Working from ancient memory here! The book "Crockett's Victory Garden"
suggests pasteurizing it outside in a big pot, perhaps over a gas grill. Add
enough water so it doesn't burn. He says it stinks to high hell, so do it on
a day with a breeze, and away from open windows. I don't recall how long
this should take, but I'll guess and say 20 minutes from the time it starts
On 2 Jul 2004 11:23:49 -0700, a firstname.lastname@example.org (Anne) wrote:
This is not really practical. It is better to purchase sterilized
potting mixes for indoor use.
However, you can sterilize your compost. Place compost in a baking
pan, wet it thoroughly, and bake it in a 275-degree oven for an hour.
Allow the baked compost to dry, then screen it to make it light and
fluffy. There will be an earthy odor from the baking process, but it
should disappear with a few hours.
If I recall correctly, one of the advantages of compost is the biological
action. Sterilizing seems counterproductive. I am a cheapskate, but I go
and buy potting soil anyway. It might even drain better than home made
oven roasted compost.
Quality compost has disease suppressive qualities, why in the world
would anyone want to sterilize it?
Find a source of quality vermicompost and use it. Vermicompost from
tested sources will not be pathogenic!
On 3 Jul 2004 07:58:30 -0700, email@example.com (Beecrofter) wrote:
All my houseplants have worms in them because I used soil and compost from the
garden to plant my houseplants... the stuff I put them in is better then
storebought and since it's free it's cheaper..... my plants do very well.
Zone 5 CT
A lady in the garden club lives in a condo with strict rules, she follows the
same principles of composting in her basemet in a lidded 5 gallon bucket she
bought at one of the large box stores like Lowes or Home Depot. Other then
worms, squirrels and birds my compost pile doesn't attract anyone else, are
you turning in your kitchen scraps????
Zone 5 CT
Rather than compost for potted plants, I strongly suggest my
home-made potting mix. See
The problem with compost is not with the bugs. It's the fact that
it keeps decomposing and shrinking. You can't merely add more
compost to the top of a pot because that will eventually bury the
plant's crown and may cause the plant to rot and die. Instead, you
must repeatedly remove the plant and add more compost to the bottom
and sides of the pot.
My mix does use some compost because it contains the microbes
necessary to convert the nutrients (e.g., blood meal and bone meal)
into forms that plant roots can absorb. However, the main
constituents are sand (which does not decompose) and peat moss
(which decomposes very slowly). Also, my mix will not become
waterlogged, which can be a problem with fine compost.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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