Pasteurizing Potting Soil
While it is unlikely that potting soil from a reputable manufacturer will harbor unfriendly micro organisms, it may nevertheless be prudent to treat the soil before exposing it to your African Violets. The process for treating potting soil is called pasteurization. To pasteurize your potting soil, it must be heated to 180 degrees F for 30 minutes. This can be done by simply sealing the potting soil into heavy aluminum foil (minus the bag, of course) and placing it into your oven. By inserting a meat thermometer through the aluminum foil, you can monitor the temperature of the soil. Once the temperature reaches 180 degrees F, continue to heat it for 30 minutes. When the process is complete, remove the potting soil from the oven and let it cool. Once it has sufficiently cooled, you should seal it in a plastic bag or some other air-tight container in order to prevent contamination.
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