What's new

Peat Prep?

Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
602
Location
Iowa
Hey just wonderin' if any of you microwave or do anything special to your peat to kill algae, bacterium, and fungii? I microwaved some a month or two ago and cyanobacteria and algae still grew and ruined a tray of seedlings. I thought I nuked it pretty good. As always, I "wash" my peat and perlite several times before use in R/O and/or distilled.
Has anyone ever boiled their peat, LFS, and/or perlite with any success? I was hoping to get a few versions of recipes or any tips I can use to combat the rogue life-forms in my growing media. I would post pics, but I'm sure most of you have seen it all before and it is too painful of a loss anyway.
 

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
7,649
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Heat treatment of peat moss can accelerate it breaking down and releasing the nutrients peat moss holds. It can also create phytotoxins. Long term use of heat sterilized peat moss is not recommended (more than 6-12 months).

For laboratory purposes soil is sterilized by treating in an autoclave (steam pressure cooked) for at least 20 minutes.

When I feel the need to sterilize my media I usually rinse it with a 10% bleach solution, let sit for 1/2 an hour, rinse with pure water and let it sit overnight.

If algae is a constant problem sterilize your pots, trays and watering cans and storage containers with bleach or an algaecide such as Physan-20 beforehand. And periodically clean your trays and watering cans and storage with the same.

Various other methods of soil sterilization at home:
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Soil/sterile.htm

The quality of your peat moss often makes a difference. Heat and chemical treatment will not remove any nutrients that may be in the media which feed the moss and algae.

You can always rinse it thoroughly as Tamlin does to remove the nutrients:
http://www.terraforums.com/forums/s...rticulture-(Washing-media)-by-Tamlin-Dawnstar
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,940
I second the recommendation for using Physan rather than heat sterilization, for the same reasons NaN mentions.
 
Top