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How to Sterilize Soil So Nothing Will Grow? (Explained)

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Are tired of removing all the weeds that always seem to revive and start creeping on your garden? Is this problem compromising the aesthetics of your garden, backward, or patio?

Are you wondering whether or not to sterilize your garden’s soil so that nothing can even grow in that soil but you are not sure about the consequences of such an act?

How to sterilize soil so nothing will grow?

Sterilization of soil is nothing new. There are different ways that are adopted while doing sterilization of soil. Consequently, sterilization of soil can be done by the different chemicals like phenols, NPK fertilizer, formaldehyde, bleach, and also be done by heat, solarization, boiling water.

Soil sterilization can sometimes be very beneficial for the soil and for the plants as well. There are many reasons why people will sterilize soil and there are thousands of ways you can adopt to sterilize any soil. 

Sterilize Soil with Heat: 

One of the most effective and easiest ways of sterilizing soil is by heating the soil. It is a common practice for a lot of gardeners. 

In addition, when you are sterilizing the soil with heat, you are trying to heat the soil which in turn will help to eradicate unnecessary microorganisms, pests, weeds, and so on. 

In addition, depending on the amount of soil you want to sterilize, you can sterilize the soil with heat by the usage of hot water, pressure cooker, oven, steam, and so on.

Sterilize Soil with Hydrogen Peroxide:

Sterilizing the soil with hydrogen peroxide is very much convenient than you may think. However, you should follow some instructions before directly handing this soil sterilizer chemical.

Moreover, you should never directly use hydrogen peroxide in the soil and neither should you use your bare hands to handle it.

You should first take a bucket and mix hydrogen peroxide with water and then pour the chemical solution into a spray bottle and spray on the soil which you want to sterilize. 

In addition, you should never use more than three percent to thirty percent of hydrogen peroxide in the process of soil sterilization. 

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Sterilize Soil with Boiling Water:

You can sterilize soil with boiling water. First, you need to boil your water at about 82 degrees Celsius. 

After that, you need to place the soil that you want to sterilize in containers and add the boiling water or steam to the soil. Consequently, it will help to get rid of dirt, weeds, germ, bacteria, and bugs. 

Sterilize Soil with Chemicals:

Using chemical solutions sometimes can cause more effective results than using natural ways of sterilization. Moreover, formaldehyde is one of the most effective chemicals to use in soil.

In addition, there are other chemicals such as NPK fertilizer, acrylic acids, and phenols which are also some of the chemicals that are the most effective. 

However, you should be mindful of the fact that these chemicals are harmful in themselves and these chemicals have to be watered down so that they can be usable for the process of sterilization as using them directly on the soil can cause harmful consequences. 

Sterilize Soil with Solarization:

Another very effective way of sterilizing soil is by using a natural method which is called solarization. Solarization is a perfect process for the sterilization of soil in larger areas.

Moreover, all you need to do for this process is to make sure that nothing can grow by covering the whole area of soil with plastic wrap thick enough to be unaffected by insects and pests.

Additionally, you need to maintain this thing for four to eight weeks for better results. 

Sterilize Soil with Bleach: 

Bleach is another useful solution to use to sterilize the soil. By using this, you can be able to remove the weeds, bacteria, and fungus.

However, the solution you will be making with bleach should only contain 10 or 20 percent of bleach. 

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Sterilize Soil with Salt Solution: 

Another most effective way to sterilize soil so that nothing can grow again is by making a solution which is a mixture of salt, dishwashing soap, and vinegar. 

In addition, you need to mix a tad bit of dishwashing liquid soap, one gallon of vinegar, and 2 cups of salt and you also need to shake the solution so that everything can dissolve very nicely. 

Accordingly, you need to spray this solution more than once on your preferred soil areas which you want to sterilize. 

The salt in the solution will permanently terminate all the weeds, germs, bacteria, and will work great as a natural sterilizer. 

Sterilize Soil with Oven:

If you want to sterilize a small portion of the soil, then the most effective way of doing this is with an oven. All you need to do is to place the soil in the oven-proof tray and add enough water without oversaturating the soil.

After that, you need to cover the soil with aluminum foil and place it in the oven for thirty minutes, and the soil sterilization process should be complete. 

Why sterilize soil? 

Sterilization of soil can cause more advantages than disadvantages nevertheless, this practice of soil sterilization is witnesses very frequently and it is an effective method than all the fancier ones. 

Removes Harmful Organisms:

Soil sterilization can help to rejuvenate the soil and can bring out the productivity of the soil. It removes and heals the problems of fungus, germs, pathogens, nematodes, and also other infections. 

Sterilization of soil can in turn assist in a better propagation process and also help to germinate seeds effectively. 

Removes Weeds:

Hiring someone to remove all the weeds in your garden or using high-end chemicals on weeds can cost you a fortune. 

However, one of the most effective and cost-friendly methods of permanently removing weeds from the soil is sterilization of soil. You can easily sterilize the soil even by using some natural ingredients. 

Assists in Growth Rate:

Even though the soil sterilization process can sometimes terminate some beneficial bacterias, it still is the better route.

It is due to the reason that with minimal effort, cost, and time, you can increase the fertility of the soil and can also decrease the potential growth of diseases, infections, pathogens, gnats and can aid to plant development.

Creates Aesthetic Look:

If you don’t want any kinds of things growing in a certain part of your garden for an aesthetic reason and for making things pleasing to the eyes, the best thing for you to do is to sterilize the soil. 

How to permanently sterilize soil? 

It is important to sterilize soil to make sure that the unwanted harmful bacteria, harmful organisms, nematodes, germs, pathogens, fungus, gnats can’t grow.

Additionally, these organisms if continue to live in the soil, the growth rate of the soil will deteriorate. 

Accordingly, to permanently sterilize the soil, you need to use chemicals like formaldehyde, bleach, hydrogen peroxide and mix them individually with water, and can spray them onto the soil to sterilize it.

Additionally, using a mixture of salt, white vinegar, and dishwashing liquid can also permanently sterilize the soil when sprayed on to the soil. 

How long does it take to sterilize soil?

The duration of the sterilization process of soil highly depends on how you are undertaking the sterilization process. When the sterilization of soil is done through the solarization process, it may take 3-6 weeks for the process to complete.  

Additionally, when it comes to sterilization of soil using the technique of boiling water or steam, in this case, the duration will be thirty minutes.

Moreover, sterilization of soil by chemicals or bleach can also give quick results, and when the process is done with salt solution, it will be effective from the initial usage and will not take long. 

Does sterilizing soil remove nutrients? 

Sterilization of soil is such a process that helps to remove, on one hand, the potential growth of any harmful organisms and on the other hand, sometimes also helps to give nutrients back to the soil.

However, using chemicals like phenols, hydrogen peroxide, acrylic acids, NPK fertilizer, and formaldehyde in the soil can remove a lot of nutrients from the soil.

Moreover, sterilization of soil by the sun is a natural way of sterilization and it is another way of making sure that the soil will not lose all the important nutrients. 

Additionally, the usage of salt in the sterilization process can cause the loss of nutrients and moisture in the soil. Consequently, the soil will be infertile to produce anything. In short, only chemical or salt-based sterilization can remove nutrients from the soil.

Soil sterilization is in fact known for the removal of pathogens, fungi, bacteria, weeds, diseases, and can even remove harmful organisms. 

Final thoughts:

Soil sterilization from one side be done to prevent the growth of germs, and conversely, it can also be used for bettering the growth of plants. This depends on the various materials and methods used in sterilization like solarization, salt solution, hydrogen peroxide, chemicals, boiling water.

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