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Reuse potting soil

 
pollinator
Posts: 388
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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How to sterilize old potting soil and peat pots for use in future gardens?
Is heat treating recommended or place out in the sun?  or should I try compost tea?
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Dennis, why are you sterilizing it? for seed sprouting or upsizing. I don't sterilize for upsizing. I really don't sterilize per se, just collect the old potting soil in a wheelbarrow and keep it really wet and turn it several times. My best best potting soil for tree pots has been this nasty rancid mix of wood chips and coco hulls I forgot about that I aerated a few times with a pitchfork in the garage while it dried out over a few weeks. There were fruiting bodies all over the place. I let it get pretty dry, reconstituted it and planted. These were honeylocust seeds though. Little seeds might have competition, there was some crabgrass that didn't compost entirely but only a few.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Unless you are going to reuse soil that had an infection problem (in which case it is best to incinerate it) I have to agree with Tj, there isn't any need to sterilize potting soils.
The exception would be if you are going to use it for growing mushrooms, in that case steam sterilization in an autoclave or pressure cooker would be the way to go.

Redhawk
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
Posts: 388
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Thanks Dr. Redhawk and TJ.  
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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you are most welcome Dennis
 
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