>
 

Bookmark and Share

Excerpt from Urban Farming by Thomas J. Fox with permission from its publisher, Hobby Farm Press, an imprint of BowTie Press. Purchase Urban Farming here.

Healthy soil contains far more beneficial critters than harmful ones, and compost-enriched soil has been shown to fight damping off (a fungal disease that shrivels young plants) and other problems. However, if you are of the bleach-is-next-to-godliness school of gardening — or have identified pests, such as fungus gnats, in your soil — sterilizing your soil may be the way to go. You can sterilize your own soil in a variety of ways.

In a conventional oven: Set the temperature somewhere in the range of 210 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the moistened soil in an oven-safe container, and cover it with aluminum foil. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure that the center of the soil pile hits at least 180 degrees F, and then cook for 30 minutes. You want to be sure that the soil is heated to at least 180 degrees F, but does not exceed 200 degrees F, for 30 minutes.

Adjust the oven temperature as necessary to keep the soil in the 180- to 200-degree F range. Keeping an oven-safe thermometer probe in the soil can help.

In a microwave oven: Put about a pint of moistened soil in a microwave — safe plastic bag (left open) and microwave it on high for about two-and-a-half minutes. If you’re uncertain about the exact soil volume or power of your microwave, you can always let the soil cool for about 10 minutes and then blast it again. Just remember that you cannot put metal in the microwave — no aluminum foil, rusty nails, or the like in the soil.

  • 10 Easy Container Vegetables

    If your thinking about creating a container garden, be sure to check out these 10 easy container vegetables.

  • 10 Mini Melons to Grow In the City

    With these small varieties, you can grow deliciously sweet summer melons without fearing they’ll take over your backyard.

  • 10 Ways to Be a Good Steward of Your Suburban Land

    Take back the land in your own backyard with these tips for ecological gardening.

  • 12 Tips For Growing Terrific Tomatoes

    Ensure you grow plenty of juicy ripe tomatoes this summer for eating and preserving by following these simple growing tips.

  • 14 Plants For Your Container Garden

    If you’re thinking about starting a patio garden these container-loving plants are worth a gander.

  • 15 Hacks For A Water-Smart Garden

    Don’t mess around with water waste this summer. Start putting these water-saving techniques into action now.

  • 3 Balcony-garden Essentials

    You don’t need a backyard to successfully grow vegetables for your home. Use these tips to get your balcony garden started right.

  • 3 Mushrooms to Grow In Small Spaces

    Improve your garden selection with these mushrooms any urban farmer can grow.

  • 3 Ways to Start the Spring Garden with Cold Frames

    Add four weeks to the front of the growing season by using cold frames to start your garden.

  • 4 Cover Crops That Do Double-Duty

    Make the most of your small growing space with these four cover crops that can feed your soil as well as your belly.

12345678910

Featured Product

Popular Kitchen: Canning & Preserving | More Info »

Related Articles

Meet Today's Farmer of the Day

  • Breed Profile image
  • City Girl Garden

    Location: Pawleys Island, SC

    Day Job: Administrative Assistant

    Why I'm Getting Dirty: Gardening is relaxing after a long stressful day at the office. Just picked, fresh vegetables are the added bonus.

    View Profile Page »

Advertiser Links

Top Products
d
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Would you like to receive Farmer in the City Newsletters?X Close Window
Please provide us with your email address in order to access this valuable sustainable-living content.
Fields marked with an asterisk * are required.
* Are you at least 13 years old?
YesNo
* First Name:
* Last Name:
* Email:
* City:
* State/Province:
* Enter the code shown:

  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com.
In order to opt-out of our newsletters, you can click on the "unsubscribe" link in the bottom of the newsletter.
  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com partners.