Steaming Soil - Potting soil & compost soil

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Steaming Soil - Potting soil & compost soil: steaming

And they should not be disturbed as far as possible by competing plants or by pests in their development. Does steaming the earth help to provide the plants with the optimal soil, especially when it comes to potting soil and compost soil?

What is the goal of steaming the earth?

Earth is first steamed to make it as germ-free as possible. Although with a reasonable use of temperature and time and thus a reasonable amount of energy certainly not perfect sterility can be achieved, but the earth is changed significantly: the seeds of other plants (weed seeds) in the ground and a large amount of germs are killed with which especially young plants regularly have to fight.
The damp heat also includes nutrients in the soil, which are better absorbable in this form for young plants. Damping the earth is also a well-known method of pest control, which was completely wrongly largely forgotten. In fact, most harmful organisms are much less likely than most people suspect. Viruses and fungi can be quite persistent, but usually do not last 70° C over a period of one hour.
Everything that we consider to be "living" consists to a large extent of protein, and protein is very vulnerable to heat. A pest that only consists of clotted egg whites has lost its potential for action and can no longer harm our plants. At best thick chitin armor can provide such protection that the heat takes a while to denature the interior. So, for example, soil is steamed to eliminate harmful organisms and seedlings and to prepare the soil before seeds or plants are put into the soil:

Steaming pests soil

Damping the earth is a very sensible preparation for the cultivation of many plants because the young plants are sensitive to all kinds of pests. Frequently, the seedlings are exposed to high humidity during the first time by being grown in small greenhouses or under plastic hoods. They should also be very warm during the germination phase. These are conditions under which mushrooms lurking in the ground, as it were, "clap their hands" and multiply at breakneck speed. Therefore, it is advantageous in a Seed soil when there are as few fungal spores in the ground.
Besides, if you want to grow a very specific plant, after steaming, you can be pretty sure that this plant will thrive and not another, stronger seedling will gain the upper hand that was already in the soil.

Temperature and time of damping

For thermal pest control different temperatures are required, as already indicated above. However, it is fairly certain that the temperatures reached when steaming the earth will make the soil virtually germ-free when the earth is exposed to the hot steam for the prescribed time.
Depending on the device and method here 60 to 110° C are reached, to kill in the soil of existing seeds lower temperatures than the destruction of fungal or viral pathogens is required, which you suspect in the earth. On the Internet there are tables with information about what time and temperature is needed to harm a certain pest. Of course you will also receive a manual with a purchased damper, which will also include information on times and temperatures.

Should compost earth be steamed?

Rather not, because the compost is for good reason anything but a dead matter. In compost, there are many organisms that should also be in it, but would be killed by a hot steam treatment. These organisms are various bacteria and fungi that transform the soil into a functioning soil system. The root space of a plant belongs to this "system soil", the plant relies on the fact that the useful microorganisms are present in the earth, in order to be able to build up and unfold their roots powerfully.
When the earth is subdued, the beneficial organisms as well as potential pests are overwhelmingly destroyed. If this soil is placed in the garden in the garden, the usual self-regulating mechanism with which the garden soil is protected by beneficial insects against pests, is interrupted in a dangerous manner. If you have the Komposterde z. For example, if you have sterilized to control a pest infestation in the garden and have not eliminated all the pests, you have done a great favor to the pests: they can now freely enter the "dead" soil and spread out without inhibitions.
If you only put the compost in a bucket, you would have to ensure that nothing can penetrate into the environment. What would only be the case if you immediately sterilize each device and your hands after each use on the bucket, a barely persevering effort.
Basically, you bet on the free play of the forces: the dead earth will be populated, and by whom depends who is faster and stronger. Unfortunately, as with the often unequal battle between destructive and sustaining forces, the pests often prove to be more persistent and resistant.

Heat compost without steaming

If it is stated as an argument for vaporizing the earth that nutrients are digested in the soil, so that the plants can better absorb them, this can certainly only be the case at fairly low temperatures. A heat treatment with temperatures that are necessary for the pest control, certainly survive the valuable materials created during the rotting process as well as the pests, the earth thus suffers another loss of quality.
If you only want to heat the compost soil because you want to minimize the number of weeds, then you might want to consider whether the temperatures in your compost are not enough to kill most seedlings anyway. When properly composted as a hot rotting this result is achieved even without vaporizing the earth: In the hot rotting, the compost heats up to 70° C, which causes a self-purification of the compost, by which the large mass of the seeds contained germ-deficient.
However, steaming the compost soil might be useful if there is so little compost mass in your garden that no true hot rot can develop. But even in a very small compost, many seeds in the compost can be done by careful procedure, many seeds already germinate in the correctly applied compost and become part of the humus in the following years.
So it is worthwhile to check the composting procedure again, because you need external energy when steaming, which costs money and is not the first recommended procedure from an environmental point of view. If you are dealing with pests in compost, you may also seek the advice of a professional if there are not any beneficials against these pests that can be targeted on the compost.

Video Board: Steaming Potting Mix to Avoid Spider Mites and Fungus Gnats.

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