African Garden + things

Sterilizing Potting Soil: From the DAISNAID* File

I noticed little gnat things crawling on the Amaryllis I potted up a week ago, so on Friday I decided to get rid of them by sterilizing the potting soil. In my defense I must state at the outset that I hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before, so it never occurred to me to look up how soil sterilization in the oven should be done. But here is what happens when potting soil is baked in an oven at 350F for 1 hour, then baked for 10 minutes at 450F.

Yes, that's smoke, not steam. As can be seen from the video, I attempted to put the fire out with snow, but it continued to burn for over a half hour. The girl had remarked that the house smelled funny, when the kids got home from school. I opened the oven and found the potting mix in flames. Fortunately, VIS had taken the day off, so he pulled the pan out of the oven and put it outside. The next morning there were ashes.

No real harm done, as the pan was old and rusty. I just wish the house didn't still smell like a campfire. I'm going to be throwing out my bag of potting soil and starting over with a new bag. Believe me, it will be worth it.
*Do As I Say, Not As I Do

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Sterilizing Potting Soil: From the DAISNAID* File + things