Flooding and leaching

To achieve the best results with steam sterilization, the soil is first cultivated and its water content is brought to field capacity. The amount of water required varies with the original moisture content of the soil and the soil type, but it is generally between 20 and 50 L/m2.

Steam sterilization, particularly oversteaming, often releases toxic amounts of ammonium and manganese. Other elements, such as potassium, iron, and zinc, may also be increased. Water leaching is usually necessary to remove an excess of these substances, as well as an excess of other soluble salts, and to cool the soil following steam sterilization. When soil analysis shows an undesirable excess of soluble salts in the rooting medium, leach the soil with much greater quantities of water. The amounts given in Table 6 can be used as a guide.

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

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