clones, ISI introductions - basically plants with stories!
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