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Steam soil sterilization

Posted by jimmyd z8b FL/Sunset28 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 21, 03 at 7:32

Has anyone tried doing this "in the ground" on a small, home garden sized scale, with their own setup?

There are commercial scale steamers which are available for $5k plus. As I understand it, hollow tines or spikes on the back of a tractor are pulled through the soil as steam is passed through them.

It would seem fairly easy to build a boiler and pipe steam to,say, a raised bed which is underlain by perforated pipe. Not mechanically inclined, however, I am afraid if I tried to build it, the whole deal may explode in my face. Would love to know if anyone has thought about or tried this.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Steam soil sterilization

Cool thought! If not mechanically inclined, high pressure steam is a dangerous thing, if inclined, it is only scary. Maybe a local rental yard can rent one for $50 or so a day. Whatcha killin, fire ants? What about black plastic sheeting and Florida Sunshine?

RE: Steam soil sterilization

  • Posted by jimmyd z8b FL/Sunset28 (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 22, 03 at 10:07

I'm trying to kill nematodes in my sandy raised bed without chemicals.

The plastic is a good thought, but I'd lose a whole season of growing (I grow early spring to late summer). A steam pressure washer would seem to work except I don't need the water shooting out of it, just the steam.

Thanks for the reply!

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