How do you sterilize soil?

Here are three ways:

  1. Moisten the soil and bake in a 200°F oven for two hours. If you need large quantities, bake in a large bucket or drum over an outdoor fire.
  2. Moisten and cook the soil in a pressure cooker for twenty minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Remember, however, that any indoor cooking of soil is smelly.
  3. Fumigate the soil with a volatile chemical—methyl bromide, ethylene dibromide, or chlorpicrin, which come under various trade names—in a tightly closed container such as a garbage can. Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.

Whatever method you use, wait two to three days before planting in the sterilized soil.

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