Pennsylvania Flower Growers #39
I realize that technically speaking we should call the method Soil Pasteurization but the term sterilization has been in the trade so long, I'll continue with this misnomer. WHY STERILIZE SOILS? 1. To destroy harmful disease organisms such as those causing wilt, root rot, etc. 2. To kill soil pests such as symphyllids, nematodes, grubs, etc. 3. To kill weed seeds—this is a real labor saver. 4. To eliminate the need for changing old soil— another labor saver. 5. To improve soil structure; this is a great benefit in some greenhouse soils. DOES SOIL STERILIZATION PAY? Killing the disease organisms and insect pests in the soil is one of the first steps in good greenhouse crop production, and is essential to prevent troubles on many crops. The loss of just one crop will often pay for many steamings so it is good insurance. Killing the weed seeds and not having to change soil both result in saving of labor. Just the destruction of weed seeds will often pay for the steaming job.
Keywords: Disease organisms Symphyllids, nematodes, grubs Labor saver Improve soil structure Destruction of weed seeds